When I turned 40 this rather significant milestone cast a long introspective shadow over my thinking. Not in a bad way, mind you, but it definitely got me thinking about time and what I do with it and what I’d like to spend more of my time doing.
Being a business founder, the concept of time management is hardly new. On a regular basis, I ask myself the following 2 questions:
- What should I be focused on now?
- What could I do to be more effective?
The 4-hour work week
This spirit of enquiry is echoed in the work of Tim Ferriss aka ‘The 4 hour guy‘. I regularly listen to his podcast The Tim Ferriss Show where he interviews a successful person each week and one of his questions is always focused on daily rituals. In fact he’s written an interesting post on the topic of Daily Rituals in which he references a great book that I’ve now added to my reading list – Daily Rituals by Mason Currey.
The Artist’s Way
One important aspect of the daily morning ritual is keeping a journal and in one of Tim’s posts he shares what his morning pages look like. The phrase ‘morning pages’ was coined by Julia Cameron in her powerful and transformative The Artist’s Way and is essentially stream of consciousness writing that you do daily on waking.
I’ve attempted The Artist’s Way twice. I’ve never quite finished it because so much positive change happened that I was holding on for dear life! The first time I started it, I quit my job and set up my first digital agency zero G media, which I ran for a rollercoaster 6 years! The second attempt led towards closing down zero G media and setting up Wildheart Media with my wife Leia.
If you want to radically change your life for the better, I’d suggest doing The Artist’s Way. And if you’re thinking to yourself ‘But I’m not an artist!’ you’ll benefit even more from the book!
My own daily morning ritual
I’ve practised a daily morning ritual for over 13 years now with some variations. Generally speaking, it includes journalling, drinking coffee and practising yoga or reading some inspirational text.
I think the true benefit of my daily ritual is contentment. It’s allowed me to focus on what’s really important in my life and most of that stuff is in my personal relationships and my relationship with myself. One of the questions I’ve spent years asking myself is “How can I do more, achieve more and be more successful?” But I’ve come to realise that this is actually the wrong question to ask myself. A more useful question is: “How can I do less, achieve less and be more successful?”
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this might make me an under-achieving navel gazer with no big dreams or vision. Externally that may appear to be the case, but internally the opposite is true. I care deeply about the big stuff, but it’s so big that it can sometimes overwhelm me and my focus has always been to return to the small stuff, the inner life upon which my external life in the world rests.
It’s exactly this passion that is the defining value of Wildheart Media, hence our strapline ‘Content marketing with passion’. Check out my Finding passion in work post if you’re interested more in this topic.
Going from zero to one
I recently read Peter Thiel’s inspiring Zero to One where he asks his readers to think big and take on solving complex and difficult problems. This has really got me thinking and my take away is that you need to be absolutely sure of your resolve before embarking on solving a complex and difficult problem, and there are just so many to choose from, ranging from environmental, healthcare and education issues.
I’m pretty sure that technology will be key to unlocking solutions in many of these areas. But for many the human touch is still needed, perhaps more than ever. Thiel also reminds us that we have to think both big and small because, as the expression goes, the devil is in the detail!
So how do you start your day?
So, coming back to those small things, it’s worth saying that how you start your day is super important, but most importantly you need to find something that works for you.
Here are two suggestions to get you started:
- Start small with something that takes 10 minutes.
- Buy The Artist’s Way and start doing it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Leave a comment below to let us know how you start your day and if you have any morning rituals you’d like to share.