You’ve crossed everything off your kids’ back-to-school lists (and suffered through the resulting sales and traffic), and have settled into a calmer routine. Summer is winding down, pumpkin spice in the air. It’s natural to feel a bit restive and lazy after the rush of summer adventure, but now it’s time to get back in gear. Your business is ready. Are you?
Revamp Your Routine
Maybe you have to get up a bit earlier and work a little later now to keep up with the kids’ schedule. Great! Now’s the perfect time to give your morning routine a makeover.
We all know that a great morning can set the tone for a great day, but sometimes we struggle to make that happen. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Some things to try incorporating include:
Prep the Night Before
Make sure your outfit is on point by laying your clothes out before bed, or get a jump on your morning coffee by setting it to brew automatically. Don’t try to tackle anything too complicated before you’re fully awake. Setting things up the night before allows you to make the most of your sleepy phase and reduce the risk of mismatched clothing or accessories.
Have a List of Priorities
Don’t waste your time feeding into indecision or procrastination. Make a list detailing what you need to accomplish for the day, and tackle it as soon as you can. Whether you need a few smaller tasks to warm up or prefer to hit the hardest one first is up to you. The important thing is to finish the list!
Get the Blood Flowing
Whether you hop on an exercise bike, treadmill, or prefer to take a walk through your garden or around the block, a bit of physical activity will jumpstart your day. Exercise has proven benefits for mental health as well as general wellbeing and longevity. If you don’t have equipment or the weather outside is less than inviting, a bit of yoga or pilates offers the same benefits.
Add a Good Habit
New Years isn’t the only time to make a resolution–in fact, it’s probably easier to start now, before the winter holidays start to consume us. Whether you’d like to give up junk food, learn a new skill, or try a new exercise, the best time to start is right away! Some ways to incorporate good habits into everyday life include:
Do it Every Day
Consistency is more important than doing a whole bunch at once. The brain needs time to lay down new pathways and incorporate new patterns of behavior, so don’t expect too much too soon. If you miss a few days in a row, don’t despair or give up. Just get right back at it and keep going!
Keep Yourself Accountable
Don’t allow inertia to hold you back–have someone ask about your progress or join a group of other people with the same goals. Don’t want everyone to know you skipped your sit-ups this morning? Good! The accountability is working.
Gradually Increase the Difficulty
Nobody likes to play the same level on a game without advancing. But you also can’t jump straight to the final boss battle, either. Each level along the way prepares you for the next, and you should not expect to jump too far ahead in just one leap. Break your goals into smaller portions, and you will find it easier to advance along your path. Don’t try to accomplish it all at once, or you’ll burn out too soon and quit.
Don’t let all the Instagram posts about pumpkin spice lattes drag you away from the work you need to do in order to grow your business. Shut down digital distractions by allotting them only to your break times, or using it as a reward for finishing your final task of the day. The average American spends over 3 hours per day on social media.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that checking Facebook isn’t that important. No, it doesn’t count as research. And even if it does, it can quickly spiral out of control. We humans are really good at distracting ourselves from any task that we’ve been dreading. Try setting your phone or email account (or both) to do not disturb or mute during certain hours of the day, or don’t look at the phone at all. If it’s that important, they can call you.
Collaborate and Outsource
There’s no reason to take it all on by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for fresh perspectives or delegate tasks to co-workers or underlings. Make sure you’re not simply giving away unpleasant tasks, however–no one likes the person who coasts to the finish line on the hard work of others, and it’s no different when you’re the boss. Make sure to give credit where it is due. But if, for instance, your trainee, protégé, or new hire is ready to take on harder tasks, don’t stand in their way. You might need their help to reach your goals!
The back to school shakeup doesn’t have to set you back. Use the opportunity to try new things and arrange your day for success!