Eventprofs, are you jumping straight out of bed and heading to work each morning? You could be missing out on key productivity time in the first 30 minutes of your day. Here’s why and how best to use them!
If you have ever felt like you are on autopilot with the day running away from you, it could be because you haven’t taken the time to be deliberately mindful about what you need to achieve. We all know that setting goals can offer measurable success, particularly for entrepreneurs and professionals, but are they as effective if we don’t outline how to achieve them or evaluate ourselves?
Spending our days trying to fit more and more in, will overshadow our goals and is the fastest road to burnout, which in turn, could take you longer to achieve what you want.
Most eventprofs and entrepreneurs start their day before 9am and productivity is boosted if you start early and be proactive. But before any of this, there is a prime 30-minute slot which can set your day up for success if utilized correctly, and it requires minimal effort (win, win.)
Event planners know that a successful event takes preparation, so why don’t we add this mindset to our personal lives more often? Essentially, prepping yourself for your day can put you in the right physical and mental frame of mind to approach your goals and work which keeps you focused and ready for the day, avoiding the autopilot effect that feels like you are following a never-ending pattern.
So, here’s what you should do with the first 30 minutes of your day to boost your productivity and prepare yourself for the day:
Negativity can impact your career, as well as be a huge hindrance on your day, demotivating you and making you avoid things. It can also be a contributing factor in work anxiety and stress, which can lead to mental health issues and depression. So, before you do anything else in the morning and let the negativity creep in, start your day by being grateful. Think about three things that make you feel grateful and this will help change your frame of mind for the rest of the day; choosing to view things more positively and to keep the negative thoughts at bay. Practicing gratitude and appreciation regularly turns into a habit and ripples throughout both your career and personal life, so you will find that it gets easier to think of things as time goes on, the more you practice.
Examine Your Goals
Setting goals helps to keep you on track, however, in order to achieve them, you have to really think about them and ask yourself in each situation how you are helping yourself to achieve what you want. Write your goals out and first thing each morning, look at them and read them aloud, then visualize what you are planning on doing today. Focus on each activity and tell yourself how this is going to help you achieve your goals, if it isn’t then it should move down the priority list. By the time the 30 minutes are up, you will have a clear mental map on what you need to achieve today, how you are going to do it and this helps you avoid procrastination and useless tasks.
For many, staying healthy is a focus in their life that is often ignored so somewhere on your to-do list you probably have ‘work out’. How often do you get to the end of the day and wish you had done it? Some days you should aim to get your exercise in the first 30 minutes as this can not only energise you but allow you to feel refreshed and start the day off with an achievement. This also means that you can focus the rest of the day, guilt free, knowing that you have already considered your fitness and health today. Plus, this is something that allows you to focus on yourself and you can even be mindful and go over your goals at the same time (particularly if you are hitting the gym!). From power walking and yoga to high impact or running, whatever it is, make it a priority and scrub it off your list.
Meditation takes practice but is essentially the art of being mindful and taking time for yourself. Over time you will find yourself rejuvenated each morning and can help you to maintain focus and clear your mind. Learning to meditate can also help you at work because the breathing and mind clearing practices help with problem solving and dealing with stress – two key components to an event professional’s role. The optimum meditation takes around 20 minutes and you can then spend five minutes either side of that preparing and gently easing out of that state, so that you aren’t rushing and killing your calm vibes.
Know Your Intentions
At the end of your 30 minutes each morning you should look at your intentions. What do you want to focus on? Is it work-related, family relationships, making connections or even enrolling in a new education option? Intentions aren’t the same as a list of tasks, it’s a way to push yourself and make something happen, so whatever it is, walk into your morning knowing exactly where you are headed. Also make sure to try and vocalize it to someone or send a message so that you have accountability with someone who can ask you about your progress. We are always more inclined to push ourselves to achieve when others are watching!
Ask Yourself Why
What makes you excited to start your day? What gets you out of bed and what are you most looking forward to? Many event professionals love their job and it gives them purpose, even on the stressful days with looming deadlines, so you need to remind yourself what you love and why you are doing what you do. Looking to the future of your day can help motivate you to get started and bring back some of the joy, particularly if you have been running on autopilot recently. It’s just another way to be mindful.
Create A Playlist
Music can give you positive energy and for those who struggle with focus, it can be a way to switch off your brain (without actually switching it off). Particularly if you live in a noisy or disruptive household, a music playlist can give you an escape during those 30 minutes and help to centre yourself. If you prefer you could also listen to an audiobook or play positive mantras through headphones instead.
What To Avoid
There are some real time-sucking tasks that you just need to avoid if you are going to make the most of your 30 minutes and these include:
Checking Messages – Whether it’s email, a text or voicemails, don’t touch them for the first 30 minutes because you are either wasting your time or you are immediately going to be thinking of something else. Once you are in official ‘work mode’, you aren’t going to be able to switch back off and other people’s priorities are going to creep in, which is why the first half hour is so important – it hasn’t yet been tainted by your day!
Social Media – The biggest procrastination of all! Facebook, Twitter and your other news feeds are going to be there in 30 minutes’ time. The best thing to do is turn your phone face-down so that you can’t see it!
Interacting With Others – This can be difficult, particularly if you have children, but aim to make it known that first thing in the morning, you aren’t available for chit chat. This is primarily because you revert into a different role where your own priorities take a back seat and this can hinder you when you need to get into a working mindset. Try to keep interaction to a minimum, or if necessary, set your alarm a fraction earlier to get that peace in.
Tips To Help
Move Your Alarm Clock – You may be thinking: “I don’t have an extra 30 minutes to spend each morning” but getting up a little earlier or getting out of bed quicker can save you more time than you realize. One of the ways to help with this is to move your alarm further away from the bed as this makes you physically get up, and harder to go back to sleep and hit that snooze button. Alternatively, you could also change your alarm tone to something that is more effective.
Create A Space – You may find it easier to be mindful if you find an area of your home that you love and create a calming space and atmosphere. Going to this space each morning helps to put you in that frame of mind and becomes part of your daily routine in no time.
Prep The Night Before – There is no point taking 30 minutes each morning if you are going to spend it worrying about what you need to do. Instead, lay out your clothes the night before, pack your lunch in the fridge and get your organizing done and out of the way – this will create a calmer morning and allow you to really focus on your 30 minutes.
Ultimately, there is magic in the first 30 minutes of your day and it is important for you to utilize them. Whatever you do, make sure it’s positive and allows you to be mindful and consider what you need to do in order to be successful. Taking a mere 30 minutes can make or break your day as well as boost productivity and keep you motivated.