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Want a More Productive Morning Routine? “Pay” Yourself First

https://blog.doist.com/pay-yourself-first/

blog.doist.com

Want a More Productive Morning Routine? “Pay” Yourself First
Apply David Bach's personal finance advice to "pay" yourself first by putting your personal “non-negotiables” before work obligations.

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We Are Always Paying Others

We Are Always Paying Others
  • Most of the time, we spend our money, energy and time on obligations and things that benefit others, not us.
  • We exhaust ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and financially due to our current tasks and to-do lists that consume us.
  • We need to think about our future selves as our biggest obligation and turn our focus outside of the routine work we do all day, and towards ourselves.

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The Consequences Of Paying Others

There are real consequences of not reaching office on time, or not meeting a project deadline, and that makes us focus on work, instead of our exercise, nutrition, reading or meditation.

The consequences of missing our beloved activity or hobby or even the relaxing walk in the park are not felt right there. We habitually prioritize work as we try to squeeze stuff we like to do in the small pockets of time we get in between.

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Pay Yourself First

We need to list out a set of non-negotiables that we first need to do to pay ourselves**, and then work on paying others.**

It is embarrassing to know that even by browsing Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, we are paying those companies with our time, attention, and cognitive resources. We usually check our social media notifications when we get up. We check email, Slack and random stuff that catches our eye and even do some work that is assigned for early morning.

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Our Non-Negotiables

Each of us has an ideal list of things we would want to do or ourselves, right from the moment we get up. It can be reading for pleasure, enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee, or taking the dog out for a refreshing walk in the park.

One can allot an hour or more to these non-negotiables and make it a true non-negotiable by blocking out everything else, like work commitments, meetings, emails, social media or any official/work-related interaction.

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Tips For Paying Yourself First

  1. Prioritize your 2 to 3 non-negotiables in the morning, what you can do on your own.
  2. Do stuff you love doing and what makes you relaxed, and define them clearly.
  3. Write it down on your to-do list as an important item to check off every day.
  4. Don’t mix with any work-related stuff.
  5. Review and improvise on your list.

A few examples: Meditating, exercising, writing a journal, reading, going for a walk.

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Things worth prioritizing in life

There are some general areas that all of us should prioritize in order to function well and generally make life worthwhile. These areas are:

  • Health and fitness. Bad health and fitness habits add up over time and have a knock-on effect in other areas of our lives.
  • Sleep and rest. Inadequate sleep leads to unstable emotions, impaired learning, imbalanced hormones and a compromised cardiovascular system.
  • Friends, family, and relationships. It's hard to mend relationships once they've been frayed. Be proactive about being the connector and decide beforehand what you won't miss out on.
  • Productive work. Instead of working harder, we should work smarter (more strategically.)

Things to deprioritize

Intentionally take your focus away from distracting areas in your life.

  • Social media and entertainment. While they can add fun to our days, it's worth reducing how much time we spend on apps.
  • Busy work. These are tasks we do regularly but that fail to move us forward. These tasks should be delegated, automated, limited, or deleted.
  • Negativity. When we focus on the negative, we are prevented from seeing reality clearly. It is then important to be aware of your inner thoughts. Maintain a running record of positive things people say about you.

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Morning routines

Of all the different things you can try to improve your productivity, a morning routine is one of the most effective:

  • It gets you started and sets the tone for the upcoming day;
  • ...

Sleep and productivity

When it comes to productivity, getting enough sleep is essential. Any morning routine you develop needs to accommodate your sleeping rhythms.

And research indicates that 7-8 hours per day is a nearly universal requirement.

Different goals, different routines

There isn’t one perfect routine that will make you rich and happy overnight. Instead, there’s different routines for different purposes: if you're focusing on health and fitness, starting with exercise or eating a healthy breakfast might go first. If you're working like crazy, getting straight to work on your most important tasks may be better than cluttering up my morning with different tasks.

Get Your Life In Order (GYLIO)

Many of us battle with the never-ending nature of our to-do lists. We feel overwhelmed because life admin is endless and invisible.

We can tackle this issue through GYLIO practices. In essen...

Get back on track

GYLIO is a way for students to approach their problems with juggling so many opportunities colleges offer, from sport and culture to volunteering and leadership.
A week to 'take a breath' and get things done is essential. The list will look different for everyone. When parts of your life that you are usually on top of begin to fall apart, it is time to take a day or week out and attend to the little things.

Divided focus

Having multiple tasks on your mind splits your attention and that can reduce overall performance. This is known as "attention residue."
While we can't eliminate distractions from our lives, we can create a "ready to resume list" and plan a return to the task.