What are your most important sources of energy?
In learning to work with your own natural pace, preferences, productive times, and patterns, have you slowed to observe yourself?
It’s a worthy exercise. I took the time to pay attention when my life was falling apart in what seemed all ways. I’d recommend doing it before that happens if possible. Hopefully, you’ll never have it happen at all.
When I did so, I realized many things, including:
- Mornings are when I win. I enjoy getting more done before noon than most people I know. My best, clearest thinking is right when I wake up, my energy is highest and my best days are when I can think, exercise and jump start my day knocking things off a list to begin.
- Don’t make decisions at the end of the workday. My work is “thinking” work every day. If I need to make big decisions, it’s best to do so before noon. If not, waiting will lend to a better result. I’m learning to say “I don’t know” when my team asks later in the day. It works.
- Time and space for several practices enhance my wellbeing and my focus. Having time to think, to be grateful, to exercise, to envision a successful day, to eat healthy food, get away from my screen every 90 minutes – even for a few minutes, to write/blog, to read, and to engage with people.
- Write down 1-2 (no more) things that must happen for the day to be successful. Then do them. Do not pass go, do not open email, get on your phone or a screen, don’t meet with people or take a phone call before they’re done. Watch what happens and the story you have about yourself as a result.
- Don’t assume your feelings are good guides. Feelings follow your thinking. If your thinking is off, your feelings will follow. Without mindfulness practices, I’d let my feelings run the show some days. I can acknowledge my feelings, and also change my mindset because of the practices above. They are not optional for me.