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Yesterday sucked.

Not only did Alabama lose the Iron Bowl, but my refrigerator died and hubs and I had to spend LOTS of money to buy a new one (which we won’t get for 10 days).

Since my weekend was off to such a terrible start, I was sure all of it would be a bust, but I woke up this morning and just starting slaying my to-do list!

Even if you didn’t have to spend your Saturday night shopping for expensive appliances, you may be in a bad mood today because you’ve had some extra time off for Thanksgiving and tomorrow you have to go back to the daily grind. Well, I want to give you my top five tips for slaying your day so you can go into this work week with confidence.

Fall in love with lists. Make a to-do list every single day. Even when I’m on vacation I make a list of all the fun things I want to do each day. It’s best to make your to-do list for the day the night before so you can wake up and get to work ASAP. I usually write out my to-do lists in my Day Designer,* which also features an area to jot down your top three tasks of the day.

Add to your timeline. After making a list of all the things I need to do I then schedule when I will do each task. This is an important step for me. On the days I skip this step, I never get everything done. Not only does this step give you structure, but it also keeps you from planning to do more tasks than you actually have time to complete. The Day Designer* has space for this, too.

Related Reading: How I Plan My Week

Eat that frog. Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that that is probably the worse thing you’re going to have to do all day. No, I’m not actually telling you to eat a live frog each morning. Your “frog” is a task that you’re most likely to procrastinate on. Maybe it’s the biggest, most important task of your day. Perhaps it’s the most tedious or time-consuming. Maybe it’s the most intimidating. Or perhaps it’s the task you just flat out don’t want to do. Do this first. Eat that frog and everything else will “taste” like a piece of cake.

Try the Pomodoro technique. When I’m faced with a particularly tedious and time-consuming task (like grading papers or doing bookkeeping) I use the Pomodoro Technique. Developed by Francesco CirilloI, the Pomodoro Technique is simple, yet brilliant. You break down your work in 25-minute intervals, taking five-minute breaks after each one. After four work periods, you take a longer 20-minute break. Then repeat as needed. The technique is based on the idea that the frequent breaks will keep you sharp and the focused work will keep you productive. I find that I’m more effective and more efficient when I use this technique.

Treat yo self! Instead of waiting to give ourselves big rewards after we’ve accomplished a huge goal, I believe in small rewards every single day. Plan to treat yourself to something at the end of each day, whether it’s watching your favorite TV show, eating a small cup of ice cream, or flipping through a magazine you love. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of each busy day.

How do you slay your day? 

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