How many of us wish we could start all over and try again just half way into our day?
I remember thinking this way many times. I didn’t realize at that time that I was the one who could change it any time I wanted. Before I tell you about the changes I made, I need to show you that there is hope for everyone. Here is what my average morning would look like. I wish I had taped it to show you a visual; Or maybe not.
My awful, loud alarm goes off at various times throughout the week. I grab my phone by my bed, put on my glasses and walk downstairs. As I am walking into the kitchen to make coffee, I am reading early texts, scrolling through Facebook and urgent email messages. I wake up my kids and proceed to answer these typically negative messages as I contemplate what to make for breakfast. I then find a way to turn on my computer simultaneously. Let’s not forget that the dog is, of course, barking by the back door to come in because I let him out at some point in the midst of this and already forgot him. By the time the bus comes I am already cranky and thinking that “it is going to be one of those days.” Get where I am going with this? Can anyone relate?
Changing my morning routine, or lack of a routine, has made the biggest impact on the overall success of my day. I realized that my attitude about what my day was going to be like, and creating positive preparation for my day, was the key to having a successful day. It was very important to make a few easy changes. The most important was to start waking up at the same time each day to a more relaxing alarm sound. The kind that makes you almost literally fall out of your bed was not helping me wake up the right way at all. I wonder who even invented that! It may sound silly but it really makes a difference. The next change I made was making a list the night before of the most important things I needed to get done the next day. I started to edit my routine little by little until it worked for me and then stuck to it every single day until it became a habit. Let me share a few easy tips that have helped me to have a more productive day.
· Be Grateful – You have to have a positive mindset in order to overcome any negativity that may pull you down throughout your day. You have to put yourself in the present so you are not thinking about what happened last night, what annoying messages you may have in the future, or what may go wrong during the day. After many months of resisting, I started meditation in the morning. I wake up to a peaceful alarm, walk downstairs right into my sun room and sit with my glass of lemon water and relax. I have my ten minute meditation right on my phone so that I just click on it and meditate. It makes everything easy. The quiet and solitude help me to focus on the moment and relax. I think about what I am grateful for and I try to keep my mind from thinking about anything else.
· No Multitasking – By this time I have to take care of other things. My kids are awake so I want to be in the moment with them. I am making some form of breakfast while I am talking to them. I try not to think about anything else while we chat. They deserve my full attention and believe me, I have tried multitasking, and it never works. It’s easy when you’re fully awake at this point and are feeling energetic to think you can start checking messages again while relaxing with family but don’t give into that feeling. When they leave I re focus my attention back where I left off and finish up my morning.
· Visualize Your Day – You have to see your day as a success. Visualize it in your mind like any other goal. Listen to something positive. Write down positive affirmations and keep them with you. For example, I usually write: I will have a great day! This will be the most productive Monday ever! Everyone wants to work with me because I help them to become successful! This does help. Even if it sounds weird, just do it. I promise you will start to see the difference.
· Review Your List – Thank goodness by now I finally have my coffee in hand and am at my desk looking at the list I created the night before. I can’t stress how important it is to make that list and leave it right where you can see it. At this point I realize that I am usually overzealous the night before about how much I could get done so I have to prioritize the list in order of what I must do based on the day ahead of me. And because s**t happens to all of us, we always have to be ready for it! Be prepared for those distractions before they come because they usually do.
· Get Social Media Out Of The Way – Depending on how early you wake up, you can either do this before you take care of the family or after you start visualizing your day. Now you can go to those texts, messages and emails that need your response, check twitter and scroll through Facebook. Also, post and take care of what you want to take care of before you leave for the office so you don’t have to worry about it as soon as you get to work.
· Learn To Say No – Be careful becoming the go to person in your family for errands. I am warning you that this is very bad. When you are an entrepreneur, sometimes people’s perception is that we are more flexible and free because we do not have a 9 – 5 job. That is so far from the truth. We need to have a schedule just as much as they do. If you want your business to pay you as much (or more) than your full time job then you have to treat it like one. You have to set a schedule and stick to it daily just as much as they do. Just say no. You can be polite about it or offer to do it after work or at another time when you are not working. Do not constantly alter your schedule for favors and errands that other people ask you to do. I know most of us are good people. I get it. We love to help the world but you have to realize we can’t help anyone the way we would really like to if we don’t help ourselves first. Remember that the next time someone asks you to do something on their schedule and not yours.
Just like we work on all areas of our lives and business, we can work on our daily morning schedule to help prep our day. Just take the time to make a few small changes and make sure you stay consistent with it. Don’t give up. Make it a routine. I didn’t see meditation as something that was making a difference for me right away but I stuck with it. Later on, when I had skipped meditating a few days in a row for one reason or another; I felt the effects of not doing it! That is exactly how I knew it was working. Lastly, always remember to smile a lot and laugh often because that attracts positive energy and positive energy is necessary for a happy life. It’s all up to you now. You can make it a great day!