Ever heard that you should start your morning by completing one small task like making your bed?
This is stupid advice. Don’t follow it.
If you feel like you have achieved something by making your bed, then you’re way off.
Making your bed is a stupid little task that doesn’t make you feel good at all. If you find satisfaction in doing something so small, and you think that’s a good start, it’s not.
“You must do something meaningful to start the day if you want to change the world”
Start the morning with something big.
Yup, that’s what I said you little rascal. Do something that matters. For me, that’s writing blog posts like this one, instead of doing chicken little tasks that don’t serve anybody – like making your bed. I recommend starting the day with an epic achievement.
Sit down and write something you are proud of.
Go and train for that sport you love.
Prepare that presentation that is going to change your company.
Wake up and do public speaking first thing.
Now that last one is one I do every fortnight. I wake up at 4 am and go to Toastmasters at 7 am to start the day with a speech. It sets up my entire week and gives me energy. Try it for yourself.
Your mind is fresh in the morning – don’t waste it.
As the day moves on, your energy levels get lower (especially if you have a poor diet). This is why starting your day by wasting your valuable energy making your bed is total nonsense!
Don’t make your bed, use your energy for something that will make you fulfilled.
Start the day with something that will make you damn proud of yourself.
When I publish a freshly written article on Adccited2Success at 5 am, I feel on fire. I get to work ready to steamroll over anyone who wants to take me off my purpose. I feel like a lion ready to pounce on its prey and fight any enemy that presents itself.
Your bed can wait.
You know what? Your bed can wait. It doesn’t need to be made right this second. You can do hard labor when you get home and you’re tired from the day. Making your bed requires no thinking so don’t waste your mind on it.
“Low energy states are the best time to make your bed, iron your clothes and cook meals”
Achieving goals builds momentum.
The reason why I don’t want you to start your day achieving rubbish goals is that it gives you no momentum. Doing something difficult in the morning sets your day up to tackle even more challenging obstacles.
I’d rather you did the big stuff first and then worried about the small stuff like how your rainbow colored doona on your bed looks. Who you trying to impress with your bed anyway?
Some days will suck.
Okay, so I’ve made it sound like every day you are going to live like a commando or even GI Joe. Don’t worry I’m not that silly or crazy. There are days that you will suck. You’ll wake up and achieve nothing. You’ll do dumb stuff like make your bed instead of doing something a bit more difficult.
It’s okay. You can’t be Rambo every single day or hour. What I want you to think about here is to spend the majority of your week in a peak state that involves attempting meaningful goals in the morning. Miss a day here and there. Take the weekend off.
Relax, because you can’t always be on like a pit bull ready to attack.
“If you take yourself too seriously, then you’ll start to lose the plot. Your ego will become out of control and you’ll think you are unstoppable and do something dumb like taking a selfie on the side of a skyscraper where you could fall to your death. Don’t laugh; this is now a thing!”
Everything in moderation. You also need balance. Don’t mistake balance, though, for being lazy and doing half-assed stuff like making your bed.
Mornings have defined me.
I get dozens of emails asking how I find time to write and do all the crazy things I talk about.
My response is always the morning. Doing big stuff in the morning has allowed me to get a head start on life. I will not accept mediocrity and even when it hurts, I do my best to remember why I put myself through these challenges, day after day.
There’s something about progress that is addictive and it’s a big part of the success formula. The first thing you do shouldn’t be:
– Make coffee
– Drink lemon water
– Look at your phone
– Check your social media followers.
The first thing you should do is bite a chunk off one of your big audacious goals that forms part of your life’s purpose. Now feel free to substitute the word purpose for vision, goals, meaning of your life – I don’t care amigo.
Again, do the big stuff.
Let’s rinse and repeat, so you’re clear. Don’t wake up and do little, tiny, meaningless goals like making your bed and wasting the best hours of the day. Wake up and do something that will give you a sense of fulfillment.
Hope we’re clear now. Time to go do the big stuff. The really big stuff!
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.
When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.
But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.
Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.
These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.
1. Include short breaks
My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.
2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking
Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.
3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule
A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!
These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!
This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!
2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery
When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.
3. Love what you do
This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.
These last few tips are Industry-related!
1. Make sure you have fun projects
Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.
2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year
Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.
3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry
View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.
These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!
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