Open landscapes, calendars fully booked with meetings, inboxes that floats over and a mobile where you are accessible 24/7. It is not difficult to get stressed under these conditions. Therefore, during the past year, I have been working to create new habits to stress down. But in the role of a consultant with my position to always deliver over expectations, it is not always the easiest.
Step by step I have begun to create new habits, such as that the phone stays in the home-office in the evening, which means that even in the morning it’s no longer the first thing I’m looking at. I have started weekly my MIT (most important tasks) to ensure I get them during the week. And above all, I’ve started to aim for at least one or two of my MITs in the morning before I go to work.
Now I take it one step further and after my vacation next week I have blocked my calendar until 10 am every morning. It gives me about 2.5 hours of undisturbed working time every morning, and minimally affects my customers. The reason for 10 is actually a result of own tests.
I need 7-8 hours of sleep every night and going to bed around 10 works, whereas going to bed at 9 for me is like an unattainable utopia. In order to get flow in the morning, I need at least 2 hours in a row to feel calm to sit down and focus. Regardless of customer and mode of transport, I need about 45 min travel time in the morning and about 30-45 minutes for breakfast and morning management. That mathematics means I need between 3.5 – 4h in the morning to get everything I want MIT, morning management, and transportation.
If I were to head to work at 9 instead of 10 and still get up at 6, the math does not work and if I want to get up at 5, I would have to go to bed at 9, which does not work for me personally either.
So now I have blocked my calendar until 10am monday to friday for a quieter and more efficient working life.
And yes, there will be occasions where I have to break this. But my goal is to keep them to a minimum.
How do you optimize your morning?