Over the course of the last few years, through the work I’ve been doing through some supportive life coaching and plenty of reading, my life has become far more productive and fulfilling.

Now, this is not to say that my life before that was somehow mundane and without purpose, but rather to say that my life was much more chaotic.

A chaotic life comes at a cost. You waste a lot of time, and you waste a lot of energy, which are both highly limited resources in our lives.

We sometimes treat them like they are a completely renewable resource, but the truth is that time is absolutely terminal, and energy requires a great deal of management in order for it to last throughout each day.

How often have you found yourself at the end of a day looking back and feeling it was so terribly un-productive? Or how about when you start to get really stressed because something you needed to do is starting to slip away because you are running out of time? Or you are in line waiting finding you are becoming more and more impatient because you feel your time is being wasted?

Most of these feelings are occurring because we’ve misappropriated time elsewhere in our day, and now, when we could use more of it, we are almost out!

The reality is that if we craft our day before hand and we understand what the priorities are and the less important things are, we can get those things done at appropriate times and in appropriate amounts of time. Even if these items for some reason take more time than expected, we aren’t going to feel like we haven’t got enough time to still make them happen.

Before you begin to craft your day, do a time audit first. Take a look at how you use time currently. Write down everything you do each hour for a few days in a row and then take stock. It will likely be an eye opener to read the full expression of each day. You will likely cringe at how much time you waste doing relatively useless things, only to run out of time to do the good stuff when it counts.

Then decide based on the priorities in your life (spending time with your partner or kids, time working on an important project, time reading, time to be active, etc.) whatever you feel are the keys to your success and happiness. How much time do you want to dedicate to those priorities each day?

Now, try setting your intentions either the night before, or the morning of each day. Determine what the 3–5 key things are that you want to do today and are linked to your priorities. Determine when you want to attend to them, or at least be aware that these things are first and foremost on your radar as each day begins. Just the act of acknowledging this each day will bring you much closer to realizing greater prioritization of these elements in your day.

You will not be 100%.

Don’t expect to be 100%.

Instead, focus on the process of being consistent at establishing your intentions each day, and regularly attending to these intentions. If you do this consistently, you will begin to see that your days shift towards a greater alignment with your true intentions. Time will begin to bend, and you will begin to feel as though you have more of it!

Instead of chaos, you will have calm as your sense of completion of your intentions each day fills you with fulfillment.

Originally published at medium.com