By STELLA OBOMANU
Achieving success and staying productive is not necessarily about hard-to-follow programs. It is about self-care.#MotivationMonday: presents daily to-dos to get you started for a beautiful week.
It’s Monday morning at 8 a.m. Two Nigerian entrepreneurs are pitching their ventures to potential investors today. They both know that this is one of the most important days of their lives. This is the story of Cynthia and Cyril…
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Cynthia was up until 4 a.m. putting the final touches on her pitch. In actual fact, she spent the entire weekend locked up in her house, preparing for the presentation. This morning, she woke up late and rushed putting together her most “investor-worthy” attire. She took a cup of coffee, grabbed her laptop, and ran out the door feeling hungry and tired. She arrived right on time but felt anxious and flustered about the events of the morning.
Cyril, on the other hand, went to sleep last night at 11 p.m., as he does most nights of the week. His presentation set for delivery since Friday afternoon, after five revisions thanks to feedback from his mentor and friends. He spent the weekend connecting with friends. This morning, he woke up at 6 a.m., had a glass of water, meditated for 15 minutes, and had a light breakfast. He put on the outfit he picked out the evening before, grabbed his bag, and walked out the door. He arrived 10 minutes early, feeling confident, calm, and eager to share his vision with potential investors.
I have two questions;
Which entrepreneur would you bet on?
And, which entrepreneur most closely resembles you?
Cynthia and Cyril are fictional characters but having observed the corporate world in Nigeria, I see a lot of Cynthias. They work 12-hour days, six or sometimes, seven days per week, and wonder why they are not getting the results they are searching for. The truth is, ‘results don’t come through hours spent. Great results often come by doing less and working smarter’. (I got that from quote from my smart friend Folarin)
This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak with my friend Jean, who resembles the character of Joe. A successful young woman going places and she shared with me some of her success recipes; “Every day I need physical energy, mental clarity, and emotional balance to tackle everything that comes my way,” Jean said. “Self-care is the secret to performing at the highest level.”
Here are the six simple rituals she uses to perform at her highest, which you too can begin implementing right away:
1. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It is a known fact that your body loses water while you sleep, so you’re naturally dehydrated in the morning. A glass of water when you wake helps start your day fresh. When do you drink your first glass of water each day?
2. Define your top 3. Every morning Jean asks herself, “What are the top three most important tasks that I will complete today?” She prioritizes her day accordingly and doesn’t sleep until the Top 3 are complete. What’s your “Top 3″ today?
3. The 50/10 Rule. Solo-task and do achieve more by working in 50/10 increments. Use a timer to work for 50 minutes on only one important task with 10 minute breaks in between. Jean spends her 10 minutes getting away from his desk, going outside, calling friends, meditating, or grabbing a glass of water. What’s your most important task for the next 50 minutes?
4. Move and sweat daily. Regular movement keeps us healthy and alert. It boosts energy and mood, and relieves stress. Go for a run; use the stairs instead of the elevator. How will you sweat today?
5. Express gratitude. Gratitude fosters happiness, which is why Jean keeps a gratitude journal. I know that might sound weird on some levels but it helps her maintain an attitude of gratitude. Every morning, she writes out at least five things she’s thankful for. In times of stress, she’ll pause and reflect on 10 things she’s grateful for. What are you grateful for today?
6. Reflect daily. Bring closure to your day through 10 minutes of reflection. Jean asks herself, “What went well?” and “What needs improvement?” So… what went well today? How can you do more of it?
Whether you more strongly resemble Cynthia or Cyril, these six rituals will help you up your game, taking your performance to the next level.
We’d love to know the rituals that are most valuable for you! Leave your tips in the comments below.