Sometimes it seems like our lives are built on excuses about how we never manage to do what we want to do or accomplish. Whether it’s on a business or personal level, the amount of distractions we face is overwhelming: email, texts, meetings, kids’ schedules, staying in touch with friends, keeping up with the household chores – and on and on. So here are some thoughts, apps, resources etc. to help you define what you want to do, where you want to go and how to get there. This post focuses on getting started in the morning.
If you’re an average adult, you have approximately 25,000 mornings to deal with. Believe it or not, the way you use those mornings can define your day.
Wake up earlier so you can have time for yourself. This doesn’t mean check your email, get aggravated over the news or change the litter boxes. Reward yourself: read, exercise, work in your garden- what ever your passion is. Gradually make your wake up time earlier until you reach the point at which you have enough time to do what you want. And make your wake up time consistent.
In all my research, eating a real breakfast was the suggestion I saw most often. Recommendations included fruits, smoothies, vegetables and proteins. Stay away from that high sugar breakfast folks!
I tell people my motto is “Exercise is bad for you!” but I don’t really believe that. Research has shown that people who exercise have more energy and a better outlook. So even if it’s just for a short time, put exercise into your morning routine.
Plan your mornings and stick to the plan. It sets the tone for your entire day. Things you can include are:
Meditation – Mindfulness has become a big buzzword over the past couple of years. Meditation helps settle your mind, relaxes you and helps you focus. Here are a few apps and web sites that can get you started:
Stop, Breathe & Think
The Mindfulness App
Keep an Idea Diary. Write down your thoughts and ideas to review at the end of the week or on the weekend.
Identify one person you would like to recognize or congratulate and get in touch. It’s a great way to get things going on a positive note.
Mentally go through the good things in your life. Sadly, there are lots of big things we can’t do anything about. But when you get closer to home you have the ability to create a positive place for yourself.
Make a timed to-do list. A list is great, but unless it’s realistic it will only frustrate you. If you have a four-hour task in the morning, you can’t have another one at the same time. This applies to your business and personal lives. So put your timing in there.
Email is the black hole of productivity. If you MUST look at your email, have a plan in place so it doesn’t overwhelm you (more in our next post).
There are things that all of us have to do that we don’t want to address. Personally, I like to hit what I don’t want to do first and get it out of the way. It lightens my mental load for the rest of the day and enables me to get that odious task done when I have the most energy for it. It makes getting through the rest of the day easier because I’m not dreading the task, so give it a try.