We all want to have a successful day. Not only one day but as many successful days as possible. We want every minute of our lives to count and bring us one step closer to achieve our dreams. When we lead others, they are looking to us to set the tone.
But to achieve success, we need to invest in self-discipline and create a structure that leads us towards it. Unfortunately, we tend to stick to our habits, and they aren’t always what we need to be doing.
The best way around it is organising a check-list of things we must do every day to become more successful.
Start with a great morning ritual
You might have seen many articles recently about the importance of having a morning ritual. And you should believe in them.
Starting your day on the right foot is as important as going through it. Your body and your mind need to be nicely initiated.
It includes a great breakfast for starters. Choose something that you really enjoy (among healthy options, of course) so you can start your day with a smile on your face.
There are many things that you can add, such as meditation, a walk, a bit of reading, a shower, or else. It is up to you which activities make you feel ready for the day, really.
But what you can’t afford to do is jump out of your bed, dress in the first thing you see, storm out of your place, and grab a coffee on your way to work.
It will send a message to your brain that you are going for some kind of war, and you will feel stressed right from the start.
Prepare your schedule
Before getting on with your tasks, it is essential that you prepare a schedule for the day.
List all you have to do and label those tasks that are important or urgent. This way you will know what you should prioritise. Also, pick a goal for that day to feel motivated.
Make sure that you spare time for breaks so that you can feel less tempted by distractions. A change of scenery is also good to boost your creativity and recharge your batteries throughout the day.
The ideal behaviour here is that you get your schedule ready on the day before, so you will be starting your day prepared. But, if you can’t prepare in advance of the day, at least get yourself organised first thing in the morning.
Concentrate on your work
If you want to make your day a successful one, then concentrate on your work or any task you are trying to accomplish.
It is a question of mindset. You got your schedule, you have your goal for the day, then make it happen.
Rest assured that many things will happen that might get on your way.
Other people have their own priorities and might want to “delegate” to you work they should do themselves. Stand your ground and learn to say no. Only take extra work if you have space for it on your schedule. Or if you get well paid for it. The best option sometimes is to get some extra help for yourself from other professionals. Consider getting help for tasks like the ten mentioned here.
If you are fulfilling an order from above, such as from a boss or an important client, try and figure out what won’t get done instead. You are only one person, and the day has only 24 hours, no matter how much you wish these two facts were different.
Yes, there will be days when overtime will be needed. But they should be an exception, not a rule.
Spare time for lunch and dinner
Eating is as important as anything else that you will do throughout your day, so make sure that you spare a decent amount of time for your lunch and dinner.
Eating at your desk is not an option, neither is skipping meals, or having them in front of the TV or laptop.
Your body needs the right nutrients to get things done and to deal with stress, so make sure that you have balanced and healthy meals.
Each person has different needs, depending on their lifestyle and line of work. So ask your doctor for assistance when you are trying to create your menu planner.
Especially if you work sitting down on a chair all day long, your body will need some exercising afterwards.
It can be any activity, from going to the gym, walking, dancing, running, or swimming. Or it can be your favourite class, such as yoga or Zumba.
What matters here is to move your body, and work on your posture, strength, and cardiorespiratory system.
Even if you think you don’t have the time to spare, try to fit some activities in your normal day. You can stop taking the lift and go for the stairs; leave your bus or metro one station before and walk home; or you can make the most of housework, for instance. (Here are a few more tips.)
Your health will thank you in the future.
Laugh about something
“A day without laughter is a day wasted”, said Charles Chaplin. Laughing can be the best medicine for any problem or challenge you might be going through.
And it isn’t because you are being silly or going crazy, but because of the way our brains work. If you are laughing, your body understands that you are OK, that there is no threat, so it stops releasing stress hormones into your bloodstream.
As a consequence, you will be able to think much clearly after laughing.
Plus, you probably know much a good laugh can help you at any negotiation table. It will boost your creativity, motivate your team, and your day will go much faster.
The bottom line
Structuring a successful day is about investing in good habits. You will have to add some great rituals to your morning, get yourself organised before working, and concentrate on your work.
You should also invest in healthy and mindful meals, plus physical activities and great laughs every day.
With all these elements together, you are more likely to achieve your goals, feel less stressful, and go back home with a sense of accomplishment.