“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
– Philosopher José Ortega y Gasset sums up the importance of choosing what we give our attention to.
Start The Day With Joy
If it sounds a bit cheesy, just bear with us: joyful mornings really are the best. Why? Because how you start your day influences the rest of it.
Here are some ideas for how to kick off your day on a joyful note:
- Keep some flowers by your bedside. Flowers are a science-backed mood-booster.
- Read a poem or a quote from your favorite book.
- Make a morning playlist of happy songs. Music is another proven mood-booster.
- Mindfully prepare and drink your favorite tea or coffee.
- Get outside for some natural sunlight and contact with nature.
Here are a few more ideas. Got any of your own to add? Send them our way!
Use The ‘Goldilocks’ Rule
Imagine playing tennis against a 4-year old. It’d get boring pretty quick, right? What if you played against Serena Williams? Too hard: you’d also get bored and quit.
“The human brain loves a challenge, but only if it is within an optimal zone of difficulty,” writes author James Clear. This is called the Goldilocks Rule.
In other words, to stay motivated and focused on a task, it needs to be not too easy, not too hard. It needs to be juuuuust right. That’s when we get in the zone; the ‘flow’ state.
Being able to see our progress also helps. As Clear sums it up, to stay motivated:
- Stick to The Goldilocks Rule and work on tasks of just manageable difficulty.
- Measure your progress and receive immediate feedback whenever possible.
What do you think? Read more here and see if you can observe the rule in action today.
Srinivas Rao, Author and Host of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast
Thought leader Srinivas Rao usually wakes up with the sun – i.e., 6 am or earlier. He then:
- Gets his mind in the right space by meditating for around 10 minutes.
- Goes surfing. This connects him with nature and keeps him fit and active.
- Drinks bulletproof coffee (black coffee with a stick of butter) and fasts until dinner.
- Starts the workday by reading a chapter of a book or an essay.
- From around 10 am to 12 pm, goes through his to-do list then does 2-3 hours of intense work before taking a break.
Why it works:
- 10 minutes of meditation a day is enough to improve cognitive function.
- Connecting with nature has incredible benefits for mental health and well-being.
- Research is not yet conclusive on bulletproof coffee, but many swear the combination of caffeine and fats gives them lasting energy and focus.
- Reading not only gets the mind into a good state for work, it can also boost brain power and empathy (and more).
- Blocking out time for focused work ensures the important tasks get done.
Remember the Goldilocks Rule? Combine that with time-blocking a period of focused work (like Rao does from 10-12 each day), and you have a great chance of getting into “the zone” and smashing through work that matters to you most.
If you don’t already, why not try using your Panda Planner to block out focused work time?