How To Start The Day With Intention and Purpose.
It’s Monday morning, your alarm goes off, you crawl out of bed, brush your teeth, shower and head to the kitchen for breakfast before blearily leaving the house and heading into work. It’s almost as if you are in a robotic state. It’s automatic. You do this every morning and it leaves you feeling flat, uninspired and without energy.
Why do we do this to ourselves every day?
Life is to be lived and enjoyed it is not meant to be a drudge or a dreary existence. Each day should be filled with enthusiasm and energy leaving you wanting more.
For many of us, the reason we find each day a drudge and the only time we find ourselves lifted is when we leave our place of work on a Friday afternoon is because we are focusing on the wrong things about what we do each day. It’s rarely about the work you do — although in some cases it can be — it’s more likely you are focused on the wrong parts of your work.
Every job has good and bad parts. I love writing these blog posts. I don’t enjoy promoting them. Social media sharing is an important part of my work but it is not something I find myself getting excited about. Sitting down to write the post does excite me and I find on Monday mornings (when I write these posts) I jump out of bed with excitement and get myself ready to sit down and write. So part of the ‘secret’ to having an abundance of energy and enthusiasm each day is to begin the day with something you enjoy doing.
Of course, that is a lot easier said than done. Often we do not have much control over what we begin our day with but that does not mean there is nothing to look forward to in the day. I learned many years ago that my energy goes wherever I put my focus. For example, last Christmas I planned to replace my computer with a new MacBook Pro. I was spending Christmas alone at home. My wife was in China, my parents and family live in Ireland. It was to be my first Christmas alone.
Now I could have focused on the fact I was spending Christmas alone and been very miserable. Instead, I saw the opportunity to spend three days setting up my new computer completely undisturbed. A new computer gave me the opportunity for a clean slate. I planned out my Christmas around this purchase. I scheduled Christmas Day morning to go to the Apple Store to buy the computer. Then in the afternoon downloading the apps I would need etc. I made the whole purchase an event. Something to look forward to.
Now, I am sure many people would not find the purchase of a new computer an exciting event. My geeky-self loves that sort of thing. But it does not mean there is nothing you can look forward to and get excited about. It’s just about turning something mundane into an exciting event.
Part of the reason why so many people love the 2+8 Prioritisation Method is that it sets you up for a day of intention and purpose. At the end of each day, you get to decide what you want to focus on the next day (your two objectives) and what you will do with the rest of your day (your eight focus tasks) It means instead of beginning the day not knowing what it has in store for you, you begin the day with the things you have identified as being important. Because you identified what these things are, you are much more likely to have a positive frame of mind about them. It is when work and tasks are thrust upon us we start to feel negative about the day. It means we are not in control of our day, someone else is. That loss of control effects us negatively.
Now, of course, you will be interrupted, distracted and occasionally you will be pulled off your intended course for the day by events. A quote attributed to the former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, when asked what a Prime Minister most feared? Macmillan replied “events, dear boy, events”. For us, we can plan out the perfect day, but events will take you off course if you are not focused on what you want to accomplish.
By beginning the day with a focus on what you want to get done, you are much more likely to stay focused even when you are pushed and pulled in many different directions by the events of the day.
It does not take a lot to get yourself focused on intention and energy. Just take the final twenty minutes of your workday and review your calendar of events for tomorrow, your to-do list and star the two things you most want to accomplish for the day and the eight other tasks you want to do. Then close down the day and enjoy your evening.
When the new day starts, take a look at your list, and focus on what you want to accomplish and get started. Sure, you will get distracted and interrupted, but your list of ten things for the day will keep you on track and because it is your list, a list you decided you would work on, you are going to find yourself with a lot more energy and enthusiasm.
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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.
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