Are you on top of your game?
As an employee?
As an entrepreneur?
As a Mom, a Dad?
My plate is always full and I have to fight to stay on top of work, life, health, happiness and optimism.
I want to share my (secret) formula for high performance and living life at its fullest. And this is the kind of secret I want you to share!
These tips are the tip of the iceberg, and might even seem simplistic, but trust me, I know they work…
1) Make your bed.
I draw my inspiration from the military – people like John (Jacko) Willink – a decorated US soldier and thought-leader, and Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven.
Admiral McRaven famously told a class of University of Texas graduates that if you can’t get the little things in life right – like making your bed – you’ll never get the big things right.
He has a point.
Even if everything around you is chaos, at least you have control over this one simple thing.
It only takes two minutes, and gives you a sense of pride as you begin the day. Plus, who doesn’t like to come home to a freshly made bed and crawl under the sheets?!
2) Get a haircut.
I never used to do this regularly, but a new haircut can give you a fresh perspective. I know this sounds hilarious, but many days when I’m starting to feel like garbage, a haircut lifts my spirits. I go to see Chris Hammel at Town Barber.
I’ve been seeing him ever since I moved to Toronto and I always leave happier.
3) Put on regular clothes.
You read that right: if you work from home it’s easy to make every day “casual Friday.” Dress like you’re heading to an office – not like you just tumbled out of bed – even if you’re working in your kitchen.
It’ll change your headspace.
This can be super hard, but we all need sleep. More to the point, your body needs a sleep routine (I always include this simple truth in my keynotes.) Believe me, this will work wonders. I make an effort to get 7 hours of sleep each night.
I use Sleep Cycle to monitor my sleep patterns and help me wake in the morning.
5) Eat well.
Think you’re too busy to make healthy food? Think again. I make shopping for, preparing and taking time to actually enjoy good, healthy meals a part of my daily routine, no exceptions.
If you’re feeding your body junk you’ll feel like junk.
6) Drink lots of water.
Again, seems simplistic, but it’s so necessary. You can forget to rehydrate if you’re wrapped up in your work, but dehydration causes headaches and fatigue, which leads to mood swings and a lack of productivity.
When I started rehab after my accident in 2006 one of the team members told me to keep a bottle of water in hand at all times. Great advice that I still follow to this day.
I’ve been using the 5-Minute Journalreligiously. There are so many times I just want to get my day rolling, but I force myself to pause. Most mornings I focus on gratitude.
Like making my bed, this starts my day off on good footing with a positive attitude. Once you get into the habit, it won’t even take five minutes but it’ll make a lasting impact on the rest of your day.
Meditation has never been more accessible.
There are so many great resources available now. I use the Headspace App. I hear some people like the Calm App. I really love Andy’s voice in Headspace.
If you are suffering from burnout try the Rehab pack. It’s the greatest thing ever!
I can’t begin to express to you how effective that one pack alone is to understanding patience as an entrepreneur, or employee, and giving your body and mind time to heal before you return to work.
9) Practice acceptance.
This is tough. As entrepreneurs we’re hardwired to want things happening NOW. You have the vision, you’re chomping at the bit to make that vision a reality.
Well, these things take time.
One of the most impactful things I ever heard was by Eric Thomas when he said,
“Don’t rush the process, trust the process.” – Eric Thomas
And this hit me hard…
“It takes 24 years to become 24 years old! You can’t get there any sooner!”
WOW! It reminds me daily to slow down when I am rushing myself. I just have to trust that things will happen when they are meant to happen and commit to the journey in the meantime.
10) Ask for help!
“I shudder to think about where my career would be had I raised my hand sooner.” – Marc LeBlanc.
When I first heard it that quote stuck with me – it’s applicable to entrepreneurship, everyday work life and mental health.
So often we want to try to figure it all out on our own. I’ll admit, I’m still learning to follow my own advice on this one. I often catch myself stuck in the mud, exhausting every option until I finally ask for help!
Don’t wait. Your journey will be smoother if you bring people alongside for part of the trip.
Some of these tips probably seems too simple or obvious, but I’ve learned that keeping things simple is the best strategy for success. Living with an invisible disability (a spinal cord injury) I face lots of difficulties in a day and mundane things can be really hard for me.
Luckily the things that help me succeed are also mundane – like making my bed, drinking lots of water – but get me over the hurdles day by day.
They can help you, too.
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