10 Ways to Start Your Day Like a Leader
Peak performance is built on rest. Exhaustion breeds discouragement and fear.
I hope you woke up this morning refreshed.
10 ways to start your day like a leader.
- Take two minutes this morning to breathe, pray, or be thankful before you get in the shower. (If you’re already clean, take two minutes right now. Set a timer and go for it.)
- Don’t check email or social media until you’re dressed.
- Write down one thing you will get done today. You have to respond to the needs of others but get your ONE THING done.
- Decide how you will show up. Don’t let circumstances control your attitude. You never wander your way into bringing your best self to work. Show up optimistic, courageous, or caring.
- Write down the next step for every challenge or problem on your list. You don’t have to commit to do it, but your brain will relax if you record the next step for pressing issues.
- Plan one fun activity this weekend. Anticipation is part of enjoyment. How will you relax this weekend?
- Smile at the people around you.
- Touch your spouse. Tell her/him that they’re gorgeous and you love them.
- Take a different route to work.
- Believe in the people around you. Know their strengths. Don’t expect them to perform out of weakness.
How might leaders begin the day well?
As the quote goes “…we need to be reminded, more often than we need to be instructed.”
Thanks for this great reminder Dan.
That’s the truth, Robert. I was tired when I woke up and thought, I need to pay more attention to that. 🙂
This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m interviewing for a big promotion at work today and this helped put me in the right frame of mind to nail it!
Congratulations and best wishes for success!
Dan, I am taking a part of my two minutes of thankfulness to say…THANK YOU!! Many times your blog has made me stop. Listen. Re-evaluate. Then move forward in a positive and productive way (personally and professionally). Thank you, again.
What a great moment for both of us. Thank you!
I’m going to double down on Shawn’s comments.Thank you for making me, too, stop, listen, and reflect. I’m an educator, elementary teacher-trained, and your posts always give me pause, make me reflect, and wonder how I can apply your thought-provoking, wise, & relevant posts to the work I do with schools. Imua…Lead on! Mahalo nui loa.
What a wonderful list. My routine goes like this (and I think I cover most of your list – except taking a different route to work): Wake up, have a delicious and nutritious breakfast that keeps me going all morning (oatmeal and fruit) with water and coffee while watching either the news or a TV show I enjoy. Then, while the water for my shower warms up, I dance. I have a playlist of songs that pump me up for the day. So, dancing is my gratitude – that I am alive and that I have the ability to dance. I set my next steps for my work at the end of every afternoon so that I can arrive optimistic that I have a plan. I hug my spouse before leaving, and have fun playing with my dog. It’s important for me to have a lengthy and fun routine in the mornings to remind myself that I am more than my job (although I do love it).
Brilliant Joelle. Love your morning rituals. Dancing is a whole new level!! … 🙂 But I love the idea. Have a great day.
My gratitude this morning is for you Dan. I’m grateful for your insight and challenge, and for your generosity in sharing it with the world. Thank you!
Thank you Jeffrey. Encouragement from you is a beautiful thing for me. Have a great day.
Your timing for this post was amazing. Exactly what I need to hear this morning. Thanks Dan!
Thanks Lane and have a great day. Don’t forget to get some rest tonight! 🙂
Good List Dan, I only check email after showering and dressing. I have always kissed my wife and children and said to the Children I am proud of you each and every day. I pray on my long drive to work (from LA County to Palm Springs) and I plan my day in my head as I drive into the rising sun. I also sing along to the Kenny Chesney Channel XM Provided music and find that helps me in my daily mood, ready to take on the world. Once at work I eat my breakfast as I catch up on the emails and answer what I can. I then finalize my desired plan for the day and jump in.
Hi Roger. It’s very helpful to read your ritual. It seems the point of morning rituals is stability and focus. You know what you’re going to do so you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to do. Thank you
Thanks Dan, it’s important to note that I have not always been this way. I’ve evolved into this ritual and as others have noted these means provide some stability for the day ahead. It’s so cool to see others explain their similar rituals and know I am not alone in my little bit of sanity. Keep up the good direction work you are doing.
The gradual development of patterns and rituals makes them feel real. I think we change slowly over time.
It takes self-awareness to know what’s working. Cheers
Dan, another invaluable post! This is so timely, with my job hours/pay being reduced and now alternating between two offices. When driving to the office that’s farther from my home, I often listen to inspirational/educational CDs about my faith or listen to and sing with favorite hymns. Don’t have a dog, but play for a few minutes with my cat (who loves to fetch) while getting ready for work. Prayer (or meditation) and gratitude are paramount for starting—and ending each day. I agree with Jeffrey – we are all so grateful for YOU!
Thanks Williams…. It’s helpful to read your morning ritual.
BTW…I’m with you. I listen to books on trips. It’s not a morning ritual, but it seems like a good use of time.
Excellent, excellent, excellent! Thank you for this piece.
Thanks you Lisa!
Setting intension the day before winding down to sleep, then in the morning to work listen to a motivated uplifting podcast. What they hear makes them think positively before showing up. People pick up on energy.
Thanks Gerry. You are so right. People can feel our energy before they hear our words. This is true at home as well. I can feel the mood of the house before I see my wife.
Dan – As always you jolt my thinking and always find something new. I am a retired 71 years old after many years of working on leadership positions.
I was wondering whether Point 3 “Write down one thing you will get done today.” should have been finished before going to sleep. It at-times gives one a better sleep and the unconscious mind some times provides insight while sleeping. This can not be the last issue before going to sleep. Gratitude should be the last thinking issue the previous night and of-course appreciating and kiss to your spouse.
Your advice about deciding your “Attitude for the DAY” hit me hard. I never cared about it. I and my wife just decided on it for the day. Thanks and God bless you.
Thanks Vinod. Your thought speaks to something I like to do. I know I’m going to write something in the morning. If possible, I like to go to bed thinking about the topic I plan to write about.
I think I practice your suggestion.
My to-do list usually the same. Write a blog post.
I know the first thing I’m going to get done in the morning. It’s helpful if the last thing on my mind at the end of the day is the first thing I do the next morning.
Thanks for an opportunity to reflect. Cheers
Another great post, Dan! One thing that helps me is waking up before then sun comes up. Usually before 530am each day. It puts me in the mindset of I am happening to the day instead of the day happening to me.
Thank you for this one, Dan!
Thanks Josh. Yes, an early start helps us not feel pushed around by the day. For some of us, those morning hours are the best hours of the day.