A common question asked by many people is: the chicken or the egg?
The farmer says neither, and gets back to work.
He also says this at 5 a.m. and has already begun his grueling routine that enables him to live a lifestyle he desires, loves, and cherishes.
Can you say the same for your business?
Ultimately, you have an innate desire to create a life for yourself that makes you feel purposeful and fulfilled. A life that empowers you to enjoy the thing you've created and relish in the those that matter.
But like the farmer, have you created a life that has an atmosphere of consistency and avoids burnout?
Here are three practical lifestyle changes, from the farmer's routine, that can create a business lifestyle that motivates you from the moment you wake up:
It’s early. By early it may be 10 a.m.
You’ve just woken up but you’re not entirely sure how much time you slept because it’s still noticeably dark outside. In this case 5 a.m. But it’s time to get ready because it’s going to be a busy day.
Surprise! The positive impact on your day can be sourced in a solid morning routine.
You get out of bed and immediately head down to eat breakfast. As your body is beginning to wake up fully, you have time to think over everything that needs to be done. It may be forgotten by the time you finish breakfast, but you did think about it.
Breakfast is important, yet considered a luxury instead of necessity. It’s a small area that gets overlooked but can have effects that ripple through the entire rest of your day and only 44% of Americans even eat breakfast (http://www.statisticbrain.com/breakfast-eating-statistics/). It feeds your brain, quells your stomach, and provides you with energy that should last until lunch time.
This isn’t to say that you need a huge gourmet style triple omelet, table-high pancake stack with a five-pound side of bacon (though if you can do that, here’s to you). But you need at least something, whether it’s bacon and eggs with a side of toast, or an apple with a cup of coffee. Being fed provides a good foundation for morning concentration removing the distraction of hunger.
After eating you take a long hard look at the blank list on the table. “What exactly do I need to do today?” you ponder. While your food is settling in your stomach, this is the time to plan out your day. You pick up your pen and begin to scribble down some basics.
Having a basic written plan for your day helps create fixed points of focus as you work. Though there isn’t just one guaranteed way to write a list that will magically grant you an organized day. Any list like this is contextual and needs to be adapted for your specific line of work and lifestyle.
For some people, having a full out schedule of things from half hour to half hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is best. For others, having a generalized bullet point list of things that need to get done today is better.
Sometimes the list will be huge, full of an abundance of small tasks and meetings that need to be completed but won’t take a lot of time, sometimes it will be a tiny list of maybe two or three items that have to get done today.
Creating a list like this will also help prepare you for a small tasks day or a large projects day. The goal with these lists is to create a rubric to help you most effectively tackle you daily tasks that are flexible for the day.
HGTV provides a decent layout of several types of checklists you can use as an outline (http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/checklists-from-daily-do-its-to-routine-chores).
Here are a few digital tools for task and list management:
As you complete your list, you feel it’s time to gather what you need and head out the door. Though as you leave it’s possible you have an image lingering in your mind as you reach for the door: your unmade bed. “Should I make my bed? Do I have time?”
Making your bed is a solid morning discipline. It can be such a catalyst for productivity, that there’s even a viral video about it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKZRFDCbGTA). It's a helpful routine that can help you create additional habits if made a cornerstone of your morning. This is because it's the first established habit of the day. It just might be the most gratifying reward when you come home.
With the bed made, the list written, and breakfast consumed, you have created the morning foundation to start your day well.
Let's look at what happens more in that time frame though. What is going on that allows you be efficient or inefficient?
Habits that are formed, will make or break us. We tend to forget about daily habits but the farmer has to look at each one.
The farmer has 1-shot per year to get things right. One time for planting, growing and harvesting. He is carefully in tune with his routine and knows when he is out of sync with his business, land and animals.
Distractions rob us of the time to worry about these things. A farmer may sit on a combine for 12 hours at a time. During this the farmer thinks, considers, plans, dreams, and grinds the harvest to a better future.
How Is your Future?