Meet the Better Day

Waking up early has advantages. First and foremost, rising early awards you the time to prepare for your day rather than straggle to work or school having dragged yourself out of bed. A leisurely pace in the morning is much healthier and less stressful than a race against truancy. You can make yourself breakfast (the most important meal of the day) and squeeze in some exercise. You have time to get extra work done (like posting to your blog) and enjoy peace & quiet enough to do it. If you get out of the house early, you can beat the rush and save even more time getting to and from. Charged with all of these benefits, you are better-equipped to have a better day.

End Your Day Complete

You will sleep better having checked off just one last task on your list before calling it a day. If needed, finish it right before you hit the pillow – whatever it takes to clear your conscience before shutting down. I do not condemn the nights where a whirling mind delays sleep, but those nights are often preventable if you need the extra hours invested in your rest.

Catch Your Breath

It’s good for you. Without intermittent periods of reflection and rest, you will never keep up with the pace of your life. Some people turn to meditation and others to daydreaming; both serve the same purpose: recharge and reorient. Perhaps more important than rest, short quiet periods in your day help you process everything. When you break from mental stimulation and general busyness, you give your brain a moment to pass your experiences and newly formed lessons to memory. Catching your breath helps you sort through the data of your life and think more clearly thereafter.

Stop, take a breath, and zone out. Right now. When you can. And never feel guilty about it.

Mondays Should Die

You had an amazing weekend with family and friends. Parties. Activities. Errands. Rock and roll. Guess what? Back to work! It’s Monday time!

I hate Mondays. I am willing to bet you do not like them either. A great taste in your mouth soured by the burdens of a professional life. Most people have really rough starts on Mondays. Few deals get closed. Very little work gets done. Most people spend the better part of their day trying to switch into productive mode. After a short burst of personal time over the weekend, Monday rear-ends and whiplashes the hell out of you.

I say we kill Mondays. That’s right. Kill Monday. Embrace the three-day weekend. A day to be social, a day to do personal work, and a day to rest. Start the week on Tuesday and only work four days. Think you won’t get the same amount of work done? Just try it. I guarantee that you will fill the time with the same amount of work.

Worried you’ll miss customers or clients on Monday? Most people are preoccupied with their own hellish Mondays to care about your business, so no worries. And besides, if you set the expectations of outsiders by informing them that you do not operate on Mondays, they will catch on, deal with it, and not resent you. You do not want the complaining customers anyway.

But every week needs to start, right? So won’t starting the week one day later just shift the burden of hate to Tuesday? Perhaps. But have you ever heard of the work-life balance? Splitting the week nearly in half with weekend and work week will help balance the amount of time you invest in yourself and invest in your work. By the end of the long weekend, you will feel more inclined to pick up the pen again. After you are rested, caught up, and partied out, you will feel the need to get back to work. In fact, you may even WANT to go back to work.

And why not take Friday off instead? Since most employees are procrastinators by nature, Friday is valuable real estate for last minute productivity. And since other companies you do business with are probably procrastinating as well, there will be less friction if you continue to operate on Friday. While everyone else is working on Monday, you can take the time for yourself to recover from your weekend and rest up before a new week. A healthier team and a healthier life. 

Sound utopian? Maybe. But worth the experiment. When I run a business, I plan to give it a shot.

Consider Doing What You “Shouldn’t”

A typical Baseball diamond as seen from the st...

I start production next week on our next big series, “Wendy.” Things are very chaotic in prep right now and a lot of hair is being pulled, so there may be a noticeable theme to this week’s posts.

Last night, against all better judgement, I decided to join my friend Korey at the Dodgers/Reds baseball game. I really needed to stay late at the office and get some work done, and then really needed to come home to resolve some personal projects and take care of laundry. I really needed my night last night to get things done. But Korey tabled the offer twenty minutes before we needed to leave for the game, and it took me five seconds to run it through my head and accept. And you know what? The game was exactly what I actually needed. I told myself I shouldn’t go, that I should be doing other things with my night. But to hell with it. And for great reason. At the end of the night, it was clear to me that the game was in fact a “should” that far outweighed the other “shoulds” on my list.

We all get comfortable in cycles, doing the same thing over and over again. Same routine, same schedule, same faces, same activities. For workaholics, that cycle is productivity. For me, I can go weeks on end without putting my projects down. In the long run, it’s not healthy. You do not grow as a human being doing the same thing every day. And it’s not sustainable either. You will collapse and burn or completely fail. You cannot work yourself to the bone and live past fifty. You cannot sit on the couch all day every day and get anywhere in life. And if you get away with doing the same thing every day, god help you when your world unexpectedly changes. You may not be able to cope.

To keep things in perspective and kickstart your “lifestyle metabolism,” you need to break the routine every once in a while. Take a break. Relax. Check out. Do the things you “shouldn’t” do or wouldn’t normally do. Deviations from the routine freshen you up and help you step back far enough to appreciate or analyze your day-to-day. Even if your breaks are not as insightful, they can be restful – and that is always important.

Fresh mind. Fresh body. Fresh life.

Thank you again for the tickets, Korey!