Do the important things first? In my last post, I told you not to worry about the most important things. I just want you to start doing ANYTHING and start crossing things off of your list. Working on feeling accomplished and creating momentum is key to getting things done. But, there are some IMPORTANT things you should do first, but let me define important.
Important is NOT that project you'be been putting off, and it's not checking your email to make sure you don't have any fires to put out today. Important is any activity or task that creates energy for you rather than drain energy. Energy creating activities including drinking water, stretching, exercising, meditation, creative work, journaling, brainstorming, or anything that energizes you. Meeting a colleague or friend for coffee might energize you. Going for a challenging hike could be what energizes you. Taking a long hot shower could be it too. Whatever those things are, these are the most IMPORTANT things to do first thing in your day. In order to start doing these important activities first in your day, it takes a simple mind-set shift and tweak.
Doing energy creating activities and tasks first thing in your day sets the tone for an exceptional day full of energy, and drive to get all the other things on your list completed. If you are dreading your workday then spend your morning sitting and worrying over breakfast or coffee, and then worry about it all the way to the office, you are setting yourself up for an incredibly unproductive day. That is the tone you are setting.
One of the reasons we put off our energy creating activities for later is because of the urgency we have attached to the other tasks. Once you get these urgent tasks completed then IF you have time you can add the "self-care" activities somewhere. This requires a mind-set shift. Start looking at your "self-care" activities as urgent. Start thinking to yourself that these tasks MUST be completed first in order to even do the other tasks. And not just to do the other tasks, but in order to do them well. Also, the "self-care" activities are not just about taking care of yourself, but they are huge productivity enhancers so they are absolutely part of your workday. Shift your mind-set today.
Another reason we put off the energy creating activities is because we think they will take too much time out of your day. The surprising and wonderful thing that actually happens when you do the energy creating activities first is you open up the space in your mind and in your day to the get all the things you need to get done, done.
Also, the energy creating tasks don't need to take that much time. If you like to lounge over that cup of coffee or tea in the morning, do it, but give yourself a cut off time. 30 minutes is all you need to get energized with any activity. With meditation, you can achieve huge gains with just 5 minutes. So, you could potentially schedule a few of the energy creating activities and in as little as 45 minutes you will significantly change the trajectory of your day.
So, I have a challenge for you. For the next 7 days try this. Schedule just 1 energizing activity first thing in the morning. It can be anything that energizes you. For me for instance, I do 3 things no matter what. First I meditate for 15 minutes, then exercise for 30 minutes and spend time with creative thinking/brainstorming for 15 minutes. You can choose more than 1 activity too but choosing just 1 is fine too. I just know you won't want to stop after the 7 days.
Let me know how things are going for you. What barriers come up for you? What challenges surface? Also, share your successes! How has this mind-set shift and tweak to your day changed things for you? Leave a comment below.