Five Things I Do to Start My Day with More Focus

I’ve mentioned a few times that right now, my life is in a huge period of transition. Everything is moving, changing and incredibly temporary. Regardless of how unsettling times like this can be, I’m more excited and inspired than ever.

I have a fun project now in the works that I think will be so fun and another slightly larger project that I should have known was coming. In order for each to successfully come to fruition in a somewhat timely manner, it helps to start my day off strong.

My energy levels (probably like yours) decrease as the day goes on. I’m more amped to get things done between 6am-10am and catch a second wind around 4:30pm. Now that I’ve taken a vow to cut off coffee after 2pm, that second wind doesn’t last nearly as long as it used to. So for the most part, the mornings are where the magic happens

It’s all a matter of knowing your highs and lows and taking advantage of the energy that comes with each ebb and flow.

the early start

Starting early is essential to me. I usually wake up around 6:15 or 6:30am during the week. To some, that seems excessive but it works perfectly for me. Of course, you can define starting early however bests suits you — I’ve said before that you don’t have to rise with the sun in order to be productive. Yet in still, there is that quote about the early bird catching the worm…

skip the multi-task

Once I’m up, I try to keep myself focused on one task at a time. I’ve tried to balance my phone, laptop and breakfast all at once and it just doesn’t work for me. Knowing the difference between multitasking and being pleasantly distracted is so important.

Take things one task at a time. If I start brewing a pot of coffee, I won’t pick up my phone and start scrolling through social media until the coffee has started to drip and I can walk away from that task to focus on the next one. Again, it may seem excessive but I swear by it –my brain is instantly less scattered and ten times more focused.

intentional routines

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m big on routine. Especially in the morning. Keeping my routine intentional and productive helps me to center and focus within the first half hour of being awake. And on the days that I change things up a bit, I keep in mind the intention behind what I’m taking away or adding.

If waking up to push start on the coffee pot throws you off or makes you late, make it a part of your routine to turn the auto brew on. Or if showering in the morning helps you to clear your head, start with that instead of checking email which might leave you stressed or overwhelmed.

give ample time

How many times have you been getting ready only to realize you should have left the house five minutes ago. Part of my rationale for consistently waking up early is so that I have time to fit in everything I need to fell ready to go, without being rushed. Cooking breakfast, styling my hair and getting dressed all need to happen without a certain time frame.

Always assume that it will take you 10-15 minutes longer to do any simple task (walking to the subway, stopping at the atm, ect). That will help eliminate surprise and keep you on time and focused on the tasks at hand instead of playing catch up.

make a list

Every. Single. Day. I create dozens of lists each week, all with a different purpose. Mainly because a list is a great visual representation of what lies ahead for the day. It makes it easier to take in and therefore easier to deal with. Focusing on one task at a time is ten times simpler when each task is itemized and in one place.

How do you find and keep your focus during the day?

 

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  1. Great tips, and I definitely agree. I had a great morning routine a few years ago, and for the last 6 months or so, I have been beating myself up for not having it anymore. But it’s important to note that you and your situation is always in flux, and you must find routines that suit your current lifestyle. Finding out which processes work best for you and putting in the productive mindset and hard work is the only way to get a good pay off. Good luck with all of your upcoming projects xx

    • I did a series on routines called Route 101 last year, and I talked about the importance of being flexible with any routine you make. It’s so important. Don’t beat yourself up, just do what you’ve gotta do 🙂

  2. I’m big on lists as well! Sometimes I get a little too crazy with them though, so I limit myself to three main goals 🙂 Waking up early is the most difficult thing for me, but it’s a surefire way to start the day!

    • Love the idea of sticking to three main goals –I’ve done the same on days when I feel super overwhelmed.

  3. I am so glad I’m not the only one who over-estimates how long even regular tasks are going to take? Yes, I can be ready and out the door in x-amount of time, but who knows what may get in the way, I always add in extra time. Just gives peace of mind! Plus, rushing in the morning is no way to start the day!

    • Haha you’re definitely not alone! Overestimating is totally worth the peace of mind.

  4. I love this post. I think in the morning I need to do only 1 thing at a time.

    • Taking the mornings one thing at a time works tremendously for me 🙂

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