A common misconception is that by working remotely you have more time in your day. While this definitely can be true, it’s also not as easy as you think.
Do you ever feel like you are already behind the eight ball before you even get out of bed in the morning? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with your day that you don’t know where to start? Or do you always simply say, “I just don’t have the time”?
That used to be me. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, and if you break out what you do with each of those hours in a day/week/month, you would be surprised that there are some areas where you could “find the time.” If you are anything like me, however, and wear many hats — Mom, Wife, Full-Time Remote Employee — trying to add more to our plate can seem daunting and overwhelming.
I recently read a few books that completely changed my perspective on this. I started implementing some of the key techniques from each book to my mornings and it has truly been a game-changer in my life, both personally and professionally. The first book is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and the second book is The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Both of these books provided me with great tips on how to take control of my day. I thought I would share some of the things that I have implemented in my life that have allowed me to feel more accomplished than ever BEFORE 7am.
Wake up one hour earlier.
Stay with me here. When I first read it, I totally rolled my eyes. I love sleep and to think about waking up earlier was insane. But let’s think about. How often do you tell yourself that you will (fill in the blank) — exercise, read, start that project — AFTER work? And then the day does not go as planned. Your project at work does not go as planned and you have to work longer, kid gets sick at school and you have to tend to their needs or just LIFE happens and you find yourself at the end of the day on the couch or better yet flopped in bed! Well, by waking up an hour earlier you don’t have any other excuse other than to do what you wanted to get done right then and there. In this one hour, I do more things and feel more accomplished than I do all day.
Implement “The 5 Second Rule”
The key to waking up an hour earlier is to set the alarm and put that alarm in your bathroom or away from your bed. This will cause you to physically get out of bed to shut it off. There is much science behind how debilitating the snooze button is to your day and, by not allowing yourself to hit snooze, you get moving that much faster. When the alarm goes off, I count from five backwards, so I am essentially blasting out of bed like a rocket ship.
So now you are up an hour earlier, what will you do with that one hour? For me, I listen to an audiobook (this is where I found the time to read the referenced books here) while I exercise for 45 minutes. I am fortunate enough to live in the south so I can take that 45 minutes outside. There is something so peaceful about being outside before the sun comes up and you are just one with nature. I find this time allows me to have quiet time, allow myself some peace with my thoughts and then I also allow myself to think about what I want/need to accomplish in my day. This may include some quiet meditation, gratitude awareness or silent prayer.
I should also note that I do not open any social media, email, or anything during this time. The only reason I have my phone with me is to listen to my audible. How many of you get caught in the time warp of social media and email and the next thing you know, an hour has passed? I do not allow that to happen. Emails are not opened until I am at my desk in the morning.
Another thing to note is that the first thing I drink in the morning is a full 8 oz of water. I do not drink anything else until I have had at least 8 oz of water. This is a great way to rehydrate yourself after a full night of sleep.
Once I have exercised, I get ready for my work day. Working from home allows me to have the flexibility of being comfortable and not having a commute. However, I start my day as if I was “going into an office.” Regardless of the fact that I work from home, I still get ready every day. For me that means, shower, proper clothes (no pjs) and hair and makeup. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not getting glammed up, but rather, just how I would look if I had to go into a physical office.
Once I am ready, I eat my breakfast. As your mom always said, the most important meal of the day is breakfast and that is so true. Personally, I like to make myself a smoothie so I am starting my day with the right nutrients. But regardless of what you choose, be sure to choose something for breakfast.
While I am having my breakfast, I write down the top three to five things that need to be done for the day. Whether it is personal or for work. I personally like to have two separate lists. But here again, I am writing down those top five things that need to be accomplished for the day BEFORE I even turn on my computer or open email. Here again, we all will get sucked into the Internet world and can get lost. But if I write down what needs to be done today, I feel I have better focus.
So as you can see, just by setting that alarm one hour earlier, so much more can be accomplished in the day. Not only will you be productive, but you are also getting the health benefits too!
How do you begin your day?