If you want to create something worth while with your life, you need to draw a line between the world’s demands and your own ambitions. - Mark McGuinness
“I have more technology than I know what to do with, yet I have less time than ever.” Does this ring a bell? It’s what I hear from most of my clients when I come to help them straighten out all their technology and figure out how they can best utilize it.
Most of us start the day looking at our phones. We check our email or social media and this immediately puts us in a state of reaction.
We start reacting to other people’s needs on us at the beginning of the day, trying to figure out how we can put out that fire, reschedule our day to accommodate someone, or we’re mindlessly flicking through our friends’ lives.
The problem with this is if we are reacting to everything, we usually are not being proactive in planning what WE want our day to look like. Our months, our years, our life.
If you find the projects that are important to you keep getting pushed aside for something more pressing, or you simply haven't had the energy to work on it, you've probably been reacting to the world's demands on you.
The vast majority of people are most creative in the morning. We come up with the best ideas and we’re most focused on the task at hand. Could it be because we haven’t been exposed to thousands of different possibilities yet in the day and our consciousness is a clean slate in the morning?
Most successful people I read about make it a point to describe their morning routines and guess what’s not apart of that routine? They are not starting the day serving others. All of them are taking care of themselves with food, exercise, reading, and/or writing.
Once we open ourselves to the world’s demands on us, it doesn’t stop, does it? It’s the beginning of the assault on our consciousness, with every marketer, boss, client, coworker, and friend screaming for your attention all day long. Open ourselves up to their needs first and watch our dreams and ambitions get pushed aside.
Here are a few things to think about when you are tempted to hop online in the morning:
Most people’s creativity is at it’s peak in the mornings. If you have something you want to work on that you never have the mental energy for later in the day, start with this.
If you have a hard time waking up or getting your mind going in the morning, start with some sort of exercise, from a good set of stretches, or a hard workout. I stretch or ride my bike.
Set your phone out of reach in the mornings. When we resist temptation it drains our focus so that we can’t concentrate properly at what we are trying to work on. Studies show when leave an unfinished problem and move onto something else, our minds torn between solving the new problem and the old at the same time, resulting in poor performance all around.
If you’re not proactively planning your day, month, years, you’re going to be shoved around by the worlds demands on you.
Take care of yourself first and you’ll be able to serve your clients, boss, or students better than ever, and you won’t be surrendering your own ambitions to do it.
Question: What have you been giving up in the mornings to react to someone else’s demands on your life, and what are you going to do about it?