Do you want to get more done, reach more of your goals, and make a bigger difference?
If so, the morning is when that can all begin!
However you came to read these words, I`m confident you are interested in greater productivity, achievement and success. Perhaps you want that for yourself, or perhaps you want that because you lead others and you owe it to both yourself and them. Either way, this article will help you when you take action on what follows. Before We Start
Before I share the ten ideas, a couple of caveats.
There is likely nothing on this list you haven`t heard before. That doesn’t make the list less valuable. In fact, it proves these ideas work if you use them! You can`t do them all. I`ll say more on that at the end of the list, but don`t read thinking “I can`t do all of these,” because that would be missing the point of doing something. Making the Time
None of these would have to be done in the morning though, from Ben Franklin to the present day, it has been proven that getting up earlier is a great way to accelerate your success (and find intentional time to do important things for you).
My intention with this list is to give you a list of things that you could do in 30 minutes or less each day. Trying to find 30 minutes in an already packed-like-sardines-in-a-can day might seem daunting. That is one reason why I suggest creating a new morning habit.
Making a decision to change your morning routine and getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual is the first part of this habit. I am a morning person, and you may not think you are, and that’s ok. I’m not suggesting when you get up; just that you get up 30 minutes earlier than you have in the past!
OK, now, on with the list! The Ten Habits
The list is in no particular order. My point isn’t to prescribe one, rather to present them all. Any one of these actions, made into habit, can change your life for the better (and perhaps much sooner than you think).
Read powerful material. This could be spiritual or uplifting, it could be edifying to a goal or objective. I don’t mean the newspaper, your blog reader feed, or a celebrity magazine. Read intentionally, to put powerful and valuable ideas into your head at the start of your day.
Exercise. Exercise is good for your health and it releases powerful chemistry in your body for greater energy and productivity as well. If you are a lunchtime or after work exerciser, that is fine; just pick a different habit on this list!
Write Notes. Get out your pen and paper and write notes to people. It could be a thank you note to a client, colleague, or team member. It could be sharing a resource, article, or idea. It could be a letter to a family member. It could be appreciation or a note to let people know they are remarkable. All day, you will be on your computer. This habit is about personal, intentional, and handwritten communication and connection.
Review Your Goals. If you have goals (if you don’t, make that the first new habit to write them), reviewing them daily is powerful. Look over your daily, weekly, short and long term goals. Review your bucket list ,or lifetime, goals. This can be a simple reading of the list and then allowing yourself time to soak them into your subconscious. While or after you read them, think about why these goals are important to you, too.
Plan Your Day. While a great point can be made for doing this in the evening for the next day, starting each day with a clear picture of what you want and need to accomplish is important. This short time will help you keep the important items on your mind and help you from falling completely into reactive mode all day long.
Meditate or Pray. Quiet your mind. Follow a process that you already know, or learn one. Especially if you are moving quickly past this one to find something better, for you this might be the most valuable one of all.
Think! Closely related to meditating or praying this is quieting your mind to specifically work on a challenge, a problem, or decision. This one might also be less of a singular habit, but one that is done in tandem with many of the others on this list.
Work on a Goal. What if you invested 30 minutes each day to progress you towards one of your goals? Do you think you would achieve more of your goals? Duh.
Reflect on Yesterday. One of the best ways to improve and get better is to make sure you are learning from your experiences. Making time to consciously ask yourself what you have learned, what you want to repeat, and what you want to change is a powerful productivity habit.
Journal. This one truly is a combination habit; it can be coupled with almost any other one on this list (yes, you can even journal about your exercise, keeping track of what you did each day, for example). When you write your thoughts you make them clearer. When you write you become more focused, learn more, and improve your results. Final Thoughts
Pick one, two at the most. You may like all of these ideas. That’s fine, but you have to pick. Perhaps you will try two each day (some can be done in less than 30 minutes), or perhaps you will do one during the week and another on the weekends.
Find what works best for you.
And start today (or tomorrow morning, at the latest).
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of speaking, consulting and training services. Visit him at www.kevineikenberry.com.
-what was the biggest lesson you picked up in the article above? If you’re an early riser, how do you spend your early morning time? If don’t buy into the idea behind being an early morning person, why not?