Yesterday we talked about reconsidering your routine. It important to find the time in your busy morning to do the things that are important to you. Today I want you to think about what you should and shouldn’t be doing in those first few hours of the day. Determine your focus – it’s the most important thing to figure out to have a better morning.
So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. We do it without really thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time.
Determine Your Focus – Don’t Just Cram More Things Into Less Time
Creating a better morning isn’t about figuring out how to add more items on to your task list that you’ll need to accomplish in fewer hours.
When you read books and articles on productivity and time management, that’s often the essential idea. While it can help in the short term, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon you’ll hit the limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get.
Shift your thinking and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning. If you want 15 minutes you can use to exercise or focus on your personal development, how can you focus on that? Don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine. Showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast aren’t the best ways to save time. In other words, don’t add to your already lengthy list of things that need to get done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.
Determine Your Focus By Making Smart Choices and Using Your Time Effectively
Instead, think about what is truly the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much easier.
There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing. The first is to look for busy work.
Busy work is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit it may be time to rethink it.
The second way to quickly take back your precious time is to stop doing things for others that they can do for themselves.
Kids are the perfect example. We start out fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, picking out their clothes, and making sure their backpack is packed and ready to go. When they are very small, we have to do these things, but all too often we continue to do them long after they’re capable of doing things on their own. The same goes for things we do for our spouse. Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning and it made sense to take on the majority of morning chores. Did things change and if so, is it time to lighten your load and get help from your partner?
A few small changes may be all it takes to make the time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.
Determine one thing you can stop doing in the morning. What busy work or task are you doing for someone else that you can stop doing today?
Share your ideas for ways you can determine your focus below!