You get ready for work in the morning, full of hope. You have the whole day ahead of you. It’s a blank slate, ready for you to work your magic, take big action, and drive your business forward. You can cross those important items off your to-do list, make those follow-up calls that are long overdue, and finally get started on that sales proposal that’s due next week.
Something happens between the morning and the end of the day, though. Actually, a lot of things happen. Your neediest client has yet another issue that they need resolved, and they need it ASAP. Your inbox is blowing up and you can’t just let those emails sit there. There are office conversations that just seem to suck you in. Plus, there’s that funny video going around on Facebook. What’s the big deal if you take five minutes to watch it?
The next thing you know, the day is over. The hope and promise of the morning is long gone. Your to-do list has gotten longer, not shorter. Some of the follow-up calls were made, but not nearly enough. That sales proposal still sits on your desk, untouched.
The good news is, you’re not alone. I’ve spent decades coaching individual salespeople and entire sales teams. The inability to focus is one of the greatest and most pervasive challenges I see. We’re under a daily assault of information coming in at all angles. Between your phone, email, social media, coworkers, and the natural wanderings of the mind, it’s a real struggle to stay focused for any significant amount of time.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You can take control of your focus and energy. In my Be The Energy workshops, I help salespeople unlock their internal points of power and maximize their potential.
To do that, though, you have to start the morning off right. Your morning sets the tone for your entire day. If you can master your morning routine, there’s a great chance that you’ll carry that energy all the way through the end of the day.
Here’s a quick three-step routine to start your morning off right and maximize your energy and focus. Give it a try for a week. I’m confident that you’ll see results.
Do you ever feel like your mind hops from thought to thought, without any clear direction? That’s a common feeling. In fact, it’s so common that Buddhists have a term for it – “monkey mind.” It means that your brain is a lot like a monkey, swinging from tree limb to tree limb, without any discernible path.
With so much information vying for your attention, it’s important that you have the ability to control your line of thought and block out any unwanted distractions. Once you master that skill, you’ll be able to focus on the most important matters at hand.
One of the most effective ways to master your thinking is through daily meditation. When you meditate, you find a quiet, peaceful spot and spend some time clearing your brain of intentional thought. Instead, focus on deep and repetitive breathing.
Never meditated before? Here’s a quick and easy step-by-step process to get you started:
Begin by imagining a gold or silver ribbon attached to the base of your spin. Send it down and attach it to the center of the earth. Take 3 deep breathes. Inhale optimism and exhale obstacles. As you inhale, run the energy through your seven chakras and have the energy shoot up from your crown chakra, at the crown of your head, and flow down and around you. This is called grounding. It anchors you in the energy field that is yours and yours alone.
Focus on the spot behind your eyes, close your eyes, and breathe in to the count of 3 and out to the count of 6. When you sense that your mind is wandering, simply reset its focus back on your breathing. At first, this may feel difficult. Over time, though, you’ll learn to master your mind’s wanderings and control your focus.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this. Even 10 minutes every morning is enough to be effective. The important thing is that you do it regularly. If you can stick with it on a daily basis, you’ll likely find yourself more energized, focused, and mentally uncluttered.
Block your time.
You probably keep a calendar for important items like meetings, conference calls, and other appointments. But how much energy do you spend blocking out your solo work time?
I find that a lot salespeople and executives may informally schedule work by telling themselves things like, “I’m going to spend the morning cold calling,” or “I’m going to dedicate the day to getting this proposal done.”
That’s not really scheduling, though. That’s more of a vague idea of how you’re going to work. And the problem with that approach is that it’s easy to let yourself off the hook. You can take 15 minutes to join in that coworker conversation down the hall because, hey, you have the rest of the morning to get the work done.
Instead, set time on your calendar for solo work as if it is just as important as any other appointment or time commitment. You wouldn’t skip out on a lunch meeting with a prospect. So, why is it okay if you abandon your commitment to yourself?
By putting these solo work commitments on your calendar, they’ll feel more concrete, which will make it more difficult for you to skip your self-imposed deadlines. One tactic I like is to schedule work in 45 – 50 minute increments. And then follow those power work sessions up with 10-15 minute mini-breaks where you can clear your mind and move around.
Alternating work sessions with small breaks will help you avoid burnout and will keep you focused. Every morning, take a few minutes to block out your work time. That one action will give you a formal guideline for getting stuff done through the entire day.
Visualize the outcome.
I’ve written before about visualization and how powerful it is. Successful athletes regularly use it to workout their mind and get in a positive frame of thought. You too can use visualization to improve your business and your life.
At the beginning of the day, think of the one to three things you could accomplish to make the day a success. Then think about how you will complete those actions. What steps do you need to take? When you should you complete those steps? What will it feel like when those major tasks are complete?
Once you’ve spent some time imagining a successful day, your mind is already prepared for it. It should be easier to make those sales calls because you’re mind has already practiced it. You’re mentally experienced with doing the work. Now all you have to do is physically take action.
If you’ve already taken the time to block out your work schedule, then you already know what items you need to visualize. Don’t visualize while you’re meditating. That would defeat the whole purpose of clearing your mind. Instead, do it when you have some alone time, like when you’re driving into the office.
I’ve found that these three steps – meditating, blocking, and visualizing – can have a powerful impact on one’s productivity. If you need help implementing these steps or if you want to discuss other impactful ways to maximize your potential, contact me. I love working with success-minded professionals who want to improve their performance. Let’s talk about how we can focus your energy and help you reach your goals.
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