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5 Strategies to Getting Ready For Your Workday

business career mindset Apr 02, 2019
Black professional woman getting dressed

Starting the Day Right

Whether you're heading out to the office and prepping to go downstairs to your home-based office, it's important to mentally and physically prepare yourself for a productive and successful workday.

It can be easier to get into a "morning routine" when you have to leave your home physically, but when all you have to do is walk to another part of your home from the comfort of your bed, it can be a bit more challenging.

It’s tempting to wear your PJ’s or favorite sweatpants and tee all day because, after all, who’s going to see you, right?

But what happens when you get a call from a colleague who wants to do a quick Zoom about collaborating on a project?  Or a media outlet wants to do a quick interview about your latest book?

Several scenarios can catch you off guard if you haven't gone through getting yourself ready to start your day.

Getting R.E.A.D.Y.

Getting ready is as much a morning routine. It's a mental exercise of preparing yourself for the day ahead.

In full disclosure, I confess that these principles were learned behaviors. I'm not naturally a "morning" person, but I have learned the importance of starting early and in the right way over time.

When I first started to work from home, my workday started around10:30am. In the past, when I had to head into my office, my morning started at 7:30 am. So I was already losing three hours of productivity.

When I left my position and started my own business, it only got worse. There were days when I didn't start work until 12:30p or 1 pm! Needless to say, I was not engaging in high-performance habits or positioning myself for success.

After getting real about what I wanted for my business and the life I wanted, I changed my routine. As Lisa Larter, author of the book Pilot to Profit, said,

You won't get results in your business unless you show up and behave like professional.

Once I made a few changes and implemented a new morning strategy, I started to get the results I wanted for my life and in my business. So here's how I get R.E.A.D.Y. each day (weekends included).

Routine

I've created a routine of setting my alarm, getting up, brushing my teeth, drinking a glass of water, and reading through my affirmations. 

What's been great about doing this every morning is that I don't need to be super alert to engage in these activities. But it allows my mind to wake up and focus on something positive and productive. I don't grab my phone, check emails, or social media; I use that time to become present for the day.

It took a few weeks to get into this habit because I would usually lay in bed, check my phone, get lost in social media, watch the morning news, and basically fill my head with what's going in the world instead of what's going on with me.

After that, I spend time visualization, reading, meditating, journaling, and doing a quick workout or stretching. I picked this up from the book Miracle Morning. I spend anywhere from 30 min to 1 hour doing these activities. 

Once I'm done, I shower and getting dressed (more about that below).

Eat

This was another revolutionary action for me.

I don't usually have an appetite in the morning and often skip breakfast. But as a way to continue being present for the day, I either grab a boiled egg (I boil several ahead of time over the weekend) and a piece of gluten-free toast or Greek yogurt with almonds and fruit. The protein from the egg or yogurt fills and fuels my body, and the carb wakes up my brain. I also make my own tea latte, saving me time and money since I'm no longer running to Starbucks.

Appearance

So you knew I was going to talk about appearance.

The key thing to know about your appearance and the power of what you wear is this:

What you wear has a psychological impact on how you see yourself which will affect your performance level. In addition, what you wear impacts how others see you which will affect their desirability to work with you.

Your clothes express your authenticity and attract your deepest desires whether you wear them inside or outside your home. And if you want to be more productive and focused, it would help to dress in a manner that reinforces your goals.

Several studies in the field of fashion psychology support the fact that there's power in clothing choices, and what you were can impact every aspect of your life. For example, if you stay in your pj's all day, you're likely to stay in bed, get lazy, and not get much done.

So...get dressed.

Daily To Do

Spend time jotting down what you want and need to accomplish for the day. 

Don't create an unstructured list of action items that you can't possibly complete even on your best day. Instead, prioritize and streamline your list to those tied to your overall mission, vision, goals, and dreams.

Zig Zigler said, "Begin with the end in mind." So your daily to-do's should move you one or more steps closer to your big picture goals and objectives.

This process is also meditative for me.

This may not be your thing, but once I finish my list, I pray over it. I ask for guidance, direction, and blessings over what I'm doing and that I can pour into my clients, filling them with whatever they need.

It's a powerful way for me to set my intentions.

Yield (Produce)

Get to work. By this time, my energy level is at its peak, and I'm raring to "eat that frog."  While my morning routine's start and end times vary, I'm ready to start my day by 9:00 am every day and sometimes earlier if my schedule calls for it.

How Do You Start Your Day?

Those first few minutes of your day are so important and can dictate your level of positivity and productivity for the day. 

If you don't have a morning routine or are engaging in habits that aren't serving you, it may be time to try something new. My routine may not work for you, but you must find one that works. Check out these tips from my Forbes Coaches Council colleagues here and here. 

 

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