10 Things To Do Before 10 am Each Day To Create The Perfect Work Day: 5 things to do and 5 things NOT to do

5 Things To Do…

  1. Journal
    • Prioritize your top three action items for the day 1-2-3 – you must accomplish these
      • it can be just one item – but no more than three
      • only write down exactly what you will be able to accomplish, these are task-oriented
      • sometimes mine reads “start X” when I’m not sure how long it will take or what the next steps might be after the first has begun for a larger project
      • there should be enough time in your calendar that day to accomplish all your prioritized tasks – you will check each off as accomplished each and every day
    • Write down three great things that happened the day before (unless you also journal at night, then this would be a pm journal entry)
    • Write down one thing you must “do better” than the day before (typically a pm journal entry too)
    • List out three things you’re grateful for
    • Do a “brain dump,” free-write, answer the question “what is standing in the way of me reaching my goals,” or some other critical question (or prompt) that helps you take the next step toward living the life you want to live (which for me includes starting, building and growing ideas into successful businesses for myself and others)
  2. Pray (or meditate or both)
    • I sometimes write my prayers in my journal – I always read a few Bible versus before I pray
    • I sometimes meditate as I begin my daily yoga practice – concentrating on my breath
    • This is about taking at least 10 long, deep breaths in and out, connecting your mind’s best intentions with what will actually ensue this day (visualize the physical actualization of those intentions), listening closely to your gut (for me this is when I’m listening carefully to God) to make sure my intentions are actually on the right track, and taking note of any new ideas, images, answers to questions, new questions, feelings, people, etc. that your mind (heart) has given you to work with for this day and for the future (write down any direction you’ve received from your mind, your gut, your heart, God and/or the universe in your journal)
    • Bonus if you can do this outside in the fresh air – I sometimes get to journal, pray and do yoga outside on my porch in the morning light (if no sunlight is available to me – I will use a light therapy box to ensure I have a plethora of the sun’s energy to begin my day – the light therapy box mimics sunlight without the harmful UVA/UVB rays)
  3. Yoga (or stretch)
    • Gravity is a b*tch – our spine needs relief and lengthening (an astronaut can measure two inches taller after spending several months in space)
    • You must take stretching and strengthening your muscles and skeletal structure seriously – mobility has become so important to me – we were not designed to sit in chairs all day
    • Again, concentrating on my breath and the connection between my mind and body has grown into a critical component of my overall health and well-being and yoga does this perfectly for me
    • If you don’t do yoga or mobility exercises – then at the very least, HANG – let your spine get long for 5 minutes – time it, because it will always feel like longer than 5 minutes
      • I sometimes do this in my office chair intermittently during the day, using my forearms to hold me up and take pressure off my spine
      • Bend over and let your head and arms hang heavy, let gravity work to do traction on your neck and back
    • If you have been prescribed physical therapy at home – for gosh sake just take 5-10 minutes and do it
    • Some people visit the chiropractor to accomplish these functional mobility needs – I’m too busy, cheap and resourceful to go to the chiropractor, but I 100% appreciate and respect those who do!
    • Sometimes my daily yoga practice is only 5 minutes long (if that’s all the time I have) – my typical is about 30 minutes a day – my optimal is a 45-60 minute practice – I love free yoga on YouTube:  Adriene and Kassandra are two of my favorite yogis and great for first-timers too
  4. Workout
    • Sweat
    • Workout hard – HIIT, cardio, weights, kickboxing, whatever it is…go at it hard for 20-45 minutes 3-4 times per week – put everything you have into it
    • Do one big, long, hard total body workout each week – 50-60 minutes
    • If you love cardio like dancing, swimming, walking or running as your main hard workout of choice, do not neglect strength training (weights) – strengthening your muscles each week will help you avoid injury and enjoy your life more
  5. Eat & Drink
    • Try to guzzle a big glass of water first thing in the morning – bonus points for a squeeze of lemon
    • I always have an English Breakfast Tea with almond milk and cinnamon in the morning to enjoy while I journal too – find something you enjoy that is also relatively good for you in the morning
    • If you’re not hungry before your hard workout, be sure to eat within 90 minutes or so thereafter – give your muscles something to work with as they recover and repair themselves (aka: grow)
    • I sometimes have two small breakfasts – usually selecting one or two of these options for each, depending on how hungry I am at the time:  a protein shake, eggs, sprouted grains toast, grapefruit or some seasonal fruit
      • I had the most delicious watermelon today mid-workout (~8:15) since I was running out of steam in-between sets on leg day – then I had eggs after I showered (~9:45-10) – today I ate 4 scrambled egg whites using one yolk for my second breakfast
      • I have tried to add veggies to my morning routine, but it just doesn’t always work for me – veggie smoothies, avocado toast, tomatoes with my eggs, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms in an omelette – it’s all good and has been done, but it’s not easy/quick for me. There’s something so simple and fast about scrambling an egg that just makes me happy. I cannot seem to make myself want veggies in the morning and (probably because of that) it always seems to take too much thought (or cleaning up – cutting, preparing, washing the Ninja, etc.). This may change as I grow and evolve my morning routine – or as my body and health requires – but for now my veggies come at lunch and dinner. And my breakfast literally takes 5-10 minutes to prepare, eat and clean up after.

5 Things NOT To Do…

  1. Don’t let other people think your morning routine is “free time”
    • Guard this time and schedule it on your calendar
    • This is not free time – this is a part of your perfect work day to prepare you to be a mindful leader, innovative thinker and superstar achiever
    • Sometimes, I have beautiful and unexpected delays in my morning routine – eureka moments, spiritual moments and in-the-zone work experiences that I go with and do not interrupt (when my schedule allows) – they usually come during free-writing. Let these moments delay (but not delete) your morning routine
  2. Don’t do social media
    • Just don’t even look – don’t peek!
    • Don’t let social media dictate your mood or waste your precious time or take away from the most important things in your life:  your priorities, your time, your mind – be your own guardian to keep yourself on track
    • I sometimes fail on this one and take a peek at social media (or the Skimm – my morning news source) if I am lucky enough to have a great bathroom moment – you know exactly what I mean! A glorious bowel movement in the morning should be one of the most important things you can accomplish each day. Haha, never thought I would be talking about poop so lovingly and admiringly, but OMGosh is it important. You don’t really appreciate it until there’s a problem. I take a high-quality probiotic each and every day and feel grateful and lucky to have a wonderful poop sometime between 6-10 am.
    • If you do end up peeking at a social media feed – don’t move! Haha, just kidding, but seriously definitely do NOT participate, respond, react, click through, read more, etc. – especially of there’s ANY negative emotions to something you saw during your quick scan or scroll (purposefully save it for lunch time or after work – you will be so glad you did). This can quickly ruin what could’ve been the perfect work day.
    • One of the habits I’ve been working on this year is not looking at social media (specifically Facebook) until lunchtime – I am currently succeeding at a 90% rate, yay! Haha, yes I actually track the habits I am looking to make or break in my Bullet Journal (#BUJO is my choice of journaling style or type – that’s where I first heard the term “Brain Dump” – for me, the Brain Dump is mostly free-writing and idea synthesis – but you can use it to accomplish so many other goals)
  3. Don’t look at email
    • Leave it! That’s what I tell my dog Crash when he tries to eat something bad for him
    • Email is not meant to be instantaneous – a 24-48 hour response is completely appropriate for most email communications – people will call or text for an urgent need – you are in control and can set these expectations
    • The perfect work day does not include working on email all day – you must have zero tolerance in the morning
  4. Don’t take phone calls
    • Unless you’re literally “on call,” do not answer
    • Bonus points if your phone is on silent and not even within sight
    • I do answer texts here and there from immediate family members if my phone is close by
  5. Don’t take the bait and change your schedule for someone else in your morning hemisphere
    • Let other people own their own emergencies
    • See #1 above – this is not your free time, don’t let other people view it that way either – set expectations

Do what works for you! Do what you love and what sets you up for success.woman entrepreneur in charlotte nc - the perfect work day

This is exactly what I do every single day to create the perfect work day. Yes, that means my office time doesn’t start until 10 am most days (I’m up at 6 am). If you’re one of those people that just thought to yourself, “well la-tee-dah, aren’t you lucky to work from home and start at 10,” then here’s my thoughts for you today: Yes mofo, I’ve worked my ass off to be able to do exactly what I want, when I want and how I want to do it.

What’s stopping you?

 

 

 

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