Do you ever wake up and instantly feel like someone threw you onto a treadmill and you can’t control the speed?

You then get to the end of the day exhausted but with few things on your ‘To Do’ list actually completed?

It’s a living nightmare!

It’s like you’ve been ‘doing stuff’ but you didn’t actually do anything useful.

You then hit the pillow running fifteen scenario’s through your head and worrying because tomorrow is going to be even worse.

You don’t sleep, you wake up tired and you need five hits of coffee just to be able to consider going to work.

I’m a natural stress head.

I’ve been running businesses for 10 years and even before that was all about completing things / doing well / winning at everything from football to walking faster than the other people in the supermarket!

Here’s what I figured out.

The day needs to have a start and an end point in your head.

It needs to be book-ended.

So I made a plan that I get done 95% of the time.

When I get lazy and stop focusing, I no longer sleep deeply or get much done!

MORNING

1) Treat the mornings like a hill start in your car.

Apply the brake before you try to accelerate so that YOU are in control and not the hill.

Take 5 minutes to breath slowly.

I like 4 seconds in, 4 second hold, 4 seconds out, 4 second hold.

This not only causes physiological changes inside but also mentally gives you a feeling of control and empowerment – you stop being a bitch to everyone’s else’s demands.

This way of thinking isn’t selfish, it actually makes you more useful to everyone around you because you’re not running around like a dog chasing four squirrels at once.

2) Whilst doing your breathing, visualise with as much detail as you can, the things you want to do today.

Visualize confidence at work.

Visualise working intensely on your projects and not being distracted.

Visualize calmness when faced with kids and traffic and all the other POTENTIALLY stressful situations that will always arise.

3) When you go into the bathroom, tidy your hair and face up but if you currently don’t like your body, don’t stand there analysing it.

Tidy up and go.

If you’ve been working hard and your body has changed then DO check it out.

Admire your muscles and have a good flex!

Congratulate yourself for the fat loss you HAVE achieved so far even if you have a way to go.

Notice where the muscle tone HAS improved and ignore what is still left to do.

4) Have a protein based breakfast.

You do have time – it takes 5 minutes to make an omelette.

Really haven’t got time?

Get up earlier.

I know you’re cosy but 5 minutes more won’t make ANY difference, but a protein breakfast will.

This will put you on the path to a day of more stable blood sugar and help you avoid the ‘carb rollercoaster’ most people go on because of big fluctuations in blood sugar starting from their carb-based breakfast.

5) Drink 500ml of water.

Add some lemon or lime or drink it ‘neat’.

Just get it down you.

You’ll be surprised how much your energy improves!

6) Nutrient load.

Take a good multi-vitamin, add some ‘greens’ to your water or use one of the many herbal mixes available that will do a lot of good things to your body from a cellular level.

We often focus on calories and MACROnutrients – protein, fats and carbs.

When we address the body’s hunger for MICROnutrients, energy levels change rapidly!

7) Don’t watch the news.

Nobody ever watched the news and walked away feeling encouraged and happy about life.

If you have to watch something, get a funny or inspiring video up on YouTube.

Download 7 podcasts for the week and listen to those instead – you can even carry these on into your car journey to work.

Better still, watch you OWN life.

Do some more general visualisation about where you are taking things over the next few months.

8) Set the course of the day.

While you’re eating, write down your top THREE priorities for the day.

Note that I said to write them down.

Make them real and put them on paper – this has a much more powerful effect than just thinking about them!

It’s important that these priorities are the things that will move your forward the most.

It’s often tempting to just do the easiest jobs first or those things that other people have asked us to do just so you can clear some things off the list.

This basically makes you a janitor, not a personal success.

You might like to separate your ‘To Do’ list into A, B and C tasks.

Get the A tasks done and leave the C tasks as long as possible.

EVENING

The evening should be all about shutting down and closing off the day so that you can sleep deeply and for a long time so you’re rejuvenated the next day.

This is surprisingly rare in modern day life!

The aim is to close as many open loops in your brain as possible.

You should try to close any work loops whilst at work, so that you’re not firing up that part of your brain sending emails late at night.

Here are some ideas on how to do it:

1) Prepare your lunch for the next day.

This can be as simple as cooking double whatever you choose for dinner that night, popping it in a Tupperware box and throwing in the fridge.

This won’t help you sleep better but it will keep you on the right tracks tomorrow!

2) Finalise your timetable for tomorrow as much as possible.

Know what’s happening and what you need to remember.

Make sure you’ve booked in your non-negotiable exercise time and that’s there are no overlaps which usually lead to ‘Me Time’ getting dumped in favour of keeping someone else happy!

3) Turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bed time (accept a Kindle if you like).

Not only do most games and TV programs stimulate our brains but the blue light emitted by most screens reduces melatonin production which is what helps us get into a deep sleep.

You can combine this with listening to relaxing music and/or reading fiction or philosophy which doesn’t stimulate your brain.

Try to avoid thrillers, crime books etc that get you thinking about the plot too deeply.

4) Do some more deep breathing just before you get into bed.

This helps tune your brain into you and away from everyone else.

This is the time to accept there is nothing else you can do in relation to others at this time of day so it’s best to let go and come back to yourself in a relaxed way.

5) During your breathing time, gently consider what you could have done better that day.

Try not to get annoyed or frustrated, this is simply to highlight where you can keep making 1% improvements every day.

Maybe you forgot to prepare your own lunch and bought a sugar-filled pot of pasta from the corner shop.

Maybe you let other people get you angry instead of staying centred.

Make a promise to yourself to deal with those areas better tomorrow.

6) Show some gratitude.

The odds are if you’re reading this from your iPhone or laptop whilst in your air-conditioned office at your job that pays you enough to live in a house and eat food whenever you want, as well as enjoying a social and/or sporting life, your life isn’t so bad!

Find 5 things every day that you’re grateful for, no matter how small.

Forget the temptation to say “Yeah but this went wrong and that was annoying.”

This is all about putting on a new pair of glasses when you look at the world.

Over time, this also translates to seeing opportunities where others don’t which will increase success and happiness in the long-term.

7) Take magnesium 45 minutes before bed.

Magnesium is one of my all-time favourite supplements which acts like nature’s muscle relaxant.

It does many good things to the human body, one of which is to help you drift off to sleep without medication.

ACTION TIME

None of these things take much effort or require more time which is already in short supply (or so you think!)

You likely waste at least 30 minutes every day on Facebook, watching the news and on any number of distractions.

This is about using your time for you and not just giving it all up to someone else’s life.

By staying focused on where you’re going and where you want to go, you will be amazed how much more other people get from you as well because you’re healthier and more energised.

If it still seems daunting to change certain things, do 1-2 each week and keep adding as time passes and they become habits.