One of the differences I see between those who succeed and those who don't is how they structure their day. The individuals I work with who are initially struggling to achieve their goals are very unstructured and live in a constant reactive mode; they are almost always playing defense.
High performers in any field are very disciplined in how they organize their time, particularly the beginning of the day. Whether it is a world famous athlete or entrepreneur, they have consistent routines that contribute to their success.
Successful individuals own the first hour of their day
In the current information age, taking charge of your day is more important than ever. One wrong turn can trap you in a giant 'time suck' before your morning coffee. One of the things I'm going to advocate you do is probably going to be very difficult for many of you. However, the majority of successful people I've studied this last year all express the importance of this in their lives: don't have any screen time in the first thirty to sixty minutes of your day. This includes cell phones, computers, televisions, and tablets.
The second I encourage my clients to do this I get a mountain of rational sounding excuses as to why they have to check their emails, text messages or find out what is going on in the world. I call B.S. on all of this. My favorite is my phone is my alarm. Send me your address, and I'll mail you a two dollar alarm clock so you don't have to use your phone. There. Problem solved.
One text and your on defense
The reason this is so important is because the minute you see a tex, missed call, or email you are in reactive mode from that point on. There is absolutely no excuse why you cannot dedicate the first thirty minutes of your day to prayer, meditation, or a mindful walk. The resistance to doing so reveals how addicted we are to the stimulation.
Two great books to get you started on owning your day are, The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne and The 5AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders. You can also follow anyone you are inspired by and get their morning routine. Here is mine:
5:30 Hydration and Breakfast
6:30 Workout or Run
7:30 Dress for Work
Challenge yourself and take charge of your life
Develop a Structure that works for you. Take charge of your life by owning the beginning of your day. I cannot tell you what a difference this will make toward creating the life you desire. Feel free to send me your morning routine. I am always looking to tweak mine. I am very protective of my time. I will not allow anyone to interfere with the start of my day. I own it!
If you already have a morning routine, awesome. Keep it up. If not, challenge yourself to begin taking charge of your day instead of letting life and others dictate yours. Start playing offense and take greater ownership of your life today.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.