Have you ever felt completely exhausted and overwhelmed? You are not alone.
I used to wonder why I was all over the place just about every moment of every day. I used to brag I was this great multi-tasker until one day I learned multi-tasking meant starting a lot of things and never completing any of them. The more I learned, the more it made sense I felt extremely overwhelmed and exhausted over time. I began to research this a bit more. I found that working without a schedule and routine was detrimental to reaching goals. At that point, my routine was working hard throughout the day, writing down twenty tasks to complete, never asking for help, and going to sleep with my work. The more I analyzed myself, the more I realized my downfalls. I needed to implement some sort of schedule. I naturally began things and got distracted by something else. At the end of the day, I never felt like I got much done. I decided to test out the theory. Where do we begin?
As entrepreneurs, we often have more tasks to complete than we have time in the day. This is ok. Sometimes we over-exhaust ourselves because we want to get it all done. The issue with this is if we happen to lose focus, we can easily move on to something else without finishing the first thing we were just working on. By implementing a schedule, we can then check the schedule to see where we were. This way, if we get interrupted or distracted, we can easily check our task list and schedule to pick back up where we left off.
Another mistake entrepreneurs tend to make is wanting to get everything done in one day. This is feasible for some things. However, it needs to be more about prioritization. We must learn how to prioritize our tasks, the people we interact with, ourselves, and our surroundings. Are our surroundings conducive to our focus? Or, are we in a place where distractions can occur anytime throughout the day. Some of us don’t have control over location. We do, however, have control over how we react when the distractions come. We can choose to allow the distractions to take precedence over our original task, or we can sit back and weigh it. There will be times where the distractions do have to take priority. For instance, you work in a customer service center. You are working diligently on a task. Then a customer comes in and complains about something. You may then have to stop what you are doing currently to assist. In having a schedule, once you complete that task, you can take a quick break and move on to the original task.
How do we build a schedule? Is the schedule always going to go perfectly?
The first question is easily mapped out. The second question has an easy answer – No. In all my coaching, I always tell people to prepare for the unexpected. I tell them to control what they can control (themselves) and don’t sweat the rest. There is no point in allowing things that are out of our control to control us. It only leads to anxiety, frustration, and anger. There is no room for any of these things in your life when you are building a business.
How do we build a schedule? I teach people to build their weekly goals out on Sundays. This allows them to see an overview of the week ahead before the actual week begins. It also allows us all to examine the week and write down achievable goals. Once the weekly goals are built into the report, we can look at implementing a daily schedule. Each day, we need to have a list of the hours of the day. You should have a certain time you wake up each day (this may change on the weekend a little, but in everything we do, consistency matters). The daily schedule should be part of your nightly routine (ake evening routine). The night before, you should, for the most part, know what your next day is going to look like. You may have a couple of extra things arise, but any existing appointments can go here, for instance. You’ll want to have an hourly outline. For instance, if you wake up at 6 AM each morning, your daily schedule may look something like this:
6 AM – Wake up, drink water, be grateful (whatever that look like for you)
7 AM – Go to the gym and exercise (or stay at home – just get moving somehow)
8 AM – Shower/Eat/Have meals prepared and ready to go for the day
8:30 AM – Mindset development – listen to something motivational
8:45 AM – Take a break
9 AM – Study/Team Building
10 AM – Meeting with Team
11 AM – Meeting over
11:30 AM – Small snack
12 PM – Train assistant on writing the meeting notes
1 PM – Study
2 PM – Write-ups
3 PM – Break Time/Late Lunch
4 PM – Midday exercise/Walk
5 PM – Check emails/Social Media
6 PM – Dinner with family
7 PM – Prepare for the following day
8 PM – Shut it down
8-8:30 PM – Shower/Ready for Bed
9:30/10 PM – Go to Bed/Read for 30 minutes if possible to calm the brain
10 PM – Allow the book to guide you into dreamland
One thing I have learned is having time carved out in the mornings where it’s quiet and you have time to become “balanced,” is crucial to the rest of your day. To have a productive day, finding your center first thing before your day begins is a must! I never knew this. However, the more I heard it from some of the top high performers, the more I decided to test the theory.
The second question above was, “Is the schedule going to go perfectly.” Vince Lombardi once said, “perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Here’s a fact: no matter how hard you try, you will never be perfect. That is a good thing. If we could achieve perfection, we would stop having a purpose. If we stop having a purpose, we might as well no longer be on this earth. One of the things I tell people I coach is this: if it feels like a chore, you won’t do it. If it feels like something you want to learn, you will. The only way to work on achieving the routine is to continuously practice. Practice makes better, not perfect. The routine is there to help you achieve your goals, not hinder your progress. Just like anything else in life, if you approach it with a positive attitude, you will achieve more. This is why I say, “get off your attitude and get it done.” Everything we do is based on how we approach it. If you desire to be a high achiever, do what they do. Mimic what works for them. They have routines. If you don’t have one, but you desire to be a high performer, it is time to implement one. Developing a morning routine is not easy for a lot of people. For some, the act of getting up in the morning is difficult enough. Maybe you work better in the evening. Great! Know what works for you, establish a routine no matter what time of day it is, and go from there.
What about the evening routine? Why is this important?
I used to wonder why I would wake up the next morning and it seemed as though I didn’t get much sleep. We now have smartwatches that track our sleep for us. If you have one, what does it say for the amount of sleep you get? There was a time where I would sleep 7 hours, but according to the watch, it was more like 3-4. I couldn’t figure out why. Then I did some research. How many of you are on your phone, a tablet, or a laptop before bed? I used to have mine routinely to work on things before I went to sleep. According to an article found on the Sleep Foundation Website, “[Many] studies have shown these devices can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin1
, a natural hormone released in the evening to help you feel tired and ready for sleep. This leads to neurophysiologic arousals that increase feelings of alertness2
when you should be winding down instead.”3
When I learned more about this, I began to change my bedtime routine up a bit. I started putting my electronic devices up at least 30 minutes before I planned to go to bed. I would then turn on a lamp (that did not involve a blue light) and read a book until I began feeling sleepy. This allowed my brain to settle. I was allowing myself to calm down. This is something we, as parents, should also be sharing with our kids. This type of sleep pattern, or lack thereof, is also affecting kids and young adults.
The fact is, sleep is important to everything else we do. Some entrepreneurs forget to settle down. We forget to rest. We feel like we have to grind every hour of every day or else we won’t achieve greatness. This is the opposite. If we don’t allow ourselves to rest and stay balanced, we will feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and defeated. The best way to get more done is to maximize our time. Being alert and rested is a great way to be more productive each day. It’s not about exhausting ourselves. It’s about what we do when it matters.
These are tips I have used in my own life and that many high performers use in theirs. Keep in mind that “Get Off Your Attitude (GOYA)” means:
- To think positive and take action;
- To talk, believe, act, and think positively;
- To create a positive mindset during a negative situation or environment;
- To help someone create a positive mindset to overcome fear, adversity, oppression, or challenges that person may face in life.
Get your copy of my best-selling book, Get Off Your Attitude
, today. Approach new things with a winning mindset. Practice your routine. Make it happen.
Shechter, A., Kim, E. W., St-Onge, M., & Westwood, A. J. (2018). Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 96, 196–202. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015
Gringras, P., Middleton, B., Skene, D. J., & Revell, V. L. (2015). Bigger, Brighter, Bluer-Better? Current Light-Emitting Devices – Adverse Sleep Properties and Preventative Strategies. Frontiers in Public Health, 3, 233. Retrieved fromhttps://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2015.00233
Pacheco, D. (2020). How electronics affect sleep. Sleep Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-electronics-affect-sleep