Over the past few days, I’ve shared why you should stop doing your morning routine first thing in the morning, how to create your ideal weekly schedule and some common mistakes to avoid when doing so.

All that’s nice, but it doesn’t mean anything if it only ever lives on paper or your computer.

So now that you have all those pieces in place, how do you actually stick to a daily routine?

In my experience, there’s really one thing, the 80/20 so to speak, that makes everything else fall into place. It is the secret weapon to make sure you take this stuff from theory to practice.

That one thing?


Simply put, the most important thing to focus on once you have a daily and/or weekly routine is being super present with whatever is in front of you at the time.

Without presence, it becomes easy to become distracted, start procrastinating, or allow tasks to spill over into other time slots.

Instead, we want to cultivate the focus to know what’s important right now, eliminate all other options, and execute on each time block as and when it comes up.

Again, easy to say, harder to do.

So how do you get super present?

There are a few things I like to do that help me focus on the task at hand:

  1. Move. On days that I don’t exercise, I notice myself getting a lot more distracted a lot more easily. I know there’s some science behind this, but all I need to know is that it works. My weapons of choice are lifting or walking. 
  2. Meditate. If you strip away all the woo-woo stuff, meditation is really just gym for your mind. But not in a stressful way. Instead, it allows us to practice bringing our attention back to a chosen focal point. If you’re just starting out, try close your eyes and sit for 5 minutes (or even just 1!), with the only objective being to notice your breath coming in and out of your nose. When you catch yourself thinking about something else, playfully come back to the breath. Congratulations, you now meditate. 
  3. Mini breaks. I mentioned this before, but we can’t expect to go a full 8 hours with no breaks. Our focus typically lasts for about 90 minutes to 2 hours, at which point we start becoming distracted. Use this time to stretch your legs, grab some water and come back refreshed. For bonus points, you can fit your meditation in here! (no phones here, please!)
  4. Remove distractions. Sounds obvious, and it is. Make sure your workplace is free from temptations that compete for your attention. Keep your phone in another room, on the other side of the room, or at least more than an arm’s length away, turned upside down. If it’s really important, they’ll call back.
  5. Braindump. Finally, one of my biggest assets is keeping my journal open next to my laptop, so that whenever I think of something or have a new idea, I write it down immediately. That way, it doesn’t occupy mental real estate or keep me distracted. A powerful hack, if you can get it right, is whenever you feel like opening a new tab to browse something meaningless, to rather write it down and come back to it later. You will feel like a superhero every time you do this.

Remember, any time you allow something else to steal your attention (be it the news, ads, the radio, etc.), you are giving away your power by telling your mind that this distraction is more important than the task at hand.

And, due to context switching, it takes you a lot longer to get back into focus mode for the thing you were meant to be doing.

Keep that up, and your daily routine is wrecked.

But maintain enough presence to come back to the task in front of you, and your daily routine will become your greatest ally in achieving your goals and realizing your vision.


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