How do you show up for your own life when you get out of bed?
One of the most critical aspects of a life fully lived, highly productive, and highly enjoyable is getting each day out of the starting blocks in a way that sets us up for success.
I’ve heard a wide range of suggestions and while some of them were great, most people I’ve interviewed didn’t really have much of a morning strategy. I’ve also heard some quirky, flat-out silly ideas, like wearing the exact same thing every day as do some billionaires. This theory explains they are saving their decisions for more important decisions. Personally, I don’t find choosing clothes to be that much of a tax on my key decision-making function. And, if you feel it will help you, perhaps picking out your clothes the night before like many do for their children might be helpful.
Here’s an interesting take: One of the wealthiest individuals on the planet, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is said to have this basic daily routine. Interestingly enough, he has time and brainpower to wear different styles of clothes each day and doesn’t only have black t-shirts in his closet (not that I’ve seen it.)
- Go to bed early, get up early.
- Putter around in the morning with no meetings before 10 am.
- Most critical meetings are held before lunch.
- Done by 5 pm, earlier if he’s tired.
As a salesperson and entrepreneur, I’ve personally struggled with putting time containers around my day! Argh! However, I’ve also had the amazement of how much I can get done in a very little amount of time under a deadline. So, what if you just said to heck with it and structured your workday from 10 am to 5 pm like Jeff or set similar time containers?
And, if you added structured start and stop times (10 am to 5 pm for example) to the Focus Sprints and Micro-Bites from our other training topic, imagine what could be possible and what impacts you might enjoy on your joy, stress hormones, time for self-care, and relationships amongst a million other things that lend themselves to a longer, healthier, more joyful life!
So, what happens if you don’t put a time container on your day? Well, let me share what happened in my own world (perhaps you can relate to a few of them): I let projects carry over into the evening; I spent far too little time with others: I rushed through dinner or grabbed drive through garbage to eat; I ended up staying up way later and interrupted my normal sleep if even got; I woke up late or still tired; I relied on stimulates like coffee and energy drinks to get through the day; I was so exhausted that I didn’t really do as good as I know I can (even though I lied to myself about quality); I pushed through another exhausting day; Frustrated and exhausted I struggled to sleep partly due to the caffeine I was using to push through; And…washed, rinsed and repeated! Until, I was obese, out of shape, stressed out, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and just lucky that the people I care about still wanted me around!
So, here’s my morning routine without checking email or texts until after I’ve blocked my Focus Sprints on my calendar and journaled:
- Go to bed early, get up early. (which required me to cut off work and follow the other training topic Sleeping and High Performance).
- I get roughly 7 1/2 hours of sleep a night, up from 5-6 hours, and wake hours before my first meeting without losing to the snooze button very often. I still have yet to push all of my meetings back until 10 am, but I am moving in that direction (time zone changes haven’t helped).
- I drink a large glass of water, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar to rehydrate and get my liver purring.
- Then, it’s straight to stretching and kettlebells for a workout 6 days a week with a hike or outdoor activity on my off day.
- Followed by a 30-minute morning light walk with my glasses off to trigger my body to start making more melatonin.
- After showering and brushing my teeth, I finally fire up my computer and open my calendar to schedule my Focus Sprints and set MY priorities before I open emails or text messages to learn of OTHER’S priorities.
- At 11:30, I have my first meal/shake of the day and finish eating by 5:30 pm.
- Periodic walks throughout the day (45 min of focus / 15 min walk & meditate) = 10,000+ steps daily.
- Hot, 15-minute bath with Epsom while reading a good book (and sweating a little), and then off to bed by 9:00 pm with 10mg of time-release melatonin.
Now, I’ve only been doing this for a month (March 20th to April 23rd, 2022), yet the results are pretty amazing. As of today,
- Down 17lbs
- Blood Pressure: 125/80 (down from Hypertension Stage 2)
- My sleep score has been as high as 92 (formerly in the 50-60 range). It’s getting easier and easier to pop out of bed and get to stretching.
- My energy level, focus, and productivity are through the roof!
Certainly, I don’t have all the answers and this is my personal journey. My hope is that it inspires you to become more intentional about how you sleep, how you show up when you get out of bed, and how you focus throughout the day. Crazy question though, provided I continue this routine, how would you guess my health, energy, and productivity will be 3 months from now, 6 months, 1 year, or even 5 years?
Self-Care is Self-Respect
As a friendly word of caution, if you’re reading this right now thinking, “This could never work for me! I’ll just push through and work all hours.” Or, “I don’t have time for any of that.” Then, please know I wrote this specifically for you! With all the love in the world from me to you, please consider that Self-Care is Self-Respect. Another of my favorite quotes is, “A drowning person can save no one!”
On the business side of things, imagine you’ve had plenty of sleep, you’ve popped out of bed with energy, hydrate, stretch, and exercise. You reflect and set your intentions around your own priorities. You schedule your day with incredible focus, take breaks throughout the day to recharge, and end your day after 7 hours of high productivity, and then enjoy those you love, take a walk, or enjoy a few hours of relaxation. Later you drift quickly off to sleep for another restorative night of slumber. Do you think you’d get more done? Do you think your work might be of higher quality? Might your results be magnified? How might your health improve?
So, here’s my ask, whether you agree with my routine or Jeff Bezos or not, I hope you’ll be intentional with how you show up. Please consider crafting your own plan and try it out without fail for the next couple of weeks or so. Then decide if it’s helping or not or needs a couple of tweaks. My guess is that it won’t be easy at first because it wasn’t for me; however, it is getting easier and more empowering each and every day!