I wrote yesterday about the importance of a strong finish at the close of your day will facilitate a confident, clear mindset for a successful next day. In there I talked about my “mind dumping” habit, turning items into S.M.A.R.T.E.R. actionable items, and for me, this is where I also settle what the first thing I will take on in the morning. The item that falls in my top 20% of what only I can do but will result in 80% of a return for me. If you want you can read the first post on a productive day starts the night before.
Now it is the next day and time to put into effect the prep from the night before. When you first wake up, don’t jump out of bed. Set your alarm a few minutes before you really need to get up. Spend the first few minutes of your waking day – while still in bed – reviewing these questions:
1. What am I excited about today? The greater the positive impact that your planned actions and goals will have on your life, the more motivated you are to get them accomplished.
2. What is my biggest priority (this is that 20/80 question),
3. What will I do about it (S.M.A.R.T.E.R.)?
4. How will I know today was a success? (This last question is critical! It’s impossible to hit a mark we’ve never set.
Now go ahead and jump out of bed spend your time filling up your well. What do I mean by that? Grab a cup of coffee, spend time reading something inspiring, read your Bible, talk with God. Don’t jump straight into your inbox or calendar until you have filled your well and accomplished your pre-determined night before Pareto task.
While many spend their days in uncertainty, trying to determine the right course of action in their work and life, having a simple ritual like the one I have laid out here allows us to reach a place of clarity about our expectations, our hopes, and our tactical plans.