We live in a hyper connected, hyper competitive business world. The fact is it's down to us business owners to do whatever we can to get one up on our competition. And if you want a really super productive and high output day, you've got to get serious about planning it.
Now if you're like me, the chances are that you're feeling it a little bit – and when I say it – I mean: the pressure. It is pressurizing being an entrepreneur in today's world. We are more connected than ever before and things are more competitive than ever before, which is why we have to be smart with the way that we are working from a day to day perspective.
The one way that we can truly make sure that we're planning out our day for success is to do it with intention. Here are my top tips for making sure that your days are as successful as they possibly can be.
Tip Number 1: Plan Your Day The Night Before
At the end of your current working day, spend some time looking over your schedule – looking at your to do list, syncing them up properly together to make sure that you've got enough dead space – we'll talk about that in a minute – in your next working day, but also enough on that schedule for the next day to make sure that you have a very very productive one.
Tip Number 2: Go To Bed At The Same Time
At the end of the day, after you've shut down work, after you've had dinner, watched a little bit of TV with your loved ones, and you've headed up to bed, two things you have to be very, very serious with, first and foremost, you must make sure that you go to bed at the same time every single night, give or take a few minutes.
The reason why is because your body will get used to shutting down at the same time and therefore, it can get used to waking up at the same time. A lot of us feel it when we go to bed late and have to get up at the same time and not have enough sleep under our belt. So that's my second tip: get to bed the same time every single night.
Tip Number 3: Keep A Notebook By Your Bed
Likewise, when you lay down and you look over at your nightstand, I want two things maybe among a few other things, but I want two things for sure to be there, and neither of them are your phone: get the phone out of the bedroom!
Get a notepad and a pen next to your bed. I don't know about you, but some of the best ideas I have are either in bed, or in the shower, a little tougher to take those notes down in the shower, but when you have a notebook and a pen, it's great to be able to just jot them down very quickly get them out of your head and then get back into slumber mode.
Tip Number 4: Get Your Body Moving
My fourth tip is when you get up in the morning, get your body moving as quickly as you possibly can. Now if you're like me, you're not a big fan of physical exercise, but you do it because you know it's good for you. Yes, I will do the minimum nine times out of ten, when it comes to this stuff, but I still do it. I can tell you right now the days where I don't stretch, where I don't hit the cross trainer or I don't do a little hit training session. The fact is, when I don't do that, I am sluggish for most of the morning and I need that extra cup of morning coffee to kick me off my backside.
Tip Number 5: Do The Creative Work First
Get your creative work down and out of the way first before everything else. So, after you've had a little exercise, your breakfast, your cup of coffee – whatever it is – you come and you sit down at your computer, I want you to really seriously consider with intention the work that you're about to do before everything else that's potentially on your schedule that day.
I get all of my writing, my podcast recording, even my video recordings, out of the way before I do any type of admin work like emails or replying to messages from my team. Get that creative work out of you first, when you're fresh. When you're ready to rock and roll and before your mind gets clouded with everything else that comes with running a business.
Tip Number 6: The Dead Space
I have three 30 minute sections that I sporadically put onto my schedule throughout the course of every workday, which I have absolutely no intention of filling up with anything at all. In those 30 minute Dead Space sessions, I can just sit and be one with myself quite relaxed and chilled. Perhaps I can listen to some music, I can get up and have a little dance, I can watch a YouTube video of my favorite cats, or maybe I completely step away from everything and go for a quick walk with the dog. Whatever it is, those dead space sessions allow you to play catch up if you’re running behind without being super stressed out.
Most importantly, they give you the breathing space in and amongst your workday, and I do mean actually really breathe so that when you come back to work and that next task that you take on, you can do so with the right amount of focus and clarity that you need to get a rocket out of the park, every single time.
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.