Most of us are running faster than the speed of light. We’re trying to build our careers, be leaders in our industries and stay ahead of the curve in every way, all while maintaining a home life. We’re rushed and pressed to perform beyond our best every minute of every day. It’s a lot. It often is too much.
Through the hustle and bustle, we usually forget one thing: caring for ourselves — mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. By not caring for ourselves, we run a greater risk of actually missing time in our work. With our busyness, we simply cannot afford to lose a day here and there, and thus the importance placed on self-care is utmost.
Many of us wake up early and rush out of the house only to find ourselves working late and then coming home to another full-time job — our family. By the time evening rolls around, we are spent. After a short few hours of sleep, we do it all over again.
Most likely, you are not taking any time for yourself. You probably are surviving on fumes. You will burn out. You cannot and will not be at your sharpest when you need to be — at the moment of critical decision-making. You will not be keeping yourself poised to grow your business, maintain your relationships or manage your family life.
According to Steve Key, a professor at the University of Southern California, human beings are at their peak cognitive performance in the late morning. By winning the early hours of the day, you set yourself up for success during the time when you’re ready to perform the best. And, the best part about this “winning” is that it is focused on you.
Today, I want to give you one idea to refuel and begin focusing on you. It will seem so simple that many of you will immediately blow it off or deem it too simple to be effective. And yet it is both simple and effective. I have seen it be a life-changer over and over again for many friends, colleagues, clients and even for myself.
Regardless of when you wake up in the morning, have a morning routine that includes you. I want you to wake up 10 minutes earlier and take time for you and only you. No work, no email, no texts. Don’t even turn on your phone or glance at your computer. I want you to do one or more of the following:
- Do nothing. Just sit and breathe.
- Walk around your home.
- Go for a walk outside.
- Sit in a chair and just chill out and relax for 10 minutes.
- Write in a journal or idea book.
- Read a novel (no biz books!).
- Have a cup of coffee while sitting in your favorite spot and drink it in silence.
That’s it. How easy is that? Well, it may not be easy at all for some of you. You are used to putting yourself last and possibly have been for years. I am asking you to start your day differently: Put yourself first.
Please try it for at least three days and feel free to let me know how it works for you.
By doing something for yourself each and every day, you’ll be mimicking the more successful people in the world. For instance, Sally Susman, vice president of corporate affairs at Pfizer, starts her day with a cup of coffee and several minutes of creative writing. Ben Franklin really took this to heart by sitting naked in his chamber for a half an hour to an hour either writing or reading. You don’t have to be that drastic, but you do have to do something similar because it is for you!
If you don’t take care of yourself, you will burn out. You will experience stress. And, you will not be at your sharpest to grow your business and make critical decisions.
Tear down that speed-of-light pace for just 10 short minutes every day and position yourself for success from the start. You owe it to your business, your employees, your family. You owe it to yourself because YOUR business matters!