The Sacred First Hours of the Day

Do you often realize that most of the day has passed and all you’ve accomplished is busy work, with nothing meaningful or fulfilling to show for it? Turn that around with these two sets of morning routines:\r\n\r\n1. Allocate the first hour of the day to your personal priorities. As soon as you get up, consider the following alternatives:\r\n• Prayer and meditation: Why not start the day by giving thanks to God for the life you have and to reflect on the scriptures or another source of wisdom? This can take as little as five minutes.\r\n• Exercise: Whether you frequent a gym, jog or walk outdoors, or do some push-ups and sit-ups at home, allocating a few minutes to wake up your muscles can do wonders for your health.\r\n• Relationship building: Is there an important relationship in your life that requires your attention? It could be your spouse, a relative, an acquaintance, or someone who may be going through a difficult period. Use this time to talk in person, call or write them, or set up a reminder to connect with them later in the day.\r\n\r\n2. Allocate the first hour at work to your professional priorities. Start by blocking the first hour in your work agenda for a full week. No calls, no meetings, no emails, no internet are allowed (by you). Consider the following alternatives:\r\n• Plan your workday. What is the most important task you will undertake during the day? It could be a business-building opportunity, a professional relationship you need to build or fix, an employee relationship that requires attention, etc.\r\n• Get started. Do not wait until “you find the time” during the day to tackle this priority task. Start working on it right away. If the first hour of the day is all you have available, then schedule time for it during the balance of the workweek. Don’t leave it up to chance. Force yourself to allocate enough time for what you have defined to be important in your professional role.\r\n\r\nTry these two routines for seven days, and assess your performance at the end of the week. Build on the lessons learned for the following week. Adjust as necessary. If you persevere, you will soon realize these routines have improved your work-life balance, positively impacting your personal and professional life, and in the lives of others.

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