Click here to read Part One
Putting Together Your Energizing Routine
It’s important to remember, however, that one size definitely does not fit all. You need to create a simple morning routine that helps you:
- Power up
- Be present in your own day
And different things work best for different people. The key is to simplify those first two hours down to:
- What doesn’t drain or distract you
- What produces maximum energy, confidence and focus
If you find that ten minutes playing Candy Crush sets you up better than an hour of meditation, by all means, do it! But if you find that ten minutes of Candy Crush becomes two hours, and when you finally manage to click away, the last thing you want to tackle is work, then that’s a morning habit you need to dump. (And if you really don’t want to, then invest in a desktop timer with an online alarm and pay attention to the buzzer.)
If you don’t know where to start, begin with the six essentials (those activities that will boost your physical and mental energy and nourish your body and soul):
- Set your alarm earlier than usual
- Get up earlier the next day
- Open your curtains
- Drink a glass of water, first thing
- Feed your soul and center yourself
Stop the noise and do something that brings you into contact with your family and/or soul center. Everything else, you can play around with, adding or subtracting as desired.
Avoiding the Energy Wipers
Below are seven tips to help you avoid activities that secretly (or not so secretly) drain you. When you sit down to create your new ideal morning routine, don’t do this at your desk.
Find a spot where you daydream the most, relax the most and feel most physically comfortable. Take a notepad and pen with you, then start brainstorming:
- Identify the most distracting morning habit you have adopted — any habit where you end up spending far more time than you planned to spend, without having anything productive or inspiring to show for it.
- Write down your top three essentials.
- Choose one or more activity that inspires you or connects you to your spiritual core.
- Consider choosing the one necessary daily chore you hate the most and tackling it first thing every day.
- Choose one or more activities that stimulate creativity.
Walking the dog
Doing a crossword puzzle
Tackling a household chore like doing the dishes
Sitting in your garden
Having a hot bath and thinking
- Add any other suggested morning activity that appeals to you.
- Subtract your most distracting activity from your new daily routine.
Now you’re just about ready to put your new, energizing morning routine into practice.
Making Sure Your Work Space Empowers You
Next take a look at how to make sure your environment aids in helping you achieve a productive workday.
Separate Home and Work Spaces
It doesn’t matter whether you work best on the patio or in your home office, most experts agree that blurring the lines between your work area and your home area can add to overall stress.
It’s more important, however, to make sure that wherever you choose to work, it is distraction-free. If you have to, shut the dog out, switch the phone to “answer” mode and disconnect from the internet if you can.
Make Sure Your Work Space Inspires You
Most people find that trying to work in a space that is cluttered seems to create clutter in the mind. Set aside some time to reorganize your work space.
But think about the following questions first:
- Are you using the best space for you? The best room? Is there a different room you can use?
- Do you need to add something essential (a door, better lighting, an air conditioner)?
- Is there one or more aspects of your workplace that causes clutter to accumulate (lack of shelving or drawers, awkward corner)?
- Does your workspace stimulate creativity?
- Does your workspace energize you?
Even if you’re forced to stay in the same room or section of the house for your home office, don’t put up with conditions that distract you or drain your energy. Take action!
Buy that new office chair and stop wrecking your back. Buy an alarm clock if online digital alarms don’t work for you. Go find the right shelving unit – one which gives you those two extra, flat drawers you need so badly.
Make a clean sweep of your workspace. Change it, if it’s really not working for you. Use a bulletin board or dream board that you can easily see as you work. Allow yourself one luxury item that is a personal symbol of success (for example, a beautiful painting you’ve long desired or fresh flowers every week).
Get rid of anything that is not necessary.
Set Yourself Up for Productivity
It’s very important to make sure you focus on being productive, rather than just busy.
We suddenly decide to create that Excel database of interesting blogs to follow instead of tackling those customer complaints. We research all day and discover that we haven’t written an actual word. We clean the stove instead of doing the monthly bookkeeping.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes cleaning the stove is a great activity, but only when you’re genuinely at the brainstorming or problem-solving part of a project. If you find yourself using it to avoid a boring task or contacting a difficult client, then it’s procrastination — pure and simple.
Setting yourself up for productivity isn’t hard. Let’s look at the basics…
Organize at the End of the Day
Create a list of three top priorities for the next day at the end of your workday. This should be the last step you take before shutting down your office for the night.
Focus on Your Top Priorities for the Next Day
Focus on what you want/need to accomplish the next day.
- What has to be done?
- What has a deadline?
- What will bring in actual income?
- What will actively harm you or your business if you don’t do it?
Keep a List of the Day’s Top Priorities Where You Can See It at All Times
Put it on your bulletin board, on your desktop, on your phone – anywhere you can’t help but see it.
Make Sure You Know What Your Time is Worth
You will be less inclined to allow yourself to be unproductive if you have a realistic idea of what your time is worth: Not just what you charge clients hourly, but how much money each activity you do during the day brings in.
- Time spent on activities you can directly bill a client for is your billable time. Being aware of this is golden.
- Time spent on activities that build relationships, generate leads and build your brand is valuable too.
- Time spent on tasks that don’t directly make you money or build relationships are best outsourced, automated or left undone.
Automate non-billable tasks by using services such as self-schedulers for clients to use. Or you can use templates/forms for intake, business administration or content creation.
Organize for Your VA
If you already use a virtual assistant, make sure you set a block of time per week to do this task.
Of course, you don’t have to organize your day the night before. You don’t have to declutter, move or update your office space.
You don’t have to automate, use a VA or change any part of your daily routine whatsoever. Yet.
Just start by focusing on the first two hours of your day. Remove draining activities and replace them with new ones that energize and/or de-stress you.
Making that crucial change in your normal routine should be more than enough to kick in that snowball effect mentioned above. Your new-found energy and productivity will make for more clarity, which will allow better focus.
And to think… it all starts with a simple glass of water (one of six simple things to do in order to power up your day).
Do you have a morning routine that I didn’t mention? Please share your successful morning tip in the comments.
Hi and welcome to Virtually Done. I’m Leslie and it’s a pleasure to meet you! If you are an online entrepreneur or small business owner struggling to find enough time in your day to concentrate on the tasks you are passionate about, I can help you!
If you would like to learn more, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!