Morning Rituals

It’s been a week and I’ve found a new routine.  It’s not perfect, but you gotta start somewhere.

4:30 am alarm.
Get up and go sit on the couch for a few minutes wondering aloud why am I here. (I may have fallen asleep for 5-10 minutes a few times)
Stand, walk to coffee maker and brew coffee.  This generally takes two tries for both the standing up and the brewing of coffee.
Bathroom, change into workout clothes, turn on computer.
Read / write / plan for 20-40 minutes.
Workout or first task on the list.

I found that the first day was the easiest, although on the second day I was awake at 3:40am due to an email (phone was silenced at night after that).  I made the mistake of waking up early and putting in a long day (not home until 11:30pm and not asleep until 1am) on Thursday.  As well, the bedroom door and latch needed some grease, and socks are a must for early morning walking around to keep the noise down.

Tweaks for this week:

Clothes set out the night before bed with socks.
Get up, brew coffee, bathroom, drink a glass of water- skip the couch.
Meditate for 5 minutes – sitting, eyes closed, focus on a thought and let mind wander, consciously bringing my attention back to the single thought.  If I go over five minutes, that’s ok.
Write for 20 minutes while sipping delicious coffee.
Workout – Monday (long jog), Tuesday (yoga), Wednesday (lift), Thursday (yoga), Friday (whatever)
If I fail at something, go discover some new music and post on Facebook with a reminder note on the failing topic.
Tasks for the week posted in project management software – all I have to do is complete the tasks and check it off the list.
Scripts have been written as well to cut down on time wondering to myself ‘what should I say?’.

I should also note, that if an email comes in from Asia, I respond to it immediately regardless of what I’m doing in the early morning (that is if I’m awake). This past week I’ve been able to respond to fifteen requests within two minutes and had a few comments about speedy replies despite the time difference.

I’m also going to stop worrying about being a ‘bad dog’.  I’ve found that my drive comes from being constantly dissatisfied along a consistent theme.  There are many variations of the theme, but it’s always there.

Ok, enough of this, time to get started.

Rating Of Perceived Effort

I found this off of a Huffington Post article on fitness and decided that it may be a good philosophy to test out for a few weeks.   It’s been a while since I read an article and said “YESH!” out loud.  Rating of perceived effort is used in a workout to avoid over training the body or overworking a particular muscle group.   The emphasis is placed on showing up, doing the minimal amount of effort and if you “feel” like doing more, then do it.  If not, no problem, keep doing the minimum.

I’m all about breaking a big task down into smaller chunks, so here’s my breakdown to try out for the next few weeks.

Part 1 – Showing Up

Personally, I need to have specific instructions set into my calendar about who, what, where and when.  Most of the times, the why portion is self-evident, otherwise I won’t bother to book the meeting.

If I have a meeting for The Learning Studio, then I know who I’m meeting with (generally the title of the calendar entry – Scot and Oprah meeting), what we are discussing is in the description part, location of said meeting (google hangout, skype, Cafe Dineen, etc), and specific times (start and end time, as well as reminders).

Here’s what I’ve been doing for workouts:
Title – Workout
Time – 30 to 60 minutes, with a reminder two hours beforehand
Where – blank location
What – blank description
Why – isn’t it self-evident?

So that’s gotta change; get more specific for non-work related tasks.

Part 2a – Initial Action Item

I’ve got my calendar item – in this case a slow long jog – and now I need my initial action item.  In this case, it’s run for ten minutes then evaluate to see which path I should take.  I’m guilty of spending too much time planning out a task (such as calling someone new) to discover the gritty details about what has to be done and sometimes run out of time to get the task done.

So I’m only going to think about and note the initial action item (which is generally the hardest part of the task iteself) then dive into the initial action item.

Part 2b – Tracking Progress

In business, I’m all about tracking specific metrics to ensure that I’m still on the right path and

Maybe the metric that I’ve been using (weight) is the wrong one.  This will require a little bit more research online and looking inside myself to find something that I would enjoy tracking and is relatively easy to find.

Part 3 – Acknowledging Success

I’ll admit that I don’t do this enough.  It’s not that a big celebration is needed, but confiding in a few people that I’ve overcome an obstacle or reached a milestone is needed.  Everyone needs a pat on the back, a few words of encouragement and to hear those sweet words – “I believe in you”.

Summary

I’ve noticed that some of the most successful people in my life, only focus on the task at hand with minimal planning for the future.  Now this doesn’t mean that they didn’t plan, it just means that I never saw them do it on a daily or weekly basis.  Planning was something that was done at the start of a business, at the end of the fiscal year, and at a gathering or convention with your peers.  A decision to do something was generally motivated by personal reason more than a business reason (emotion over logic) and a decision to change things up was thought about over a period of months instead of hours or days.   And without another word, I’m off to do my slow jog. (Sept 14, 2015 – 5:32am)