When are my best days in the office? Those are the days I get out of bed and WORK OUT. I hit CrossFit 3 times a week because it’s something that gets my blood going. By the time I walk into the office, I’m ready to go, instead of trying to do it with a cup of coffee. And, oh by the way, coffee is my fall back on days I don’t work out. Now, CrossFit isn’t for everyone. But, I encourage you to find something that gets you moving in the morning.
Leaders of today are really “corporate athletes.” Over the years, I’ve learned productivity and effectiveness increases the better physical condition of the executive. I have to be in pretty good physical shape to run a business. The day of the ‘fat cat’ is done, because frankly, people can’t maintain success with a lethargic approach or without great energy.
I remember talking with a corporate attorney who, back in the day, would wake up; go to the office; open the mail; and, dictate to an assistant his responses to the mail. He’d then go have a big lunch, throw back a few drinks, and go home – because his day was done. And, then he’d do it again the next day – mainly because the flow of work was so predicated on the rhythm of snail mail. What an incredibly passive approach to work, which obviously can’t keep pace in today’s business.
My second strategy is a powerful exercise I’ve read about and successfully incorporated into my mornings: the personal journal. I write about anything and everything – like, “Man, my baseball team really sucks,” to “Isn’t the world wonderful?” The topics run the gamut, but pushes me to be more reflective. To start the day thinking. I believe this exercise starts to work the emotional intelligence muscle a bit. When I’ve mistakes in business, it’s often the result of emotion. Keeping a personal journal keeps life in perspective and a place to pour my emotions out. Journalling has become a safety valve – so my business thinking is more balanced.
The third part of my overall approach is effectively scheduling my time. My docket is essentially full each day and I work as hard as I can motivate myself. Meaningful scheduling keep things moving for me. If you wake up with an empty calendar, you become a victim of other’s agendas and priorities – they take over your life, because you have allowed it.
So these are things that keep me fired up and moving forward: physically, emotionally, and structurally.
How do your best days start? I challenge you map out your best days – and try to replicate those activities that make it so.