[UPDATED IN APRIL 2019 inside square brackets.] So here I was on New Year’s Day of 2014 – working. Several sites needed updating, my photo files were in a sad state of disarray, nothing had been done on my book, and the only answer seemed to be giving up sleeping. What to do? [Weird how all those things need to be done now five years later. It never ends.]
On a routine check of my email I saw a webinar that was about to start. I almost clicked ‘Trash’ and then noticed the title. This was about simplifying so it felt like kismet. Although watching some lengthy webinar that would take up even more of my time seemed counter-productive, I did it anyway.
Imagine my surprise when Internet marketer Chris Farrell began talking about being overwhelmed, relatively unproductive, and not doing as well in business over the past year! He had my attention. While there may be light years difference in our incomes, the problems were the same. Our day was much the same. As things unfolded, I made notes.
I made a desktop photo to remind me of the message. [Tossed that a while ago. I could sit around playing with graphics all day and get nothing else done so that sort of thing is gone.] I made a folder for my journals, coloured it pink just because, and made a document called Schedule for Tomorrow, another called What Did I Achieve Today Business, and another called What Did I Achieve Today Personal. [See what I mean about playing around too much? This is way too complex. One simple journal or calendar will do. And a pink folder? Really? NO. Just no.]
Then I began to implement the plan. Does it work? Yes! It works instantly. Everything changed in 24 hours, even my mood. Yours may be a little different in the fine details but here it is:
The 4-7am routine.
(Yes, 4 a.m. – I panicked at first but if I follow the routine, it’s painless and easy)
- Wake up. Have a large glass of water and your brain boosting supplement of choice if you have one.
- Put the coffee on [or tea or whatever floats your boat].
- Meditate for 15 minutes. I do transcendental. [I replaced that with stumbling around looking for coffee so will be meditating again.]
- Have coffee and a piece of fruit [or not].
- Play Brain Games for 15 minutes. [I had been doing Lumosity, but fell out of love with it. Try a crossword, Sudoku, or something else—whatever turns your crank.]
- Take 60 minutes to learn something new that will help business: Here I add something I’ve always wanted to learn about but haven’t had time. [This works!]
- Do some very gentle stretching for about 10 minutes. [I forgot to do that, too, and it’s important!]
- Have breakfast and take vitamins [or drink Bulletproof coffee or keep on fasting—whatever it is you normally do].
- Spend 60 minutes on earning time. Do something here specifically targeted toward earning money. Could be an offer to your online list, creating a new product, anything that adds value for your customers and adds to your income.
- At 7 or 8, depending on when you got up, start the main day. All those things that occur during the business hours of the day go here.
- Before bed, schedule and plan the next morning and fill this in so it’s ready for tomorrow. [Yes, seriously do it.]
- Date and write a line or two in both the What Did I Achieve Today journals. [Now it’s a couple of lines in one place—even an excel sheet with headings.]
- Meditate for 15 minutes. [After turning off all screens and that includes TV and the phone or I’ll start looking at programming tutorials or “Best Free Plugins for…” on YouTube.] Go to bed between 10 and 11pm. [Seriously. Go to bed.]
This is a joke, right?
When I first thought about doing this, it seemed not only grossly unattractive but also impossible. Now I can’t imagine any other way of living. [UPDATE: Well, apparently I can imagine it pretty well and fell off the wagon of early rising so here we are now in April 2019 and I’m getting back on track again.] The meditation leaves me feeling as if I’ve had an extra few hours sleep and doing things in this order leaves me incredibly focused. [This does work and I seriously have to do this. I’ve been so tired and frankly stupid lately.]
There is time for everything, including yoga or walks in the snow. Think about it—you’ve accomplished a lot by the time most people are just opening their eyes. And it feels fantastic! In fact, it’s addictive.
Drink lots of water throughout the day and remember to take 10 minute breaks to stretch. You’re welcome.