Meet Loren-Lee Koliadis, Flexpert
One key thing about flexperts is that they strive for success in multiple areas of their lives – be it career, finance, health, fitness, relationships, and family. However, the luxury of freedom when it comes to defining your hours and managing your time often brings with it the challenge of deciding what to focus on when, and the blend of your personal and professional life means you likely have 50 things you’re trying to accomplish on your to-do list at any given time. As an ambitious entrepreneur, triathlete-doing, family-oriented woman, I have been searching for the secret to consistently getting the most out of my day and week across multiple areas of my life.
Through spectacular trial and error, a lot of reading and extortionate training courses, I have discovered the key to maximising your productivity across the board is building good habits. A good morning routine sets you up for success and approaching your day and week with intention eliminates the guesswork for your brain.
I’ve compiled 5 steps for you to follow that will revolutionise your day and help you get the most out of your week in a world where the number of distractions we are exposed to is constantly growing.
Step 1: Identify all your habits in your morning routine…
Now some of you may be thinking ‘Loren I don’t even have a morning routine!?’. Humans are creatures of habit so you’ll be surprised how many things you’re doing on repeat without you even knowing, so it’s important to review where your time is actually going and break the patterns that aren’t serving you. The difference between a good and bad habit is how it makes you feel once you’ve done it and the net positive or negative effect it has on your energy, mood and focus for the day.
- Wake-up – hit snooze on alarm (negative)
- Reach for phone and check messages (negative)
- Scroll through social media (negative)
- Drink a glass of water (positive)
- Walk the dog (positive)
- Eat breakfast at my desk (negative)
- Open laptop, check emails and start replying immediately (negative)
…you get the idea.
Step 2: Implement intention
Approaching your day and week with intention means you are more likely to succeed as it minimises procrastination and eliminates the guesswork during the day for your brain. Example: I will spend an hour on client x proposal at 11am on Tuesday this week. If you aren’t already sitting down in the morning to set your intention and plan your day, I strongly suggest that is the first thing you add to your morning routine.
Here’s what I recommend to my clients:
- Sit down (away from your desk) with a glass of water or tea and a pen, paper, your master to-do-list and your calendar for the day.
- From your to-do-list and your calendar, write down 3-5 things you want to achieve for the day and write down what you want your intention to be when approaching each task.
- Then take your calendar and schedule in the exact time slots for when you are going to do these tasks in your day.
- Tick them off as you complete them to practice celebrating the small wins and at the end of the day review what you accomplished.
- Notice if you have a habit of setting your expectations too high or too low? Adjust the next day accordingly.
Step 3: Habit stacking
Because we are creatures of habit, it’s much easier to create a new habit by attaching it onto an existing one because you’ve already subconsciously carved out the time for it in your day. Identify a current positive habit and stack your new habit on top.
Example: Whilst I brush my teeth, I will say one thing I’m grateful for. After I brush my teeth, I will immediately go get a glass of water and sit down to plan my day and set my intention for the day. After I make my tea or coffee in the morning, I will immediately do my 5 mins of meditation. The key is to tie your desired behaviour into something you already do each day – this allows you to take advantage of the momentum you already have.
Step 4: Design your work and living environment for success
Create obvious visual cues. Example: If you want to incorporate reading and learning time in your morning, put your book/kindle right next to your bed or on your coffee table. Put your shopping list on your fridge if you want to keep track of household items that need replenishing. If you want to increase your water intake, keep your water bottle on your desk. The most successful behaviours have several visual cues as this increases the odds of thinking about it during the day.
Start thinking about your environment in terms of how you interact with it and link a particular habit with a particular context. My desk is in my bedroom, so it’s important for me to differentiate between personal time and work time in the bedroom. As soon as I close my laptop in the evenings, the bedroom becomes my personal space for relaxation and rest again. I am my most productive and absorb the most information in the mornings, so I only engage with educational content in mornings and during the day. I reserve my evenings for fun and relaxation podcasts/audio books/music and indulge in whatever makes me feel relaxed.
Step 5: Reduce exposure to your bad habits
It may feel uncomfortable in the beginning to consciously eliminate existing habits, but small changes can lead to large changes overtime. Example: If you want to break the pattern of waking up and hitting snooze on your alarm 3 times, then put your phone on the other side of your bedroom so you have to get out of bed to switch it off and set your alarm to be a motivating song instead of the standard awful ringing noise. If you want to avoid mindlessly scrolling on social media or checking emails in bed in the morning then put your phone on airplane mode or turn on downtime on particular apps.
Harnessing the power of habits is a great way to pursue success in your multi-faceted flexpert lifestyle. Committing to doing the above allows you to free up your brain capacity to make better decisions, do your best work when you are in a prime mental state, and stay on track even when things are difficult.
For more information, checkout www.mindjungle.io or reach out to me on LinkedIn.
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