What is the first thing you do when you get up to start your day? If you are like millions of professionals, I would guess you probably check your smart phone, if not first thing then shortly after. Let me share with you something that probably will not come as a surprise- From a productivity standpoint and certainly from a mental and physical health perspective, checking your electronic device to start off your day is probably the worst possible thing you could do.
Think about it for a minute. How many times have you awakened from your nightly slumber, refreshed, energized and ready to take on the world only to check your email and find that some sort of disaster has transpired that will now suck you into the corporate vortex and maybe release you somewhere between 1-3pm that day.
On top of this, the work you were supposed to accomplish hasn’t gone anywhere and has now mounted up to a point where you must frantically bolt from task, to task in the hopes of somehow maintaining some sort of order and sanity in your already overstressed day.
After all of this you finally end your workday, probably an hour or two later than you planned, still feeling behind the 8-ball. On your way home you remember all the other tasks and problems you had to push to the wayside and you begin to stress yourself even more. Then you enter your home ready to engage with those you claim to care about the most in the entire world, spouse, kids, significant other, and answer this question- What type of state are you in to give them the best of you?
If this sounds at all familiar, don’t feel bad because you are not alone. Smart-phone manufacturers, and the tech companies that fill up those phones with the software apps that make-up our lives are counting on it. All those taps, scrolls, bings and buzzes are designed to release small shots of dopamine that our brains crave and quickly become addicted to. In a recent interview Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted he was spending way too much time looking at his phone everyday, and sadly shared he was addicted to his technology
When you give into this technical addiction first thing in the morning you have essentially given away your power and personal sovereignty to the tech titans and others that will sap or steal your energy without remorse or regret. More importantly you are now a slave to everyone else’s problems and issues.
The solution is simple but for many will not be easy. STOP! Your phone and digital gadgets will not be hurt or saddened if you take the first 60 minutes of your day and keep them for yourself. To start with you may want to charge your phone in a room other then the one you sleep. Use some other form of dumb tech to wake yourself in the morning.
Now that you can’t reach for your smartphone first thing, create a morning ritual for yourself that starts off everyday the way YOU choose. Here are a few great ideas to begin your day that will absolutely help jet-propel your productivity and help you start WINNING back your power.
- Learn to make a perfect cup of coffee or tea and start there. If you are not a hot beverage person, drink a tall glass of water.
- Exercise, walk, run, bike, or swim, anything to get your heart pumping blood and oxygen into your system. A good stretch, yoga, pilates or whatever your choose to prep your body for the day.
- Eat something healthy- fresh fruit, eggs, oatmeal, nuts- whatever you like, just make sure it doesn’t come in a package that you can unwrap.
- If you have kids, pack them a healthy lunch, enjoy your morning with them and help get them off to school. They are only that age for a short time, learn to enjoy those little moments.
- Take a few minutes to meditate or clear your mind. You don’t have to sit on the floor and chant to gain clarity every morning.
- Take a pen and pad of paper and create a short list of the most important tasks that you have to accomplish that day.
As you can see none of these require technology and all of them combined will take 60 minutes of less. Most importantly, any of these in no particular order will help start you day on the right foot.
Once you’ve completed your morning ritual and are ready with sound mind, body and spirit to go and fight the good fight- you may now reach for your technology and allow the challenges of the day to enter into your world.
Do this for one week and watch your productivity, and energy levels soar into the stratosphere.
I would love to hear back from you about your own personal morning ritual-
What works for you to help kick-start your day?
How do you go about winning the first part of your day?
What is your own personal 60 minute solution?
Cheers to your success- One Quarter Turn at a Time!
Thoughts for the week:
Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master. –Christian Lous Lang
Everybody gets so much information all day long that they’ve lost their common sense. –Gertrude Stein
Technology should improve your life, not become your life. –Billy Cox
The great myth of our time is that technology is communication. –Libby Larson
Disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. –Rosemary Wixom
Computers are useless, they can only give you answers. –Pable Pacasso
We were promised a simpler life and yet technology seems to have only complicated our lives. –Freeman Thomas
Looking forward to our next connection- Coach Tim