4 Time Management Tips of What NOT To Do in Your Morning Routine
If you are like me, I am constantly evaluating new resources and time management tips of how I can be more efficient and effective. There are some great resources. Classic Time management tips come from Stephen Covey, Hyrum Smith, and David Allen. More time management tips come from Tim Ferris, Brendon Burchard, Darren Hardy and other gurus provide time management tips based on their experience.
Let’s take morning routines for instance. There are many great ideas about what to do for your morning and how to do them. Among the time management tips are meditation, working out, journaling, taking vitamins and drinking water, read something inspiring and so much more. Not many time management tips talk about what derails and distracts us. What should we avoid so we can focus on those things that set the pace for the day, that create power and momentum to our long-term goals?
I dedicate this article on what not to do as part of your morning routine to boost your daily productivity.
#1 No News is Good News
I took an Uber to the airport last week and the driver was listening to the news. Full, I don’t listen to the news. I get my news from others or high profile stuff that seeps through. Yes, I did know that Trump was elected president. The news on the radio was about murder, kidnap, rape and an explosion that opened up the road and appeared to eat two SUV’s. I heard that story 3 times in the 40-minute ride. I got out of the car and felt sick. I just spent 40 minutes immersed in negativity. It was depressing.
When you start and end your day with news, you are filling your mind with negative energy. That energy is what you carry with you into your next activity and it negatively impacts your sleep and your day. STOP IT!
If you must listen to the news, do it mid-day after you have set the tone for the day or early evening before you start to relax into bedtime. First thing in the morning and before bed, I like to focus on gratitude. Gratitude really sets me up for a good sleep and releases negativity if there is any from the day. In the morning it gives a positive lens to all I do.
I understand not everyone is like me and would rather stay away from the news entirely. I don’t feel like I am missing out and neither are my kids. If you choose to listen, choose wisely when you are going to listen. It matters.
Ps. There are more healthy options for news such as Upworthy, which talks about people doing good things in the world. I prefer this kind of news. Both are out there, you can choose what you want to focus on. I am only interested in what positively influences me. You choose what is right for you.
#2 Don’t look at your to-do list
Leave your to-do list for after you get to the most important thing done. This is a hard one for many people. I had several people contact me and say, that they live by their to-do list. I hear you. I am not suggesting you eliminate it. I am not ready to do that myself. However, alter the way you use it and when you use it. Check out this article by Ken Courtright, on different ways to use your to-do lists. (ADD LINK)
To-do lists are important and add a great amount of value for many reasons, but they also typically have many entries. Looking at it sends many people into a mental funk, not knowing what to do first so procrastination sets in as well as too many visits to the coffee room and the procrastination shows up in other ways until the pain of not moving on gets high enough to kick you into action.
The early morning belongs to you. Make this the time you reserve to get you in a great state of mind and focus on what is most important long term for you. If you never make time for those long-term strategies, they never come to fruition because you are always doing the urgent or short-term tasks on your to-do list. This is a very tactical way to approach the day, but if you want to achieve great things you have to start to think and act more strategically, more often.
I actually created a Productivity Assessment that helps people to focus on the 10 core drivers that help them to think and act more strategically because it is so easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done day to day. Taking it weekly helps to recondition the things you focus on.
#3 No Email: start your morning proactive versus reactive
I know, you are thinking “whaaaaaaaaat?”. Yes, you heard me, NO email first thing in the morning.
Resist the temptation to get out of bed and check your email. The minute you open up your email box you are shifting from your agenda to someone else’s agenda. You see various emails that you need to respond to and that makes you start to think about those items and then it triggers you to think about you to-do list. You are now in reactive mode.
When you want to stay focused on the most important things to drive your long term goals, let your early morning hours be that time. You have the whole rest of the day to react and respond to the world around you.
#4 Don’t curse when you wake up
I shared a room with a friend at a self development event and was surprised that when she wakes up she says “Oh Fu_ _!”. What negative energy to wake up to. It made me feel bad too and I didn’t even say it. Don’t get out of bed and say something negative it sets the tone. I recently talked to a marketing director who says they do the same thing. For those up you who do that, it is time for you to take a shift in the morning. A BIG SHIFT.
It is time to shift the morning words to something more supportive. The story you tell yourself about the day, is what you will experience. You create your reality. Our words have energy and form our story. Do a re-write and think of what else you could say. Chicken little started his day with “todays a new day!” He says it with curiosity about what he will discover. What can start your day out right? How about playing a song to wake you up like James Brown “I Feel Good”. I wake up to U2 “It’s a Beautiful Day”.
My favorite phrase at my workshops is to remind everyone that every day is game day. You leave a legacy every day when you go out into your day. So put on your game day face, attitude, and motivation and make it great!