How you start your day sets the tone for how the rest of the day will go.
I know that.
I know you know that too.
But here’s how my day typically starts:
- 6 a.m. – overambitious alarm goes off. I hit snooze.
- 6:09 a.m. – alarm goes off again. I think “I don’t really need to be up til 7.” and then reset alarm for 7a.m.
- 7 a.m. – I get out of bed already feeling like I got a late start. I feel mad at myself for not making coffee and setting out my clothes the night before.
- 7:45 – For the most part I’m showered, dressed, packed up, caffeinated and ready to drive to the office.
- 8:15 – Office arrival.
I then IMMEDIATELY open my inbox and begin responding to things. Filing away the more lengthy or difficult responses for “later.” And prioritizing the things that bug me (so I can get them out of the way) rather than the things that I’m actually excited about working on.
Before I can get through it all, I’ll typically have a scheduled call or meeting, and then jump back and forth between those and my inbox until about 4pm, when I realize my brain needs a break, which I translate to “cocktail,” which I later feel guilty about.
I hate this.
But I CHOOSE this, when I could easily choose to do things differently.
But some days I DO choose differently.
Some days – my favorite days – go like this:
- 6a.m. – overambitious alarm goes off. I get out of bed!
- My clothes have been picked out and coffee has been set the night before, so I grab a cup of coffee, EAT BREAKFAST and get myself ready in less than 30 mins.
- 6:30 – I listen to a 10 minute meditation and then journal / do my mindset practice for another 10 / do a few quick sun salutations.
- 7 a.m. I write. Either a personal blog, one for my marketing agency, my side project, or a client project that I’m really jazzed about.
- 8a.m. I work on one thing that will have long-term benefits (like creating an automation to save time, developing templates, or following up on proposals).
And then I check my email at 9a.m.., non-frantically, because I feel so empowered by what I’ve already accomplished for the day…at only 9a.m.!
On these days, I feel more focused, get more done, and am kinder to myself and others.
FACTORS FOR SUCCESS (i.e. things to remember):
- Getting out of bed is easier when I don’t drink more than a glass of wine the night before.
- Getting out of bed is easier with a friendlier alarm (like the sound of birds chirping, or your favorite Florence and the Machine song).
- Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
- Driving to the office absorbs a very valuable 30 minutes at the beginning of the day. Some days I HAVE to go in because of meetings, but some days I don’t.
- Writing is very calming for me, so it’s a great way to open up the work day.
- There’s no reason to start the day by opening your inbox. If there’s an emergency, someone would have called you about it. Very few things that happen before 9a.m. via email are actually “urgent.”
This post is a gentle reminder to myself, but I hope it could help spark some insight on how to start your own day off better!