It’s Sunday night and you are winding down your weekend…
Let me ask you this…
Are you looking back on the fun you had these past few days or are you already knee-deep in thoughts about the coming week and everything that is waiting for you when you get back to work tomorrow?
Yes, I could also quite simply ask you if you are dreading Monday, but let’s take a little deeper look, shall we?
Some people indeed truly love what they do so much, that they are making plans, going over lists and mentally preparing themselves for the week ahead, while others are not looking forward to the next morning, or the entire week. Anticipating chaos, pandemonium and any other unplanned, unscheduled interruption that is bound to come their way.
I know we’re talking about Sunday night and Monday morning, but the reality often is that this is happening most nights, if not every single night…
How many times are you hitting the snooze button in the morning? Do you wake up ready to tackle the new day or do you wake up swearing at the buzzer and hunting for coffee? Is your mind spinning within just a few minutes with all the things you were thinking about when you went to bed last night?
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with planning ahead, quite the contrary. It’s a great idea to do a ‘brain dump’ in the evening, letting go of everything so you can get a good night’s rest. This can help you rest and regenerate better, allowing you to wake up more refreshed and ready to tackle the new day.
But there is a flip-side too…
If you just go to bed, going over all of these thoughts in your head, it can invade your sleep, on the subconscious level and cause you to not be as rested and refreshed the next day. Essentially, you may be setting yourself up for a rough start in the morning.
Ultimately this can lead to increased stress levels, less and less quality sleep as everything begins to compound. Soon frustrations increase, nerves get strained, the ‘fuse gets shorter’ and we find ourselves becoming less and less productive and at this point it becomes all too easy to get stuck in a very vicious and destructive cycle that can ultimately lead to burnout.
I should know, I’ve been there! It Wasn’t Pretty!
But when we finally do snap out of it, we can also grow from the experience, take wisdom and knowledge from what we’ve learned. Yes indeed, we can learn from the negative experiences we’ve encountered and use them to make our lives better for the future.
You have the choice!
First off, let’s look at the thought process that lead us down this road. Was it because you wanted to be prepared for the next day, or was it because you were feeling overwhelmed by everything that was going on in your life at the time?
There’s our family, the kids, the commute, grocery shopping, school/homework, extracurricular activities, and the big one – Work (just to name a few)
We spend most of our day preparing for, heading to and from and of course… At Work…
There really isn’t much time left in the day for all the other things we may need to spend some quality time focused on. Believe me when I tell you that being overly focused on success and everything you feel you need to do to achieve your goals can bear a heavy price I don’t even want to talk more about.
Instead, let’s take a look at figuring out what really is going on and then how we can make some positive changes to help us move forward in a more constructive way. These tips may make your life a little easier and hopefully will help you head in a direction you would rather find yourself in.
- In the evening
Take a few minutes to prepare for the day ahead. Get your clothes and everything else you need ready. Make sure its all where you want it to be so you don’t have to stumble around in the morning. If you like a cup of coffee in the morning that’s ok, but if it’s a crutch to help you even get rolling in the morning, that should be a warning sign. If you have a machine that let’s you set a timer, why not prep your pot of coffee in the evening?
Sit down for a few minutes with a piece of paper and jot down all the things that are important. Anything and everything that’s been on your mind and preoccupying your thoughts should also be included. ‘Brain Dumps’ can be a great way to clear your mind and even help you to guide your subconscious to look for solutions to your concerns while you rest and regenerate. Just start writing, let it all flow out of you and don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it all. Simply let go and let your mind guide you as to what needs to be written down. Include any meetings and appointments or items from your To-Do list that need to be addressed tomorrow.
Think about some positive things coming up for the week, not just all the chaos and mayhem you are dreading. Look at things in a different light. When you write things down, your mind and subconscious will automatically begin to prioritize some things for you and even begin searching for solutions to some of the items on your list that have been challenging you.
Get some rest 🙂
- In the morning
If your schedule allows it, get up a little earlier than normal so you don’t have to get up and rush and run to get out the door. If you can, give yourself some extra time to do some exercising, it doesn’t have to be a bone-crushing workout, even some mild stretching or yoga can do wonders in the morning. Enjoy your cup of coffee, take in the sounds of nature outside as the new day begins to wake. Take a moment to take a deep breath and simply enjoy life and the beginning of a new and beautiful day. Take solace that your subconscious has been busy working for you during the night and rest easy knowing that you are ready for the day.
- Getting your workday started
Once you get to your office (or where-ever you work) take 15 minutes to sit down and review the list you created during your ‘brain dump’ last night. Prioritize what needs to be tackled and taken care of today. Don’t check your email every 5 minutes, it will only distract you from what you should be focusing on. Take breaks and do take some time at lunch for yourself. If you keep pushing yourself each and every day, you may only head towards burnout all the sooner and the point of making these changes is to avoid and and to help you enjoy life more.
Of course you may over time realize that you don’t truly enjoy what you are doing and that means you need to take a good and hard look at what you really would like to do with your life. For me that means helping others succeed. At one point in my life however, I allowed myself to be drawn away from my true passion. I worked too many hours, trying to accomplish too many different things and everything started suffering. I learned my lessons (and sometimes those lessons can be very hard to learn) and am happy to say that I am now refocused on my true passion and excited beyond belief about what the future holds.
These are just a few tips to help you have a more productive day, allowing you to have a more enjoyable evening and an exciting week. Take pleasure in the simple things in life. This past Friday for example, I was heading home after a wild and fast-paced week at the office, but I didn’t feel ‘overdone’. Instead as I was driving through the National Forest, I was enjoying the beautiful scenery and while it was rather warm outside, with my window open it felt absolutely wonderful. Add to that some enjoyable tunes (I was really enjoying Enigma during that drive) and the scenery change when I crossed over the lake and I was extremely at peace, very happy and content.
Even if your commute can’t help you like mine does, there are some things you can do too. For example, there are a lot of great videos on sites like YouTube that I sometimes use for mini-vacations. Go look up some of the more exotic resorts like Bora Bora, or whatever your favorite past time is and I am sure you can find some awesome clips perhaps even with music that can serve as a quick get-a-way from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Take a break, smell the roses and enjoy life. Sure, there are going to be challenges along the way and there will be interruptions and emergencies but that should not stop you if you know what you are focused on, what your passion is and what is important to you in life. Take the time for yourself, for your family and breathe…
Here’s to your success,
P.s. I want to know what you do to help you in the daily grind. How do you stay on top of things and how do you deal with the chaos and interruptions? What do you do to let go and relax? Share your comments and thoughts and get ready…
I have some more goodies coming your way very soon (as in don’t blink or you’ll miss it)! Make sure to stop by and say Hi on Facebook. I share even more tips there 🙂