How to Find Time for a Morning Routine

Hey guys! You may have noticed a new type of post I added to my Instagram feed this week: #workfromhomehacks

These are simple, creative ways you can find time for what matters most so you can get results at home.

After 7 years of working from home with kids underfoot, I understand that you need to be strategic if you are going to squeeze in time for your dreams and goals and be the parent you want to be.

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A lot of entrepreneurs with ADHD have a hard time implementing morning routines. You are probably just thankful to be able to get out of bed! I totally get it. I am #notamorningperson either.

Today I am going to share you a simple habit I have implemented that is central to my morning routine strategy. With all of the distractions in my house (5 little kids), this one tip can save me up to 40 minutes in the morning.

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Here’s a simple tip you can add to your rhythms to find more time in the morning too.

Simply get into the habit of making a warm breakfast the day before. Slip it in the oven in the morning while you grab your coffee, and voila! it’s like you have a personal chef in your kitchen serving you while you get your day started on the right foot.

Some of my favorite breakfasts include zucchini bread, sweet potato carrot cakes with sausage, and veggie-infused quiche. Simply garnish with fresh berries for the Pinterest look and you are ready to go!

The compounding results of an open morning time block are many.

1. More Present. The thing I love most about this habit is how present you can be in the mornings. You can be more present to your soul and spirit and your relationship with God and others. You can be more more present to what is on your heart and mind and write these down on your Daily Planner pages to keep them from spinning through your head throughout the day. You can be more present with your family. Instead of over-focusing on the urgent task of flipping pancakes or scrambling eggs last minute, you are freed to greet your children and connect with them better during their most cuddly time of the day.

2. More Energized. While I recommend starting your mornings in calm, quiet solace allowing your mind to wander, I also recommend having a distinct point when you pivot to exercise. On your Think Time Planner, highlight this time block in orange to represent how energizing this part of the day is to your dreams and goals. Here’s why: by keeping an active and healthy body, you energize your body and your mind for the tasks of the day so you can get your best results.

3. More Time. When you clear your mind in the morning by getting on paper what is on your mind, you reduce internal distractions and promote focus toward your dreams and goals. By exercising each morning, you are likely to feel better and to boost your energy. If you have been with me a while, you know that when you find more energy and more focus, you often find more time. You can learn more about that on my blog here.

Don’t set yourself up for a frazzled day by leaving breakfast to the last minute anymore. Design your ultimate morning routine in your Routine Worksheets, and make time for it by making breakfast the day before.

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Three Ways to Get More Energy

Do you struggle with chronic fatigue?  If you are like many entrepreneurs with ADHD, you are answering “yes.”  Well, the last thing you want when you find the TIME to achieve a goal is to lack the energy to accomplish it. You are literally leaving money on the table until you can learn to harness your best energy toward your goals.

So, how can you structure your life to raise the chances that you will have the energy you need when you need it?

Here are three things you can do with your Think Time Planner to better manage your energy so you can achieve your dreams and goals.

  1. Brainstorm ways to rejuvenate.  

Instead of having only “to dos,” your Think Time Planner also includes an area also for “to bes.”  Use the To Be Concept Cloud to brainstorm ways you can rejuvenate your energy this week.  This means including time for rejuvenating relationships, recreation, and relaxation. When you are including activities in your schedule that build into you, then you will have a stronger energy reserve to offer your dreams and goals.

2. Develop healthy routines and habits.  

As a person with ADHD, you may cringe at the suggestion of a routine.  I get it.  I hate routines too.  But, I have learned their power and use them as often as I can to help me advance my dreams and goals. Professional organizer, Julie Morgenstern well said, “If it is not in your routine, it is not in your life.” So, to help your energy levels, build sacred sleep routines, exercise routines, and healthy eating habits. You can use the Routine Worksheet and the Habit Tracker in your Think Time Planner to help you to create routines that will support your energy management goals. 

3. Celebrate your wins.  

So often, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all that “has to be done” that you just keep plunging into the next thing. Looking forward, it’s overwhelming and de-energizing to see the “tyrannical to do list” that is constantly taunting you. To develop a brighter outlook and increase your energy toward your dreams and goals, regularly practice gratitude for what you have been able to accomplish.  Each week, use the Review Phase of your Think Time Planner to check off what you did accomplish and celebrate what went well. You are probably doing better than you think, and you deserve to know it!

Energy management is an incredibly important skill for entrepreneurs with ADHD.  Don’t leave money on the table anymore—simply because you don’t have the energy to follow through on your goal.  Apply these three tips  regularly with your Think Time Planner to help you make the most of your days so you can live on purpose and achieve your goals in a distracting world.

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A Formula for More Time

Do you have time but still struggle to get the right things done? How can you find time for what matters most when life gets in the way?

Here’s what you have told me. You believe there are two primary things that keep you from living on purpose and achieving your goals.

They are:

#1 more time

#2 improved focus.

These two needs are critical for your goals and are actually very, very intwined. Let me explain.

Have you ever had a million things to do and the deadline was upon you? Do you remember that you “got it all done?” It may have seemed like a miracle, but things just “worked out.”

What happened?

Dr. Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, suggests that intensity can be traded for time.

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“Intensity can be traded for time.”

-Dr. Cal Newport

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That is, if you are more intense, you can accomplish more in less time. On the other hand, if you are low on energy or highly distracted and unfocused, you lose a LOT of time.

Dr. Newport’s formula could be described in mathematical terms as time = intensity

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time = intensity

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To get more time, up your intensity–just like you would when the pressure is on and the deadline is fast approaching.

To help you get traction with Dr. Newport’s idea, I want you to break it down another step.

What is intensity?

Intensity increases when you have increased energy and increased focus in a singular direction.

To explain this mathematically, I defining intensity as “energy x focus.”

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So, time = energy x focus

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The next time you feel over whelmed that you have so much to do and so little time, don’t get discouraged and wish for a day in the future in which you will have more time. Instead, get strategic. How can you boost your energy and your focus toward the goal for which you wish you had time?

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Don’t get discouraged. Get strategic!

-Christine Wilson, LPC

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With this formula, you can create practical strategies to find more time in your life for your dreams & goals.

Let’s start with one strategy to boosting your energy—self-care.

  • Sleep.
  • Exercise.
  • Nutrition.

When was the last time you were hoping for more time and decided you needed to go to bed earlier, build more exercise into your routine, or make wise eating decisions? Well, good job if you did. It is one of the most strategic ways to boost both your focus and your energy–which gives you more time.

If you are like many people, often, when you want to accomplish a big goal, self care is the first thing to go on the back burner. However, this works against you–causing you to lose valuable time–just when you need it the most. The energy you gain from good sleep, exercise, and nutrition propels you toward your goals and allows you to accomplish your goals faster because you have more energy available.

Think about how many goals can remain on hold when you “don’t have the energy.” Don’t let this happen to you! Use this idea of taking time to boost your energy to your advantage so you can achieve your goals.

Next, let’s talk about a strategy to boost your focus.

Often, when people feel like they have a lot to do, they get a quick idea of generally where they want to go and just dive in. They think, “There is no time to lose. I need to start right now!” Well, this impulse is exactly the wrong way to boost your results.

Here’s why: When you dive into a project without clarity, you can waste your best energy on low-results activities that leave you empty for what matters most.

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When you dive into a project without clarity, you can waste your best energy on activities that don’t move the needle–leaving nothing left for what matters most.

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On the other hand, when you take time at the beginning to develop a crystal clear clarity around your goal…so clear you can feel it…research shows you are less vulnerable to distractions and more likely to achieve your goal.

Being distracted SLOWS YOU DOWN. So, diving right in causes you to lose time in the long run. Stepping aside to develop a compelling clarity around your goal helps you get the best results by focusing your best efforts on high results-yielding activities.

Retirement strategist Chris Hogan calls this Dreaming in Hi-Definition. When you paint such a clear picture of what you want that you can taste and see it, your focus is boosted and distractions simply do not hold as much sway. You gain time.

This is why energy Think Time Planners and Courses help you improve your energy and boost your focus so you can find the time you need to succeed.

Think Time Planner: FIRST in Creative Productivity

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You may be thinking that you don’t need to be strategic like this. You just need to try harder. Let’s talk about that. Unfortunately, trying harder will not help you achieve your goals. Here’s why.

There is a problem.

Research shows that 90% of the thoughts you have today are the same thoughts you had yesterday. This means that if you like the results you are getting, then, yes, do more of the same.

However, if you need to overcome an obstacle, change a pattern, or solve a problem, you need to think differently. How do you think different thoughts? You need a guide to help you think about your thinking. When you do this, Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud says, “When you think about your thinking… Voila! New neural pathways begin to form!”

And, when new neural pathways begin to form, new ways of being and doing are born. New paths can be explored and experienced. Your changed behaviors and new solutions are on their way!

This is the big “why” behind taking time to think-time. Improved thinking leads to improved results.

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In my next e-mail, I will be sharing another important strategy to include in your goal achievement toolbox. I will share a tip that can help you avoid losing up to 23 minutes every time this happens. It is so critical to your success and will help you maintain the boosted energy and focus you need to succeed. So, keep your eye on your inbox for this!

Cheering you on!

Christine

adhd attention clarity creativeproductivity creativity drawing dream phase dreams and goals energy management envision focus goals intention planners productivity purpose routines time management workingfromhome

Three Ways to Boost Your Energy

How often do you take time to consider how you can boost your energy?⠀

You may not often think of what a game-changer good energy is, but it is soooo important.  I love the way performance psychologist Jim Loehr says it: “Energy is life!”  If you have poor energy, you miss out on life.

Truly, the amount of energy you bring to a task or a relationship makes all of the difference. Yet in the busyness of your day to day life, you could be depleting this most valuable asset instead of restoring it.

The Think Time Planner helps you process your life so you can live on purpose in a distracting world–and part of living on purpose is boosting your energy so you can show up well.  By combining creative thinking and mindfulness with productivity, you can see your life in a more complete sphere so you can not only be confident are you getting more done in less time, but you can also be confident you are getting the RIGHT THINGS done.

Today, I want to show you how you can boost your energy levels with your Think Time Planner.

Think Time Creative Productivity Planner helps you find time for what matters most.

1 Get More Sleep.  Use the Review section to become mindful of what is working and what is not working as you seek to get more sleep. Then, use these insights to create your Dream Routine and time block this directly onto your weekly calendar. To add a visual boost, time block your sleep by coloring in those hours with a charcoal gray oil pastel or dry-brush paint black to claim them for sleep.  

2 Reduce Your Stress. When you have a lot of unresolved thoughts, your brain works overtime to find a place to put them.  It can be exhausting to have so much on your mind. That’s why I created the Daily Planner ThinkPad. Every morning when you wake up, use your Daily Planner to get on paper everything that is on your mind and create a clear plan for your day so you can reduce your stress and move into your day with calm confidence. (Learn more techniques to reduce your stress in my course From Chaos to Confidence.)

3 Get on the Move.  Building exercise into your routine is a keystone habit to boost your energy.  Each quarter, use your “Health” Concept Cloud to mind map all of your ideas for getting more exercise. Raise your chances of success by moving the best ideas into your Dream Routine.  Raise your chances of success even more by inviting your friends or family to join you. (You can learn more tips for creating Routines that Support Your Long-Term Goals in my Course Cut Through the Noise.)

Your weekly plan for boosting your energy may never be 100% perfect. That’s okay.  Your Think Time Planner is the place where you identify what you would do if you had total control. Then, you flex with your real life and record your journey along the way in the Review area.

Life happens. And, that is okay.

Your goal is to control what is within your control by creating ideal rhythms and routines that help support your dreams and goals.  Over time, you will become who you want to be across many areas of your life. This week, don’t miss out on your life because of a lack of energy, focus on boosting your energy so you can infuse more life into the tasks and relationships that matter most to you. 

How do you plan to boost your energy this week?

Cheering you on!

Christine

p.s. Don’t let the distractions of life get in the way of your dreams and goals.

Buy a Think Time Planner today!

adhd attention clarity creativeproductivity creativity drawing dream phase dreams and goals energy management envision focus goals intention planners productivity purpose routines time management workingfromhome

On Envisioning…

What is Your Dream?

On Envisioning…

Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “I have a dream!”  Stephen Covey encouraged, “Begin with the end in mind.”  Mark Miller of Chick-fil-A identifies “Seeing Into the Future” as the first characteristic of a servant leader.

Envisioning what you want is critical to achieving any type of success.

Watch this!

Clarity is simply a prerequisite for goal achievement. 

Unfortunately, most planning systems neglect this critical step. They are more responsive in nature, and as a result you end up living everyone else’s life instead of your own–simply because you lack clarity on where you ultimately want to be. 

In the “Dream” phase of Think Time, you have the opportunity to visualize what you want.  

“What if I don’t know what I want?”

We are glad you asked.

So often, when we are honest with ourselves, we don’t know what we want.  We at times need a guide to prompt us to unearth those desires that lie just beneath the surface.

Let Think Time be that guide.  Think Time walks you through a variety of thinking tools that empower you to unearth your vision in full-color, with clarity.   The tools are laid out in a creative, yet logical, format to help you see clearly what is most important to you.  You can think of these tools as a good friend asking just the right questions at the right time–leading to that “Ah-Ha” moment.

Would you like to try it?  

Take a moment right now to consider an area of your life.  You can choose anything you like–perhaps a relationship, a goal, or an important event.  Now think about it within a timeframe.  For instance, ask yourself, “Five years from now (or five weeks from now), what do I want to see in this area of my life?”  

Grab your favorite pens or pencils and start drawing.

Think big. 

Don’t edit yourself. You want your dreams to be bigger than your obstacles.  So spend some time here and clearly envision what you really want.

Sit with this for a while and see what other connections you make.  What details do you add?  

Congratulations!

You have just begun the dream phase of the Think Time process!

Did you like your Think Time 101 mini-experience?

If so, please share it.

 

What is your dream? 

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

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