If you are an entrepreneur, you are likely one of the lucky people on this planet who jumps out of bed, passionately inspired to greet the day. After all, you’ve got to love what you do to generate the energy to run a business! However, if you are opening your e-mail first thing in the morning, you may be doing your business a disservice. Many of us are magnetically drawn to open our e-mail to find out what happened while we slept (if we slept!). However, the morning is the best time to get some uninterpreted time to take care of the conditions that will make for a happy, productive day. Here are five things you can try to do before you open your e-mail to make the day the best it can be.
Most entrepreneurs understand the value of exercising during the day. A fit body begets a fit mind. Exercising in the morning however has some added benefits over exercising later in the day. First, by exercising in the morning, you’ve crossed off an important to-do off your list. Not only will you get a psychological boost from the endorphins released from your exercise but you won’t have to worry about fitting it in later in the day when your control over your schedule lessens. Secondly, you will be able to put your full attention into your exercise which is good for you. Lastly, you think better after exercising.
After working up an appetite exercising, it’s time to reward yourself with some good food. What to eat for breakfast varies greatly from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. Some people eat the competition for breakfast, others eat rejection. In the vein of good advice, here’s some recommendations about what to eat to fuel your creativity and energize for the day. It can be tempting to open up the laptop and bang out some messages while you dine but resist. The moment you starting looking at e-mails, the sanctity of your morning erodes and demands on your time and decision making start.
3. Prioritize Your Day
Smokey the Bear taught us that “only you can prevent forest fires”. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the fires that an entrepreneur encounters on a daily basis. Constant demands from clients, vendors, advisers and teammates can derail even the most focused of entrepreneurs. Your best defense against these distractions is to set your priorities for the day before the bullets start to fly (loosely translated as when you open your e-mail). If you haven’t done so the night before, write down 4-5 thing you must accomplish in the day in priority order. Schedule them. Block out time to complete them much like you would schedule a meeting.
4. Learn Something New
Many entrepreneurs lament not having the time to learn important skills for their work. “If I only had time to learn to code” is something I hear all the time. You have to make the time to acquire new skills and the morning is the perfect time to do it. Not only are you alert (especially if you worked out) but you may learn something important that can make a difference for you in the coming day. Try setting aside 30 minutes to an hour to read about something you want to learn before the work day starts.
Removing yourself from distractions to write with singular focus can help you make sense of complicated situations. It can help you get pressing questions out of your head and onto paper where you may be better able to answer them. In addition, writing can make a better communicator and you think through how you want to articulate a point in the written word. Lastly, you’ll gain a sense of achievement from producing a position statement, blog post or simply a list of things you appreciate, every day.
If you have followed the tips above, you’re probably getting pretty anxious to find out what’s happening with your business. There’s one last practice to do before you open up your e-mail. And it may be the most important, it’s mediation. Even ten minutes of sitting can make a big difference in lowering stress, improving concentration and creativity. Here’s a guide to getting started.