Archive for April, 2011
Your Daily Morning Routine For Productivity Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Being a business owner means that you are on your own. In fact I recently stated that business is freedom. If business is freedom the dilemma then becomes, how to use that freedom wisely. One particular rhythm that I have set up for myself is a tool for morning productivity that I call a “power hour”.
Whether you are a stay at home mom or a Fortune 500 executive, busy people need to get their day started off on the right foot. The only time to do that is in the morning.
My morning “power hour” consists of focus on three key areas; spiritual, physical and mental. I don’t necessarily spend an equal amount of time in each discipline but I do spend focused time in each.
Here are some common questions that I get about doing a “power hour”?
What if my children get up at 5am?
The easiest way to answer this is to get up at 3 or 4am. For this to work you are going to have to get up before your kids. It’s that simple. As a father of four beautiful little girls, I feel your pain. One question to consider is, do your kids need to get up at 5am? Mine don’t. I could get into this topic more but I will save that for another post.
How long does it need to be?
I call it a “power hour” because you need at least an hour to spend adequate time in the proper disciplines. However, if you can’t do an hour then do it for as long as you can. You can even rotate between spiritual, mental and physical and do them on different days if you are pressed for time.
What does the mental part consist of?
This is a time to work on educating yourself. Read an informative book. Work on your business. Organize some facet of your life. Create something new.
How often should I do a “power hour”?
I would aim to do it every day so that it is a habit and just part of what you do. I notice a significant difference in my attitude and demeanor when I do a “power hour” vs. when I don’t.
What if I am not a morning person?
I wasn’t either. In fact I wrote a love story about waking up in the morning. You can train your body to a new schedule.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is if you don’t have a morning productivity routine then it’s time to start one. No one has ever started doing a “power hour” and told me that they thought it was a waste of their time and they were sorry they did it. Usually I hear the opposite of that and in some cases I have had people tell me uplifting stories of how implementing this simple discipline changed their life. Do me a favor and try it on for the next 2 months and let me know what your results have been from doing it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
The Only Path To Quick Results Monday, April 4th, 2011
You ever ran 100 miles an hour in a certain direction only to realize your were running the wrong way? I know I have. The best way to prevent this from happening and in the process realize quicker results is to have clarity behind what you are doing.
Some people may read the above message and think that trying to gain clarity will slow down their ability to produce not speed it up. I am not saying that you need to completely vet out every idea and move that you want to make because no plan is fool proof. What I am saying is that you should have a general idea of what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish.
Don’t be afraid to breath. There is benefit in gaining clarity for these reasons:
Less Wasted Effort: This just come down to understanding the results you want. For too often we start something without even thinking about the finish line and what that might look like. This isn’t to say that you will be right but it does help at least point you in a more accurate direction. Time is precious in business. Use it wisely. Sometimes you only get one shot.
More Production: This is a no brainer. Having a focus allows you to work on the right things rather than being distracted by all of the wrong things that interfere with productivity. Things like phone calls, e-mails, useless meetings, etc.
Saves Money: When you are focused, your business doesn’t waste money. They tend to hire better people. They employ the right marketing strategies for their business. They also understand what activities are going to positively affect the bottom line.
Keeps Your Team Engaged: Nothing kills team morale more than not knowing where their efforts are taking them or their business. Consider this scenario: Your boss has you work on a report that takes the better part of your work time for 2 weeks. After handing in the report, your boss tells you that they aren’t moving in that direction anymore and sorry he forgot to mention it. That sucks. Unfocused businesses are morale killers.
Focus in your business seems like a no brainer yet I am surprised at how poor of a job that business owners do at taking the time to gain some additional clarity around why their business exists and formulating strategies for getting there. If you find that your business lacks focus, take some time and work on getting a clearer picture. Get other people involved if you need to.
How have you failed or succeeded because of focus?
BizTip: 4 Components of a Brand Friday, April 1st, 2011
Check out this recently released business tip from the Business Blueprint: