How do you start your business day? If you are shaking your head wondering what the heck that question means, then this article is worth the time it takes to read. Too many of us don’t give a second thought about our workday, we just launch right into it fighting whatever fire needs to be extinguished or focusing on the loudest voice demanding our attention. From that point on, it’s downhill all the way. Before you know it, you missed lunch and are playing catch-up and achieving little value.
Think of your workday as if it were a trip to the gym, or the ten minutes before running a marathon. In those cases, you would do some stretching exercises to prepare your body for the exertion that is about to follow. Then, you would track your progress, monitor your heart rate, ease up at times and push yourself harder at others. Long before that, you would have prepared your body for the rigors of what was to come. You would have been kind to your body so that you could achieve more in the long run (pun very much intended). The truth is that tender loving care (TLC) really does pay off.
Now think about your everyday life in your business. If you are like the vast majority of business people, you simply do what needs to be done regardless of how detrimental it may be to your health and wellbeing. And you do all this in the name of efficiency. Things need to be done, you are the boss, so you need to do them. Sound familiar? Here’s a tough question: can you honestly say this is the most efficient way of running your business? Is it good for your mental health? Physical health?
In most cases, being reactive with your work life is self-defeating and harmful to both the business and your health. What do you think would happen if you put yourself first for a few minutes a day and your business second? Would your empire crumble? Unlikely.
Consider the following as a new way to approach running your business. Wake up in the morning and spend a little time with your family and then eat breakfast (if it’s a healthy breakfast, all the better) and catch up with the news if that’s important to you. After breakfast, give yourself a few minutes of quiet time. We won’t call it meditation; it’s just a few minutes when you gather your senses—it can be as short as three minutes but 15-minutes would be ideal. Starting each day on a positive note is a game-changer.
Once you have given your brain some TLC, grab your phone or, if you are old-school, a notepad and jot down the main things you want to achieve that day. They will be your focus, your priorities. If anything else comes up to distract you, decide if whatever it is, is a higher priority than those items on your list. If not, attend to it later, or perhaps start the next day’s list. Don’t let minutiae get you off track. If you do, you won’t deal with your priority list and that will demotivate you and add more stress to your life. Carried forward items are the worst, and they have a habit of being carried forward multiple times.
Write down all the things that make you feel good; good about life, good about yourself. Now, do more of them every day. Take small steps, don’t try to change your negative daily patterns and approach to your work-life overnight, simply begin doing more of the things that make you feel good each day.
In the final analysis, only you can know what works for you but giving yourself some TLC will repay the time you spend on it ten-fold. Sustained stress never helped anyone achieve great things in their business, it simply grows exponentially until it consumes you. Look for harmony in your life. The more at peace you are, the more in control of your actions, the better you will feel and the more efficiently you will perform.