Morning Prep

MornPrep - EmilyMarko.com

July has been an interesting experience of different ways to strive for ultimate productivity. I can’t say that I have mastered it yet, but I definitely found many resources to help me get there.

One practice I have found most useful is taking some time each evening to plan what I will do the next day. I am the first to admit that I am NOT a morning person. I may be up and moving around, but my brain is definitely on low function.

To give my brain neurons some time to charge up, I prep the night before so I don’t need to rush around and think too much in the morning. What that means for me is to pack my son’s lunch, plan what we will eat for breakfast, clean the kitchen for easy food prep, put out clothes for the morning and whatever else I can think to do.

I have not practiced this every night, but on the nights I do take the time to prepare, my mornings run so smoothly.

Another habit I started is writing a list of to-do’s to follow for the morning and into the remainder of the day. If I know I will attend my exercise class then I write it down and assign a time for it. Then I list any phone calls or emails I need to make and a time slot to complete. Once I get the personal items listed, then I block off time for work and create a realistic to-do list for the open time slot.

When morning comes, that to-do list might shift a bit, but I have the action items I know must be completed and then the others can be pushed off for later if necessary.

These are great habits to begin forming now so I can be productive and ready for the new school year.

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Are you a morning or night person?

What types of prep tips do you have to share?

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Mind Over Matter

MindOverMatter - EmilyMarko.com
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
– Henry Ford

I have been on a challenge kick lately. Last month I signed up for a 35-day Jazzercise Challenge AND Propelle’s 21-day Affirmation for Success Challenge. It seems I am on the search for even more challenges too because last week I jumped into Propelle’s 7-day Visibility Challenge and I am patiently (sort of) waiting for the summer challenge to begin at Jazzercise!

It amazes me at how effective and addictive these challenges are for me. I think it is a mix of my need to succeed once I commit and feeling a need to not “let down” the other participants and challenge hosts. So I basically feel accountable to myself and anyone else who knows I made the commitment.

Of course, that is the point – to stay committed and form a habit from the challenge. Long ago in my cubicle job, I participated in a Franklin Covey training course pertaining to time management and forming habits. I learned that it takes a person 21 days to make or break a habit. So all those arbitrary number of day challenges aren’t so random after all – there is actual science behind it.

Success Affirmations - EmilyMarko.com
Summary of my Affirmations for Success Challenge

Either way, the coolest part about these challenges is how fun and easy it was to succeed. The pessimist in the back of my mind may have started to say “I never could do that…” but when I really thought about it – what was the worst thing that could happen?! The risk was super low and the reward was high!

I finished my challenges feeling pretty darn good, physically and mentally. I gained some muscle, lost some winter weight and received a new workout shirt. Instagram isn’t so mysterious to me anymore, plus I have a more positive mindset on my success. Best of all, I am still hooked on attending Jazzercise classes as much as possible and I have been brainstorming ways I can use Instagram and other social media for my business success.

It really is about Mind over Matter – you just need to let the positive voices in your mind do the talking. To continue these habits does take some reminders so I posted a summary of my Success Affirmations at my desk and I started to schedule my Jazzercise classes on all my calendars (digital and paper) to infuse it into my days.

How do you practice Mind over Matter?
Are there any challenges that have worked for you?
What have you learned from those challenges?
Why not try a new challenge out? Let me know how it goes!

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