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It’s more important than ever to begin creating routines that not only make you more productive and impactful as an entrepreneur day-to-day, but are also self-attainable for the long-haul.
Your mornings should most importantly of all, revolve around you. Trust me, we know how tempting it is to immediately grab your phone, check how many emails you missed, and begin tackling your day. However, as John Boitnott explained on #thePawdcast this year, it’s not only an incredibly unhealthy habit to have, it can turn you into an emotional wreck.
You’re in this game for the long-haul, and it is important as the entrepreneur, as the CEO, as the leader, you utilize your first few minutes of the day in order to optimize yourself for what is about to come.
Here are the daily habits that I implement myself that you can do too (and most importantly of all) will enjoy!
1) Immediately begin every morning by practicing gratitude and thankfulness
We’ve all been there. You begin your morning by checking your phone and seeing an email you didn’t want to see. Perhaps it got your blood boiling. Maybe you feel let down. Whatever it is, it has screwed up your entire day. You’ve basically woken up on the wrong side of the bed, as people like to say.
Here is the thing, don’t let this happen, ever again.
Put away the phone or at the very least, put it to good use.
Make it a rule that until you complete your entire morning routine, you won’t check your emails, messages, or even start your to-do list.
Instead, take the time to focus on what you’re most grateful about in your life, with what is happening in your business, and how you’re going to make the most out of your day. It’s a lot easier than you think.
Many individuals do this by either deep thinking or by taking the time to immediately meditate. Both are great options!
Perhaps you’re more of an “action-based” individual as I am. If you are, purchase a hard copy of the 5-minute journal or yes, download their mobile app. Spend the first two, two and a half minutes focusing on this, and not only will you have accomplished your very first task of the day, more importantly, you’ve put yourself in the right mindset to tackle the world. After all, as an entrepreneur, it is more important than ever to always be in the right mindset.
2) Make your bed, yes I am serious
You’re probably thinking that we are kidding. I am not kidding, you need to make your bed.
Tim Ferriss states the reasoning very well, making your bed first thing in the morning is so powerful because it gives you the feeling of accomplishment to start your day.
It sets the tone that you’re going to be productive.
It sets the expectation that at the very least, you’ve done something with your day, even if it is as small as making your bed.
It also enforces your brain to keep things organized, to keep things from being distracting. When you have a clean environment, and practice being organized, decluttered, it will allow you to always be most effective. The bar starts with you making your bed each and every morning and continues for everything you do, including as an entrepreneur, keeping your desk, documents, and even computer files organized.
Set the tone early and often. Start making your bed.
3) Take time to hydrate yourself in order to get your body fully functioning
Lewis Howes had Shawn Stevenson on his podcast, who has studied the science to getting the best night of sleep imaginable. Though this article is all about setting up a morning routine, getting a good night of sleep is just as important.
Nonetheless, Shawn covered the first thing he does every morning to wake up fully. He gives himself an internal bath.
What’s an internal bath?
It’s when you grab a jug of water and drown yourself in it. You drink the entire thing. You’re pretty much waking yourself up through hydration.
Why is this a big deal?
For starters, most people don’t even drink enough water in the day, much less during the night when you don’t drink anything for at least 5-8 hours. Your body is dehydrated.
If you’re dehydrated, no way you’ll function at 100% throughout your day, which as an entrepreneur is absolutely critical.
As well, you’re getting your body hydrated quickly before you get to work. Again, get yourself to top efficiency to start your day. You’re an entrepreneur, you need to be on your A-Game.
4) Get yourself into motion and wake yourself up
I spent $100 and bought myself a little exercise bike to put in my living room (which is down the hall from my bedroom). The only reason it isn’t in my bedroom is so I do not wake up my dog early (the moment I do that, she needs to go to the bathroom and my routine is thrown out the window).
I spent my first twenty minutes after the five-minute journal and internal bath, riding my bike, watching the sun come up. I’ll push myself to get my heart pumping and just a little sweat going (after all, I go to the gym just about every day and put on a serious, sweaty workout).
This is key for me.
Allowing me to just get a little winded, a little push in myself, my heart pumping, not only makes me feel more alert and awake, it has the placebo effect of making me feel I can think quicker. After all, in just a few minutes, I’ll be tackling my day and making critical decisions.
It’s also healthy. I like the fact that I get my heart pumping to start the day, and gives me time to think for myself on what is most important, that I need to address for my day, which brings me to my next point.
5) Take time to focus on yourself and think
It doesn’t matter if you’re riding your bike or still in bed, take a few minutes and begin deep thinking.
Think about what’s on your mind, right now.
Is something, family-related on your mind that you need to address?
Is something on the tip of your tongue, business-related, that you need to think about?
Need to process how to tackle an important proposal that you’re going to be writing?
Whatever it is, take the time to truly think internally. After all, when else in your day, especially as an entrepreneur, will you get the chance to do so again? You’re about to be pulled a million different directions, whether that is from employees, customers or just responsibilities. Having a few minutes to truly think for yourself, and let your mind wander, and tell you subconsciously what you want to be focusing on, will not only help you throughout your day but also point you to things you may have otherwise been pushing to the side or neglecting.
6) Begin your day by tackling your biggest items first
Your bed is made. You’re in the right place mentally. Your heart has been pumping. You’re hydrated; oh, and you’ve probably taken a shower, getting yourself presentable (and smelling good) for the day.
The world is your oyster.
You’re going to crush it, whatever it is that you have to do.
As you begin your day, before you start your first meeting, or answering the emails that came in the night before, tackle your biggest, most pressing items.
Most people procrastinate when it comes to what matters the most.
They hold off on it until the end of their day or the latest they can, and it causes a subconscious distraction throughout the day, taking them out of the moment itself.
Instead, you can take on the bull by the horns.
You can not only tackle the item that matters the most to you, you can accomplish the biggest item on your to-do list first that will make your day most productive.
Yes, that means in the same morning, you’ve both made your bed and accomplished the most pressing, urgent and important item(s) on your to-do list. How awesome is that?
You’ll no longer be distracted, or have an excuse to be distracted during the day too.
The ultimate win-win scenario.
7) Send a daily email reminder to yourself
Last but not least, a little hack that I taught myself and it has done wonders. Using email clients such as Spark or Google Inbox, you can have emails sent to yourself daily through the snooze functionality.
I have one particular email that I read every morning when I open up my inbox for the first time, and snooze to go back into my inbox first thing the next morning.
This email reads out what I plan to accomplish for myself, however not in the future context, as in now. I’m reading it as if I had already accomplished it and embracing the feeling of that specific goal being accomplished.
For some, it could be how much money is in their bank account. For others, for how big of an impact they have made for their customers. For the rest, it could be the difference they have made for their family and friends.
Whatever your biggest desires and aspirations are for being an entrepreneur, write them down as if you have already accomplished them, and email them to yourself every day (using the snooze feature for me is the easiest way to do that).
Embrace that feeling you get as if you had accomplished your goals. Use this feeling, with everything else you have done in your day, to set the tone and tackle the remainder of your morning, and day, head-on.
You’re an entrepreneur. You have this.