How A Top CEO Reclaimed His Energy And Performance With One Simple Tip
I know this might sound like a big statement but that first hour of the day is so crucial to set you up for success and a good day ahead.
Recently, I’ve been coaching the CEO of quite a large company and he said that he often felt scattered and pulled in different directions all day long, and consequently would be totally wiped out at the end of the day. He loved his work and the busy energy throughout his day but his ‘attention fatigue’ was starting to affect his mood and home life too.
One of the first things we established was that he slept with his mobile phone by his bedside and he would check things first things in the morning, like the weather, some social media and his emails while still in bed. I explained that the moment you wake up and check your phone you are no longer in the present moment (waking up) and you are already entering your day in a reactive way, and maybe already in a stress response if one of those emails triggers stress.
So I set him his first mindfulness challenge– to not check his phone for at least an hour upon awakening. I invited him to just wake up and ease into his day with a warm shower, a nutritious breakfast, enjoy all the morning routines and the commute to work, then mindfully commence your workday with purpose and intention. No phones, no emails, no Facebook, no checking!
At first there was some resistance to this and he found it extremely challenging not to check his phone, but eventually, after some weeks he managed to create the habit and he loved it so much he extended it for two hours. He wakes around 6:30 am, does his morning exercise of a brisk walk with the dog (or gym some mornings), then has a nice warm shower/shave, followed by a coffee and yummy breakfast, then on his drive to work he puts on his favourite music and arrives at his workplace mindfully. All of this without checking his phone once (aside from emergency calls).
He explained it was like having a two-hour holiday every single day and his workflow improved dramatically as he took more control of his schedule, worked more proactively- instead of reactively, was far more productive and he still had plenty of energy at the end of his workday. This one little shift has totally transformed his stress levels, his productivity, his performance, his mood and he loves the extra energy he has, both physically and mentally! He thanks me endlessly for this one simple new routine.
Four tips to reclaim your morning.
My invitation for you is to try it out for yourself, instead of waking up reactively, mindlessly checking your phone first thing in the morning, try waking up mindfully. You might need to get a little alarm clock so your phone is not even in your bedroom. Here are four tips to get you started:
- Mindful breaths-before you rush out of bed, simply lay on your back and take about 5 deep mindful breaths, rest your awareness on your breath and your body.
- Mindful showering-notice where your mind goes when you are brushing teeth, showering, chances are your mind is already at work. Bring your mind back to the warm water on your back, the smell of your shampoo, the simple pleasure of showering.
- Mindful breakfast-take your time to prepare and eat a healthy nutritious breakfast, savour the tastes, the aromas, and the time for yourself.
- Set your intentions-now take a moment to set your intention to how you’d like your day to flow. This is not your to-do list, you can do that at work, this is what intention and energy are you going to bring to your day today.
This may be challenging at first, but please give it a try if you want to enter your day more mindfully. Enjoy!