Tips For Getting the Most out of Your Day
by Dean Crisp
The first of a 3-part series to co-inside with my podcast on the how to make the most of your day. Next week will be how to get most out of others and the third installment will be about getting the most out of your team and organization.
“One good response is worth a hundred reactions.” – Dean Crisp on the importance of leaders staying focused on responding rather than reacting.
This week celebrates our 50th episode podcast! I have to honestly tell you I wasn’t sure we would get to this milestone, but the response of our audience has been tremendous. This week, I’m starting a 3-part series on my tips to leaders to help them get the most out of their day.
Up front, I want to state as I do in class: If you don’t have the “want to” (the desire and drive) to do what it takes to make the most of your day, you likely won’t be successful long term. As with anything at which we succeed, being intentional is critical to success at anything – parenting, romance, and, of course, what we are going to discuss today, leadership.
“There are no magic bullets.”
My Tips for Making the Most of Your Day
October 20, 2020
When I think about what helps me personally get the most out of my day, it all starts with making sure I’m taking care of me. Are my mental, physical and spiritual/emotional needs being met? Often, we don’t consciously consider this as being a responsibility of a leader, but it most definitely is. We set the tone and vision for the entire organization we lead. For that reason, how we take care of ourselves in these three key areas is paramount to how our people will view our care of them or our organization. When you show up to work too tired or not feeling physically well, it will impact how you present to those you lead. Let’s take a look at the 3 areas I mentioned and see what some of my tips are. These are not a magic bullet nor are they a prescription for success, but they are what works best for me to be at my best and what I think will inspire each of you to find what works to help you be at your best as a leader
It All Starts with Your Physical Well-Being
First, and foremost, you must take care of your body. This means finding what works best for you to feel at your optimum performance level. Pay attention to your health and find what helps you keep yourself at your best. This doesn’t mean you have to be in Navy Seals performance level, but it does mean as law enforcement officers, that you find what helps keep you feeling your best. Some of the things that work best for me on a daily basis are the following:
- Making sure I get a good night’s sleep that allows me to rise early enough to not be rushed in the morning. Rushing raises your cortisol levels and makes you feel stressed. Stress makes you do reactionary things (more on that later)
- I make sure that I am hydrated with a 12-oz minimum glass of water first thing – if you think about how long you have slept and when the last time you drank water the day before, it definitely helps me to make sure I’m hydrating
- Get a workout of your choice in daily. For me, I enjoy running or power walking and alternate days with weights. This helps to clear my mind and to keep me fit. As I always say, my goal is to live a long, healthy life to be around for my family.
- Make sure you plan time for nourishing your body in the morning. Whatever your choice, make sure you do something that gives your body the fuel you need to start your day. By doing so, you’ll avoid the negative physical side effects that can come
And Continues With Your Mental Well-Being
The second aspect of getting the most out of your day is mental focus. As I said, many of the physical and emotional well-being recommendations work in tandem with the others, but specifically for mental well-being, it all begins with intentionally beginning your day with healthy activities that allow you time to get your mindset in the right place for the day. Specifically, I find it helpful to do the following:
- Avoid looking at my cell phone or social media for at least a half hour after waking. Trust me, it will all be there when you get around to it and if you aren’t fully focused or in the right mindset, you will have a tendency to react rather than respond. It prevents you from absorbing negativity too early in the morningLet me tell you, one good response, is worth a hundred reactions. Make sure you’re mindful.
- Do actions that become a positive habit you will want to do daily. Reading or listening to inspirational or informational ideas are definitely a positive energy thing to do. Journaling is another often based on those readings. Finding that personal “zen” is what will get you where you want to be both in mindset and grow your mental well-being
- Pace yourself. Know that if you are starting new habits with the intent to make the most of your day, it will take time. Start small and grow as you are prepared to do so. Challenge yourself. If you aren’t a reader by nature, start with audio books while you workout
- Definitely do NOT deal with really tough issues first thing. Some will disagree, but I find that these often will negatively impact your mindset and your mental and emotional well-being. So, my best advice, is wait until you are focused and intentional on making the right and correct action related to the tough issue. I know the circumstances won’t always allow for this but whenever possible, the results are almost always better
And Comes Full Circle with your Spiritual Well-being
The third and final area of making the most of your day is making sure you are taking care of your emotional and spiritual well-being. I find that when I intentionally focus on the mind and body, it automatically supports the spiritual. Such things as:
- By taking care of my body, I feel better about myself which leads to a better self-image that leads to more positive self-talk and then leads to better actions. Period.
- By avoiding negativity and negative people until you are mentally prepared, you will find that your emotional self doesn’t absorb that negativity.
- By pacing myself, I find that I don’t feel the stress and “reactions” that inevitably come from stress
- When I give myself the time to prepare my mindset before beginning the day, I find that I can give my people the best version of myself.
- When I take the time to recharge myself in each of these three areas, I find that I get the most out of my days.
In the end, the goal is to do what works best for you in each of these three areas so that you can perform at your optimal level. Your optimal level is sustainable in contrast to your peak level. When you think of a Navy SEALS team or a SWAT team, when they are “on” an operation, that is peak performance, but most of the time, they make sure they are able to perform at optimal levels. When you are taking care of these three elements of you, I guarantee you will perform at optimal level, set the right tone for your people and the organization.
Let me know what you do to make the most of your day! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our discussion on social media!
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