Start your day right
All of us are guilty of trying to do way too much. I found myself constantly being behind and it doesn’t help that I have an attention span of a fruit fly. So I set out to see if I can improve my tendency to juggle many things and let distractions take me off course. I’ve been a lot better lately but still far away from being the focused being I would like to be.
Here are five things I am doing to help me focus on my items better. This list is more of setting up a mindset to help set up the plate for a more focused day.
- Wake up earlier.
I used to drag myself out of bed every morning at between 8 am and 8:30 am giving only bare minimum time to get ready for work and get breakfast. Because my day started with such pressure, I found my brain was racing to catch up on many tasks for that day. I ended up juggling many tasks and ultimately not being as productive as I wanted to be. I now wake up at 6:30 am in the morning. It was hard to wake up earlier initially, but the key is just to get up and walk away from the bed. My body is starting to acclimate to the earlier start, and I find that it is easier and easier to get up earlier now. With at least two more hours in the morning, I have been able to take my time with my preparations and also incorporate additional healthy morning rituals (Will talk about that in another post). The extra time allowed me to setup for my day so I can focus on what was most important first. I found at least for me; the hectic mornings made me more reactive as well as giving me a very short attention span. There are a lot more benefits to waking up early, but that is for another post.
2. Make your bed
I am just speaking from experience and might not work for everyone, but I found that when I make my bed in the morning, I am more relaxed for the rest of the day. It just looks so perfectly clean that I feel like I am starting the day out right. Also, it feels so good sliding into bed when my bed is made and helps me sleep better. I am a restless sleeper, so anything helps.
3. Limit your decisions in the morning
There have been studies that say fewer decisions you make, more decision energy you have to make the prper choices where it matters. I am a believer in this. Our use of this decision energy on even trivial things like “should I drink milk or orange juice?”, “What should I wear today?” robs you of using that same energy on truly important decisions of the day whatever that is. I would recommend, if you like variety in your wardrobe, pick out what you would like to wear the night before. I have tried this, and I have moved to wearing the pretty much the same rotation of clothes for work every week. Less I need to worry about or make decision on, the better.
4. Create a routine
This one is related to item 3 but more I can put things on autopilot of stuff that in my mind is trivial the better for me. Also, it would be even better if some of the things on autopilot are healthy such as going for a walk for 30 minutes every morning. I feel more I do this; more I can tackle more complex tasks with less frustration and focus. I also find that I am happier because I am less chased by things that are looming. It is a horrible feeling when there are multiple items still in the air to be taken care of.
5. Be Mindful
I know this is the buzzword used my many folks, but it truly works. I have not gotten into meditation but the practice of being aware of why I react or do certain things have been very helpful in removing things that take me away from being focused on the most important task of the day. I tended to let emotions rule me on especially tense situations but more I practice observing and not judging all those things that I do, better I have been able to handle things resulting in a more productive day.
There are tons more but I will stop here and will discuss more in the next post. Hopefully, this was helpful and feel free to comment. Thanks.
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