We are all easily pulled by the tyranny of the urgent when the work days launch. I have been rethinking a lot about how to get more strategic with my mornings. To some extent, I have been more productive with my morning routines. I like to do most of my writing on content in the mornings. It is a hinge point and one of the gamechangers in my business.
Laura Vanderkam, in her book, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings—and Life, writes about the habits of many high-powered individuals. One particular post-doc at the University of Chicago stated something insightful:
“Every day I have a job, but in the morning, I think I have a career.”
The things that move your business forward will be unseen by many. It is the bigger, more strategic work, thinking and decisions that have to be made, and it’s hard to do these things when the world is pushing from every side.
For me, I focus on a few key things in my morning routine:
Reflection: I like having tea or coffee and writing about where I am to think through the issues of the week. It hones me in on what is important. I also keep a logbook. It is a short synopsis of what has happened. It is incredibly powerful to write down a log and see what happened in the last week or month. It creates continuity and focus around my priorities and time.
Content: I write a thousand words or more in the mornings. I have a backlog of articles and ideas and it helps to clarify my thinking. I write for my audience and do the reading, research and testing of ideas and strategies then share them. It keeps me energized and honest.
Systems Check: I keep multiple systems for sales, client projects and communications. I zip through them and ensure that everything is zeroed out and teed up. This helps me focus on my list of actions for the day and makes me feel clear.
If you start your day working on the most important and hardest activities, you can move mountains that would otherwise remain obstacles over time. This is why I try and work with lists later and ideas and content first.
I like the freedom and peace of mind I gain later in the days knowing my hard and necessary work is done.
For you, there may be something entirely different that is important first thing as a habit.
Have you considered more focused morning times around your gamechangers? What’s stopping you?