“Make each day a masterpiece.” – Coach, John Wooden
Whether we walk into the office, our home office, or settle in at the local coffee shop, we all must START our day. You may or may not be a morning person. And your day may or may not start in the morning. However, we all have one thing in common: The workday will start, and when it does, we must ask ourselves if we are set up for success.
I used to think I could come to work and jump right into the mix, randomly taking on everything that came at me and still finish all the important tasks, too. Mornings would start just fine, but then fires would develop for a project or from a customer, and then all of a sudden the day would fall apart.
When we jump into work without a plan in the morning, we often aren’t able to get work done during the day, and we potentially keep ourselves at work longer.
How is this possible?
Important work needs to be planned. We know this from chapter three. If we step into our workspace without a plan and start the day with some unfocused time, we will get caught up doing urgent but unimportant work. Then we go from fire to fire until the day is over.
However, when we start the day with a morning routine and the knowledge to prioritize our work, we give ourselves two important things:
· A plan to get important/urgent work done
· The ability to focus and gain momentum
The way we start our morning will impact our entire day. If we start the day with a routine, we can get things done quickly.
And when we do this, we have more energy to be spend throughout the day. However, before we can jump into a morning routine, we need to think about what that actually means.
Two Types of Morning Routines
There are two types of morning routines we need to consider. First, our routine at home, and secondly, our routine at work. These routines provide you with peace and joy at the beginning of the day to fight off stress that may come later.
We need to focus on how to take advantage of these two routines and make them work for us before we actually start digging into the tasks of the day.
Routine at Home
We all have routines at home. Some of us wake up late, rushing through the morning before heading off to the office to start the day. This may be effective for you now, but it is not sustainable.
Others of us get up early, focused on what we need to do to start the day and then we do it. Then we have accomplished something before we even arrive at work. This is effective and helpful when it comes to gaining momentum for productivity success.
Our morning routine at home should be about focusing on ourselves and on our family. When we do these two things, we will be able to leave for work with confidence and clarity about what is really important: Margin for ourselves and our family.
What does it look like to focus on ourselves? We can do this by focusing on the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual self.
The way we need to focus on these areas is similar for many people. Here is what a morning routine can look like in all of those areas.
For the physical self, focus on eating a healthy breakfast, working out, and making sure we are drinking plenty of water. All of these things supply us with the best kind of energy. Not everyone does these things in the morning, but we should.
When we focus on the emotional and intellectual self, we are reading, meditating, journaling, and envisioning a productive day. People who read books, meditate, or journal their thoughts and feelings before the day begins start with a clean slate.
Others who focus on the spiritual self tend to pray, read the Bible, and journal about what they learn. This centers them on their faith and prepares them to face the challenges of their day.
What does it look like to focus on our families?
This is the margin we are trying to increase in most of our lives. Focusing on our families is simply about connecting with our spouses and our children. It is serving, listening to, and eating with each other.
When we focus on our families, we are essentially reminding ourselves why we go to work – to support our family and to give our children a better future. Ultimately, we want to create more margin to spend time with our families; this is central to being more productive.
Routine at Work
When we walk through the door to work, our morning routines must focus on two things again: 1) We must focus on ourselves, and 2) we must focus on our work. Our success and productivity depend on the relationship between ourselves and our work. That is worth repeating. Our success depends on the relationship between ourselves and our work. Consequently, we must start the day by focusing on the two sides of this relationship.
As we start work, we need to take care of ourselves before settling into our workspaces. Grab a bottle of water, top off your cup of coffee, and use the restroom.
Once we’ve done these simple things for ourselves, we can truly start focusing on our work. This is the point where we begin a morning routine at work. It is the key to getting our work done during the day.