03 March 2013

More than Paper | What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

Grapefruit, Apple, Carrot, Yam, Grape Juice Recipe courtesy of Forbidden Rice Blog
I'm so excited to launch a new blog series, which I'm titling More than Paper.  I lot of my fans want to know more about me on a personal level, so this is your chance.  This series will focus on a variety of other aspects of my life, my musings, my beliefs, interests and activities; things that don't neccessarily revolve around paper and graphic design.   I am more than paper.

First up....

"Before the rest of the world is eating breakfast, the most successful people have already scored daily victories that are advancing them towards the lives they want.”

The above sentence is quite intriguing, isn't it?  This is what Laura Vanderkam writes in her short book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.  The title of Vanderkam's book caught my eye recently, as I am in the process of re-balancing life and work in 2013.  Most importantly, I want to slow down...all the while maintaining the same amount of productivity.  I know it's a big order, but I think it can be done.   Vanderkam's book is a short read, a little more than 30 pages.   There is nothing groundbreaking in it, but there are many useful reminders, as I re-structure my daily life and my business to be more productive and more efficient.
Vanderkam provides many reasons why you should take advantage of the morning:

1. Mornings are the time when people have the most control of their schedules.

2. There are fewer interruptions in the morning.

3. As the day goes on, you become more easily distracted.

4. Tasks that require self-discipline are simply easier to do while the day is young.

She suggests that if you take care of the important things first in the day, that if life becomes crazy, only the lesser priority things will suffer.  This is so true and I think I've been doing it opposite lately. She also advises that you use the morning to nurture your self, your family and/or your career.

So how can I apply this concept to my current life?  I'm already putting in 17 hour days in attempting to get everything done for me, my family and my work (and seemingly failing at it sometimes).  Forget having any time to watch television, get a manicure, or socialize.  A new schedule focused on important things first and trickling down to the less important as the day moves along is definitely in order.

So without further ado, here's to my new morning schedule full of nurturing and productivity....and to enjoying the rest of the day too!  Maybe I'll even find time for a much needed mani-pedi in the near future or to read a book longer than 30 pages!

7:00 am - Wake up and drink a large glass of detoxifying lemon/grapefruit water.
7:30 am - Gym
9:00 am - Shower, breakfast and daily devotion.  I've been really into these veggie/fruit juices and preferably smoothies lately.  The smoothies take a bit of getting used to, as opposed to "juicing," which removes a lot of the fiber and good stuff! 
10:00 am - Get to work.  Post daily blog and facebook post.  Turn off social media after this; it will be there tomorrow. Note to self:  Prepare blog posts for the week on Saturday, if possible.
11:00 am - Answer emails and return phonecalls.  Focus on customer service.
12:30 pm - Prepare a healthy salad.  Note to self: Wash and chop favorite salad ingredients at the beginning of the week for quick and easy weekday meal preparation. 
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm -  Meetings, design work, order supplies, running to the printer, and business administration.
6:30 pm - Prepare a healthy dinner.  Do something relaxing or fun atleast three times a week.  Devote one hour atleast three times a week to developing another one of my hobbies or learning something new.  Clean up the house.
11:30 pm - Bedtime

We all know how easy it is to loose track of time, so to help me in building up a good routine, I will even go as far as setting alarms in my phone for all of the above with 15 minute deadline reminders.  Call me crazy, but it just might work!

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