Wow. This morning I got so much done. It is 11.24am right now and 90% of my to-do list for the day is completed. Such a great feeling. (If anyone wants to come over and celebrate success, I am dancing in my home office and listening to WHO RUN THE WORLD by Beyoncé…)
Have you ever felt that if you start your day right everything just aligns towards success and happiness? Here are my tips for a great start to the day.
Get enough sleep. A great start to the day begins with a good night sleep. Experts suggest 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. That means: If you want to wake up at 6am, you better be in bed by 10pm (and maybe read a book instead of scrolling through Instagram).
Go for a walk in the park. If you have the luxury of greenery around you, take advantage of it and go for a quick morning walk as soon as you wake up. I do this even before I brush my teeth. I get out of the bed, wear my gym clothes, take my phone and listen to an inspirational/business audio book while I take a few rounds in my building complex (We don’t have a park nearby but plenty of trees and a community garden in our society). I love to breathe in the fresh air and see the sun rise. The best way to wake up body, mind and soul.
Eat a healthy breakfast. Why do you think the most successful and influential people in the world eat a healthy breakfast? Because it fuels you for the rest of the day. I love quick oats with a punch of fruits or brown bread and scrambled eggs the way my Mom used to make it when I was a kid. On weekends, we usually indulge in long breakfasts and lazy brunches. Check out what Richard Branson and Co. eat for breakfast here.
Exercise. Before getting into phone calls, business mails and a stressful day at work, I hit the gym. Sometimes, my husband and I play an hour of squash together. Sometimes, I simply run a few miles. And when we have friends or family visiting us, we go for a morning swim.
Zone Startups India launches its women focused accelerator program “empoWer” on Friday, 29 April 2016 at 4.30pm.
Entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and media are invited for the grand launch which includes a plenary session and panel discussion. In addition, a walk through of the program benefits and takeaways is planned.
“empoWer” is India’s 1st accelerator program for women entrepreneurs building technology enabled ventures.
The event is supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Google, GIZ, Vodafone, Nishith Desai Associates and State Bank of India. Speakers and Panelists include:
Deena Mehta (Managing Director, Asit C. Mehta Investment Interrmediates Ltd & Independent Director – NPCI), Anuja Shukla (Google Cloud Platform – Venture Capital, Accelerator and Incubator), Naiyya Saggi (Co-Founder Babychakra), Sarin Thamby (Vice President – Strategy, Technology and Architecture Vodafone), Dr. Anita Gupta (Director, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India) and Amit Kumar (Program Manager, Innovation Promotion in MSME, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH).
Did that ever happen to you? You have a long list of to-do’s, a couple of deadlines coming up in a few hours and you have no clue how to get it all done in time? You feel so overwhelmed by everything that you can’t even concentrate on getting your work done…
Well, that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I spent a wonderful Sunday with my husband and zero work (I didn’t even check my emails). I had a few things planned for the day that I needed to get done before the week starts but my husband surprised me with lazy Sunday brunch (remember it was Valentine’s Day) and I just loved spending the whole day with him and not turning on my laptop to get to the work items that were pending…
Fast forward to Monday morning: I didn’t wake up on time (I was suppose to sit at my desk by 6.30am to work on the things I ignored the previous day) and as soon as I woke up, I had a call with one of my suppliers who couldn’t deliver an item on time. Are you kidding me, Monday morning? Before I even turned on my laptop, my mood was already ruined and again I saw my to-do-list with way to many tasks to complete in a single day.
Being overwhelmed by too much work and too little time, I started multi-tasking (the worst thing ever!)… With 20 windows open in my internet browser, a couple of excel sheets and a Skype call, my laptop too was overwhelmed and crashed. Oh no! I didn’t know whether I should shout or cry…
And that is when I realized that I had to calm down and re-focus on what really had to get done today before I could attempt any of my work.
Sounds familiar? Well, here are 3 things that I did yesterday that helped me to overcome my stress and helped me to focus on my work again:
I de-cluttered and organized my work space –including my laptop desktop. Chaos on my desk symbolizes the chaos in my mind and when I clear the physical clutter my mind can focus better. (But make sure you don’t waste too much time doing a physical clean-up: I suggest max. 10 minutes)
I went to the gym. I suggest you do 30 minutes of cardio exercise. I love to sweat out my stress. As a warm-up, I suggest you listen to your favorite songs and dance.
I cleared my email inbox: one email at a time. Often we have so many unread emails in our inbox and many of them can be answered/worked upon within less than a minute. Ignore the emails that overwhelm you or need more time to act upon and instead focus on the quick ones like paying your phone bill, confirming a meeting, etc. Imagine you can reduce the clutter in your email inbox by 20 emails in 20 minutes.
And suddenly, I felt back in control. I then took my to-do-list and marked the items that could not wait for tomorrow and wrote them on to a new piece of paper. Prioritizing is very important –especially when you run your own business and you have to play multiple roles. Know exactly what MUST BE DONE and what are add-on items on your list that can wait or be done by someone else.
Writing the ABSOLUTE MUST DO’s on an extra list (and keeping the other list away) helped me to realize what I need to focus on.
Please let me know in the comments below if these tips help you as well and also if you have some more advice for everyone who feels overwhelmed by too much work.