Ok solopreneurs, time to be honest… How long does it take you to get going in the morning? Are you jumping straight into work at 6am after a brisk workout and a cold shower? Or are you dragging yourself to your desk, in serious need of a caffeine IV drip and finding yourself easily swallowed by random tasks well into the afternoon?
If you’re leaning toward the latter, then I’ve got a few tips today to help energize your morning so you can jump into work faster and tackle your to-do list with more motivation.
But let’s be clear, I’m not going to tell you to get up at 5am, or exercise for an hour before work, or get dressed like you’re going to an office job. We escaped the 9 to 5 for specific reasons, and I don’t know about you, but those were at the top of my list!
Today’s post is going to be more about figuring out what works best to help you hit the ground running every single day.
Create a routine
It may sound boring, but I do the exact same things in the exact same order every single day . . .
- I get up around the same time (approx. 7.5 hours after I fall asleep)
- Get dressed
- Walk the dog
- Feed the dog
- Make my own breakfast
- Then I either head to the aerial studio to train, work on something simple (like Pinterest scheduling), read, or watch some motivating biz videos online while I eat
Once I sit down to work, everything that needs to be done in the morning is finished and I’m ready to put on my solopreneur hat and get down to business. I’m able to stay focused and work for a few hours without jumping up because I forgot to give the dog his medication or taking longer to start because I can’t decide what to eat or wear.
Your morning routine might be a little more exciting than mine and include a trip to the beach to surf, or more hectic if you’re herding kids onto the bus, or more calm if you prefer to start with something like a morning meditation. Choose whatever steps help to wake you up, get energized for the day, and realistically fit into your schedule. A 7am run is great, but only if you’ll actually get up to do it every day!
And as much as I love reading about other people’s morning routines, I don’t think I’ll be getting up at 4am with yoga and a kale smoothie any time soon. You can absolutely experiment to see what gets you going, but don’t feel guilty if your routine works best with two Eggo waffles and staying in your PJs all day.
The point is to create a routine that not only starts you off in the right frame of mind but allows you to get going without having to make decisions. I’m in decision mode all day, so I’ve set up my morning to avoid making any decisions at all. I don’t even have to decide what to start working on in the morning because I . . .
Start with the most important thing first
What is the most important thing you need to accomplish today? Which task has a strict deadline? Will bring in the most customers or clients? Or would generally be bad news if you didn’t manage to check it off?
Always start with the big thing first. Schedule 2-4 hours between the time you wake up and the time you need a break (generally around noon or 1pm for me) to put a serious dent in your most important task during the period you’re likely to have the most energy and focus.
If I wait until the afternoon to conquer my most important thing, I almost always find myself procrastinating, checking social media, or coming up with random tasks that desperately need my attention.
And (two tips in one!) make sure you plan that most important task in advance – like weeks in advance.
I use Asana to plan my entire month at once. Weekly emails are always written on Mondays and blog posts are written on Wednesdays. Then I add all the tasks for upcoming webinars, launches, social media content, and any other projects that are coming up. (Larger projects, webinars, launches, and open enrollments are already scheduled for the entire year.)
This way I never start my day wondering what I’m supposed to be doing or have to take time planning the night before. Each date has two or three tasks and the most important one gets started first.
Now, sometimes I am NOT raring and ready to go once I’ve finished my breakfast and Netflix is calling my name LOUDLY. To get myself motivated and moving on these days I . . .
Use mini kick-starters
Mini kick-starters can be employed to give you a boost of confidence and energy on the days you just don’t feel like clocking in.
Take a minute to create a list of all the things that make you feel inspired or inspiring, excited or exciting, motivated or motivating, powerful or empowering, confident, brilliant, or energized.
Here are some of mine . . .
- Emails from readers and students I’ve helped
- A quick workout at home
- Teaching or taking an aerial class (but not both, that will result in an epic nap >_<)
- Answering questions in my Facebook groups
- Texting with my mom or girlfriends
- Cleaning or organizing anything
- Watching videos from business owners I admire
- Doing my hair and makeup
Use these mini kick-starters to give yourself a tiny spark of accomplishment, which will put you on a path to feeling like you can really get shit done. Maybe it takes one little kick-start to get you going or maybe it takes five. Either way, you need to have a backup plan in place for the days you aren’t automatically firing on all cylinders.