Becoming productive and staying productive isn’t about hard-to-follow programs or tracking your every move on your smart phone. It’s about self-care. Taking the time to ensure your mind and body are fueled and rejuvenated, and developing these habits so you can focus on getting the most out of your day, is more important now than ever before.
Take the following example.
It’s Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. Two budding entrepreneurs are pitching their ventures to potential investors. They both agree that this is one of the biggest moments in their lives.
Entrepreneur A: Brendan
Brendan was up until 4 a.m. putting the final touches on his presentation. In fact, he spent the entire weekend at his desk preparing the presentation. This morning, he woke up late and rushed putting together his most “investor-worthy” attire. He skipped breakfast, slammed a shot of espresso, grabbed his notebook and ran out the door feeling hungry and tired. He arrived right on time but felt anxious and flustered about the events of the morning.
Entrepreneur B: Felicity
Felicity, on the other hand, went to sleep last night at 10 p.m., as she does most nights of the week. Her presentation was ready Friday afternoon after seven revisions thanks to feedback from advisers. She spent the weekend socialising with friends and getting her garden ready for Spring. This morning, she woke up at 7 a.m., had a glass of water, walked for 30 minutes, and drank a smoothie. Getting dressed was decision-free as she picked her outfit the evening before. After brushing her teeth, she grabbed her bag and walked out the door. Arriving 10 minutes early helped her feel confident, calm, and ready to share her vision with potential investors.
Which entrepreneur would you bet on?
And which entrepreneur most closely resembles you?
Brendan and Felicity are fictional characters but having been in and around small business for 20 years, I see a lot of Brendans. They work 16-hour days, seven days per week, and wonder why they aren’t getting the results they’re looking for. My conclusion is, results don’t necessarily come through hours spent doing tasks. Great results often come by doing the RIGHT things and working smarter.
In the days when attending large seminars were allowed, I’d often make a point of watching the speakers prepare for their time on stage. I am often surprised by how cool, calm, and collected some speakers were, just before going on stage to talk to an audience of 500+ people. I even went as far as asking some presenters what their secret is.
After years of watching others, I arrived at these six simple rituals to perform at your peak, every day.
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up. Your body loses water while you sleep, so you’re naturally dehydrated in the morning. A glass of water when you wake helps rehydrate your body to start your day fresh.
- Define your top 3. Before you begin work each day, ask yourself, “What are the top three most important tasks that I will complete today?” Then prioritize your day accordingly and don’t spend time surfing the internet or checking social media until your Top 3 are complete.
- The 50/10 Rule. Allow yourself mini breaks. One research scientist I met uses a timer to work for 50 minutes on only one important task and then gives herself a 10-minute break. She spends her 10 minutes getting away from her desk, going outside, calling friends, meditating, or grabbing a glass of water.
- Be active every day. Regular movement keeps us healthy and alert. It boosts energy, mood and relieves stress. Move however you like (you don’t have to join a gym to be active) and if you reach the point of sweat, even better.
- Be thankful. Gratitude fosters happiness. Every morning, think of five things you are thankful for. In times of stress or despair, cast your mind back and reflect on the things you are grateful for.
- Reflect daily. Bring closure to your day through a moment of reflection. Ask yourself, “What went well?” and “What needs improvement?” and “What did I do today that I would like to do more/less of?”
Whether you feel like a Brendan or Felicity, these six habits will help you get the physical energy and mental clarity you need to tackle whatever life throws at you.
I’d love to know the habits you use. Please share yours to us by dropping us an email.
What Can Align Financial Do For You? Visit our homepage to learn more about our service. If you would like to speak to us about your financial circumstance, please feel free to give us a call on 02 9913 9995. We are located in Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Disclaimer: This post has been prepared for general information purposes only. It is not specific advice to any particular person. You should consult an authorised Align Financial adviser before making financial decisions. Align Financial | Financial Planner Northern Beaches | Servicing North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Elanora Heights, Newport, Avalon, Palm Beach | Enquire with us online