We all get 24 hours every day. It is how we spend each second that makes the difference.

Ann Marie Smith has mastered the art of purposeful living, by maximizing every second of the day. She runs a life and business strategy service called A Lighter Side To Life, where she helps other people live their dreams too.

In my interview with her, she shares her greatest tips to make every minute count.

Plan Your Day in Advance

Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Ann Marie is a big believer in this quote, so she always takes time to outline the key things she would like to achieve in any given day. Doing this helps her create a balance between work and personal responsibilities.

Another important aspect to planning ones’ day is to assess your environment and situation.

In Ann Marie’s words, reassessing the people and the general environment that we surround ourselves with has a huge impact on our daily productivity.

Take Time to Breathe

Many people start their day by turning off their alarm clocks and rushing out of bed. It is important to take a few minutes to reflect at the beginning of every day. You can use this time to express gratitude for the previous day and visualize the day ahead.

“I like to split my day in two. I know what I need to get done in the morning and take around 20 minutes to reflect at midday. My second reflection moment is usually on my train home from work in the city.”

Ann Marie also creates extra work-life balance by putting her phone on airplane mode in the evening once she gets off work. This gives her the ability to focus her full attention on relaxing and rejuvenating.

Build Discipline

Setting a daily goal and having a to-do list is only half the work. You must also motivate yourself to create a solid routine that will guide you towards healthy habits.

Here are some of Ann Marie’s favourite guidelines;

  • Set alarms to get your daily to-do list done at a particular time and stick to leaving at that time.
  • If you want to go to the gym tomorrow, pack the bag right now and leave it by the front door.