LIVING IN THE SILICON VALLEY IS, AT TIMES, INTENSE.
From traffic and commute times, to work/life balance, it’s easy to feel weighed down by anxiety on a daily basis. Here are 4 tips to help you reduce stress at the start of your day, freeing you up to thrive in your work & personal life.
1 | CREATE A CONSISTENT MORNING ROUTINE WITH MARGIN
One of the perks of living in the Silicon Valley is the opportunity to telecommute. By nature, working from home offers greater flexibility with many advantages. However, the freedom to work remotely is not without stress. Your mornings can begin to dissolve into waking up at a different time each day based on the day’s commitments or deadlines, and inconsistency can take a toll. Whether you work remotely or not, you can proactively reduce stress through the simple habit of waking up at a consistent time each morning and building a healthy morning routine that doesn’t change, regardless of whether you’re working from home or the office.
Creating a consistent morning routine will relieve stress, and will also provide you with valuable morning margin. Many CEO’s report that their mornings are a crucial time when their best creativity and problem-solving happens. Even Jesus woke up early, while it was still dark, left home and went to a solitary place to pray. Build a morning routine with margin to reflect, meditate, pray, read, and you’ll find that you approach your day with greater clarity and mental stamina.
2 | MAINTAIN WRITTEN GOALS & VISIT YOUR GOALS EACH MORNING
Often, stress in daily life is a result of being weighed down by “the tyranny of the urgent.” Our mornings can be consumed with emails and busy tasks that don’t push forward the things most important to us. Take time to clearly define and write down your goals, both personally and professionally. Keep your goals in a place where you can visit them daily, ideally as part of your morning routine.
You may have heard the old adage, “A goal that isn’t written down is just a dream.” When goal setting, follow the SMART acronym – make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, & Time-Bound. If you’ve set New Years Resolutions in the past and have become discouraged over the idea, consider setting weekly and monthly goals to start out rather than yearly goals.
Don’t be afraid to start small. Darryl Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, writes, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Setting a modest, daily goal and executing to completion is far better than setting an out-of-reach goal that isn’t achievable. Keep going as you gain momentum. Create personal check-in points for yourself so that you continually dissect your goals into attainable chunks. By following through on a goal, one step at a time, you’ll achieve more than you imagined when you began!
3 | CAPITALIZE ON YOUR COMMUTE TIME
Silicon Valley commute times are no joke. Even the best stress-reducing morning routine can be undone by a horrible commute. Listening to podcasts & books, whether for work or pleasure, will transform the way you commute. You’ll be learning and gaining fresh new insights, transforming previously wasted idle time into productive growth. You’ll enter your workplace with excitement to implement new ideas, rather than the weighed-down commuter sense of sitting-in-traffic-already-
4 | ORGANIZE YOUR WORK DAY & EAT YOUR FROGS FIRST
With meaningful, achievable goals in place, you can organize your time each morning with greater clarity and confidence. At the start of your workday, take 15 minutes to organize tasks and set goals for the day to increase your daily productivity.
As you develop the habit of organizing your time daily, you’ll grow in self-awareness to define your commitments based around your unique strengths. For example, if content creation is a key part of your job, and you find that you creatively produce content most effectively between the hours of 6am to 10am, organize your time around an uninterrupted creative block for content creation during those hours.
Do your best to cluster meetings and proactively build project-specific time blocks into your schedule, so that you can avoid the fatigue and stress that comes when you’re mustering mental energy to tackle your most important task at the end of the day, rather than at the start. Mark Twain put it cleverly, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
What about you? How has your experience been in the Silicon Valley? What morning tips do you follow to effectively begin your day? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts with Eden via your favorite social media: Eden on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Authored By Kayla Atondo. Kayla serves as the Communications Director at Eden, and is the wife of Daniel Atondo, Lead Pastor of Eden Church.
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