The No. 1 Asset in Your Business
If someone were to ask, "What is the #1 asset in your business?", what would you answer? Would you talk about the amazing systems you've invested in or the awesome content you've created over the years? If so, we need to talk because it is time that you recognize that the MOST IMPORTANT asset in your business is YOU!
You bend over backwards working with attorneys to ensure that everything in your business is protected, and you hire out other professionals to make sure that everything is functioning as best as it possibly can. So why wouldn't you apply that same level of care and protection to yourself?
Are mornings the craziest time of the day for you. Are they looking like:
All of this ultimately leaves you feeling frazzled by the time you sit down at your desk.
High performance CEOs and leaders know that they need to manage their day. They need to conserve their brain space and energy for what really matters so that they can get the results they're looking for in their life, health, relationships and business.
How does a true CEO manage the day-to-day of running a business? Because if you are feeling frazzled before you even sit down at your desk, we have some work to do. We must make sure that you are putting the systems and the structure in place to help you perform at a high level, which is very different from being a high achiever. Many women in business are exhausted all the time because they're so focused on what they can check off their list that they forget that it's not about doing all the things all the time. It's about being high performance--where you're getting the results that you actually want.
Being a high performer means looking at how can you manage your energy and mindset so that you can do your highest and best value work. You might have heard that Barack Obama only wore gray or blue suits. He didn't ever want to wake up and have to stand in his closet and figure out what he was going to wear. Wearing only gray or blue suits simplified it for him. Steve Jobs only wore a black turtleneck and jeans. These two men had “uniforms”. Many prolific creatives have to be able to get into that zone and produce quickly, so they have these systems that they put in place in their lives--whether it is a specific way to dress every day, eating the same thing over and over again, or they have the same morning routine. They eliminate a lot of decisions so that when they sit down to do their work, they can perform at the highest level.
There's such a strong correlation between decision fatigue and the ability to sit down and actually do your highest level work. If your brain is constantly exhausted, then you can't do that work. I want to walk you through three key things that have become the key to running my day like a CEO--the things that give me the capacity I need to show up--for myself, for my health, for my family, for my business-- in the way that I want to show up.
This simple shift has the potential to boost productivity and profit by eliminating distractions and early morning decision fatigue.
So a great day starts the night before. I need a lot of wind down time to trigger my brain to realize it is time to put away the tasks of the day. It is time to start shutting it down so I can rest. If you have young children, the nighttime routine can be important for them; otherwise, it can be difficult to get them in bed. But when you're going through the same steps with your children every night, it can help them prepare for sleep. This can look like:
The first thing I do is a form of journaling. I have never been someone who writes pages and pages in my journal; however, I tend to be a list maker. I just have a brain dump of all the things that are still lingering in my head. I just want to get it out of my head and onto paper and that somehow helps me go to sleep without a lot of anxiety.
I take time with my skincare at night. If I'm able to, I'll take a bath. I don't always have the time to do that. But I do take time with my skincare and it's become quite a routine that I love. I take time cleansing my skin and adding various serums and then moisturizing my skin. This really gets me ready for going to bed. My body knows if we're doing all the facial massage and all the things, it's getting close to bedtime. Then I make sure that I get into my bed and I do some breathing exercises from bed. I love the CALM app because it has some simple breathing exercises and, as someone who struggles with anxiety, I need to manage my nervous system. I do five or 10 minutes of breathing exercises before I go to sleep to help my body relax. It might sound like a lot and maybe it's too much for you. But this routine gives me the space to decompress and put those anxious thoughts somewhere so I'm not thinking about them all night long
Carving out a few moments of quiet time can activate creativity and position you as a high-performing, high-value producing CEO.
Okay, next morning routine. There is so much talk right now about morning routines and some people have very elaborate morning routines. It's all a personal preference. You have to know yourself and I think you have to experiment a little bit with what feels great to you. I'm a highly sensitive introvert who likes quiet and loves waking up before anyone else in my house. My favorite time of day has always been when I wake up and everyone else is still asleep. I love being able to go downstairs in my robe and my slippers, preparing the coffee. I pour myself a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, curl up in my big chair, grab a little blanket and I sit drinking my cup of coffee in the quiet. How I love that quiet.
I might plan out my day. I might write down things that I'm grateful for in my gratitude journal. I might start my prayer time. All of those practices are great. I tend to like to read a little bit in the morning. Then I will shift over into my movement time. So I'll go back upstairs, get ready to go on a walk or mini hike. Or I'll do yoga. I'll spend at least 20 minutes moving my body a little bit. I prefer a slow start to the morning. It makes me a nicer person. If you are a highly sensitive introvert like me, a slower, quieter start to the day might be helpful. I do not jump up and answer my emails. I also don't jump up and start doing a million chores or get right onto my computer. This is my time to wake myself up to take care of myself and to nourish my mind and body.
Next, I love getting ready for work, even though it's just down the hall in my dedicated home office. It doesn't mean that I have to put on a three-piece suit and high heels. It could just be that I have specific clothes that I wear to work and I really do. I have a capsule wardrobe I've built over the years. If you see me posting pictures of me at work, I'm usually in my “uniform” of jeans, soft t-shirt, blazer, maybe some earrings. I do take my time to get ready in the morning. I make sure that I've taken care of my skin, styled my hair, and apply a touch of makeup. It's not a ton of steps and should be highly personalized to whatever you need. Because it's kind of the same thing daily, it gives me what I need--my quiet reflective time. This gives me a clear container for what's going to happen to start my day versus just jumping into work.
Create themes and streamline chores so that your day runs a bit smoother.
Now there's some other things that I do that really helped me keep my days running smoothly. Pay attention to anything that causes frustration or is annoying in your day. Things that used to be really annoying in my day are things I've now built systems for. So let's talk about things that used to be really annoying in my day. One was meal planning. We fell into a really bad habit for years of not planning. Every evening a decision had to be made of what to have for dinner and then I would have to run to the grocery store because there wasn't a plan. I had to ask how this could be simplified, especially during the week. How could we simplify this decision making and make life a little easier at dinner time? Enter themed dinner nights. This makes everything so much easier.
Some weeks we have meal delivery where we just pretty much assemble and cook the food items that came in the box.
All of this has helped make our meal planning a lot easier. It has made shopping a lot easier because now that the groceries are delivered, the same item list just gets uploaded to the cart and is delivered at most two hours later. All I have to do on Sundays is upload everything on the same list to the cart. Decision fatigue dramatically reduced!
Something else that I do to simplify my decision making through the day is my capsule wardrobe. So I mentioned earlier getting ready for work in the morning. I actually take the time to pull out my jeans, a t-shirt and a blazer to keep it fairly simple. I have a clear vision of the types of things I like to wear to work and it makes me feel polished and professional, but also comfortable. Those were high priorities for me. So I have all of those things ready and it's just mix and match. It's all in a complementary color palette so I can really just grab anything and I feel pulled together without sacrificing the comfort that I like. No more days of looking at my closet whining because nothing fits or nothing goes together or I don't have enough of something. I made sure I have all of those things. I took a page out of Barack Obama's book to keep it simple by having the same type of uniform or style that you like and not deviating much beyond that a whole lot unless it's a special occasion.
Another thing I do to simplify my decision making is to schedule all my self care in advance. Approximately once a month I will sit down and schedule out an entire month's worth of self-care appointments--things such as:
So I go ahead and try to schedule all of those things out in advance so they are already built in and I have more "good" days.
I also put a lot of things for my home and health on autoship to make life much easier. So there's a lot of supplements that I'm taking right now, thanks to my functional medicine doctor. And if you go through a lot of supplements, you know you always have to order them and keep them in stock. So I just put it on autoship to set it and forget it. This is also true for my deodorant, my skincare, etc--all on autoship. I know what I like so I just have the same things coming to me all the time. I also have this for a lot of the products used around the house such as cleaning products.
I schedule a lot of things and automate a lot of things so that we're not stressed about it.
Finally, I make sure I'm managing my screen time. This could be replaced with whatever your current time suck is. For me, it's my screen time. And I definitely go through periods where I will not be paying attention to how much time I'm spending on my phone or on social media. I'm not checking in on social media daily. I track my time on my phone and when I see that it's getting out of control for me, I will delete the apps. I will put my phone away so that it's not causing me to check out and create mental fuzziness that I don't really need.
I must admit that I was really resistant to the nighttime and morning routines for the longest time. I think that because I'm was an always on the go type of person, I felt like I should be doing something all the time or that I didn't have time to wake up and sip my coffee in peace every day. I finally realized that if I don't make time for the things that I actually want, need, or enjoy, then what is the point of all of this?
Hopefully this will get you thinking a little bit differently. The last two years have been really challenging for me. Fortunately, I realized that the biggest thing that would make the difference for me and my business wasn't the strategy, the planning, or how I was showing up and doing things in the business. The only thing that was making this not work was my energy, my mindset, and how fatigued I was feeling because I wasn't really protecting myself there. At the end of the week or month I would find myself feeling quite tired. As though my boundaries had become fuzzy and I wasn't truly protecting myself, my time, and my energy. So these are the things that helped me recover from that. Turns out it was probably the most important thing I could do for myself.
I'd love to hear from you below.
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