How to Design A Powerful Start to a Great Leadership Day

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What you accomplish in your day is largely driven by the momentum you have when you start the day.

Watch the most effective leaders. You’ll find that they hit the ground running each morning, and that early momentum continues throughout the day.

The “secret sauce” of that momentum often found in the decluttering of their pre-work morning.

Here’s how:

1. Sleep Like a Leader

When some leaders talk about sleep, often they will focus on how little sleep they need in order to “function”. They say things like, “I need only 4 hours sleep in order to function…”

The problem is, aiming to merely “function” is setting the leadership bar far too low. Leaders should aim to thrive, and to bolt out of the starting blocks in the morning. And for that, you need to have slept like a leader.

A decluttered start to the day involves 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep. Always.

2. Pace Your Morning Like a Leader

A decluttered morning has a measured cadence. It is not frantic.

For people of faith, that can mean spending time in prayer. It can mean a leisurely breakfast or coffee with your spouse and family. It can mean exercise.

In other words, a decluttered start to the day means filling your emotional, relational and spiritual tanks. As you do, you are preparing yourself for a strong start to the leadership day to come.

3. Prepare Your Mind Like a Leader

Many years ago, I used to check email on my smart phone before I even rolled out of bed. Therefore, the first thoughts that would enter my mind in the morning were the problems, questions and pressures that had flowed into my inbox overnight.

No more.

I do not check email in the morning. Nor do I look at social media. Nor any news sources. All of these can wait until I’m settled into my home office and ready to work.

The result? By the time I am in my home office, my mind is fresh, sharp and raring to go.

If you’ve found that as you lead from home, you feel like you’re swimming in peanut butter, you’re not alone.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

All it takes is a little decluttering.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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