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Weekly 3: Have better mornings

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Summary: Plan your day the night before. Chase your dreams. Use the morning after test. (~3 min read)
 

Idea Journal Weekly 3

September 16 · Issue #52 · View online
We combine 3 ideas to help you think differently and be more creative.

Summary: Plan your day the night before. Chase your dreams. Use the morning after test. (~3 min read)

#1. A better morning starts the night before.
Srinivas Rao, author and host of the Unmistakable Creative podcast, writes in a blog post that if you approach your day not knowing what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll be “busy, but probably not productive.”
For Rao, what you do the day before is just as important as what you do each morning.
To make the most of a given day, he recommends writing down your essential priorities and tasks the night before.
Doing this will:
  • Allow you to experience more flow, the mental state of full absorption and engagement with your work.
  • Enable you to accomplish more in less time.
  • Give you a framework for the next day, with which “you’ll be much more likely to pack your days with useful work that adds value to your life.”
  • Reduce “decision fatigue” and guesswork about what you should be doing once the morning arrives.
#2. Look beyond the next 24 hours.
You’ve followed Srinivas Rao’s advice from Idea #1 above and planned your day the night before.
But how do you ensure that focusing on your “essential priorities and tasks” each morning is moving you closer to your longer-term aspirations?
Author and simplicity expert Leo Babauta advises in his book The Power of Less that you do your “most important tasks” first thing in the morning. And he recommends that one of these should relate to your long-term goals and interests.
To help you identify which of your tasks will have high impact beyond the next 24 hours, he suggests considering one that has the potential to do at least one of the following:
  • Advance your career.
  • Be beneficial to your business (e.g., in terms of revenues, branding, expanding into new markets, etc.).
  • Boost your recognition.
  • Change your personal life in an important way.
  • Earn you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Make a positive contribution to society.
For Babauta, this simple step “makes all the difference in the world” because each day it increases the odds that your dreams will come true.
#3. Not all invitations are created equal.
In an interview with author Tim Ferriss, technology expert Kevin Kelly talks about his trick for deciding whether to accept an invitation: he pretends the commitment is happening the next morning.
For Kelly, it’s easy to agree to do something that is 6 months away; but it has to “super fantastic to get me to go tomorrow morning.”
The next time you’re weighing whether to accept an invitation or an opportunity, ask yourself: Would I do it tomorrow morning?
Quote of the Week
“The longest way must have its close, – the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.”
- Author Harriet Beecher Stowe in her book Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Idea Journal
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