Most top athletes go through a preparation routine before every game which starts long before they get on the field. The best ones usually start the moment they awake. They follow this pattern with a fierce devotion because it activates all sorts of subconscious and autonomic systems that put that athlete "in the zone." "In the zone" describes a condition of readiness and awareness that helps prepare that person for success.
If you eliminate the quirky, (Tiger Woods makes his hotel bed for instance), the obsessive, (Michael Phelps' ritualistic warm-ups), and the bizarre, (Rocky Balboa's dozen raw eggs for breakfast), and you just look at patterns, putting yourself in the zone to have a great day is a solid idea.
As a business owner and leader, you set the pace for the rest of your organization. Your company, even if it has just a few employees, is a reflection of you. Sharpen your company by first sharpening yourself at the dawn of each day.
Start with awakening. Let's take the first 30 minutes to get you in the zone.
1. Body--Coming out of bed, your body needs three things for certain--water, protein and movement. Without being indelicate, your systems were all working through the night and they need to complete their cycles. Starting with 16 ounces of water gets you started on the eight glasses you already know you need to get anyway and begins the benefits that moving fluids through your body starts.
You need protein in your first food of the day, even if you are going for a run or a workout. A protein shake will do. The rest of the food pyramid is open, but even if you are a very light breakfast eater, protein is important.
Movement gets blood moving, clears the mind and releases energy. Workouts with weights or cardio are great--but sometimes ten minutes of stretching is all you have time or space for. Regardless, don't let the first 30 minutes of the day get started without moving.
2. Mind--Your mind needs focus or you will waste time and energy in your morning and in your day. The most effective business owners and CEOs that I know actually focus on very few things. Those that receive their focus, receive all of their focus. A billionaire I interviewed told me one of his keys to success--he tries to accomplish only one thing per day. A very big thing, of course, but from the moment he woke up until he finished his day, he threw every available effort at that one thing. Most of us measure our days in volume, not in scale. How many checks on our list, not how important one big check might be. Pick the one BIG thing to accomplish and let your morning open up with that as the focus for your first thoughts.
3. Spirit--Part of putting yourself in the zone is achieving alignment of your core energy and your positive emotions. A proven way to do this is through a simple reflection of gratitude. Being grateful, aware of all you have, is a centering action. It starts your day with energy and calm. When you greet your employees, clients, and suppliers throughout the day knowing that you included them in your reflections, they will feel that in your interaction and it will make for a better exchange regardless of the circumstances.
The top performers in most fields put the odds in their favor by putting themselves in the zone. Figure out your Body/Mind/Spirit routine and follow it for a better day every day.