Let The Day Come To You

Jun 12, 2024

Have you heard this phrase, “Chasing the day?” It’s that feeling that the day is flying by and you’re rushing to keep up. It’s like running down the block to catch the bus that’s just starting to pull away from your stop. Time feels like a conveyor belt and, just like Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory, it keeps speeding up. You feel pressured by the day’s requirements.

Standard business practices support this frenetic pace of work. But, not only does it not feel good in the nervous system, it’s not very effective. And, it’s a key ingredient in the burnout stew.

We talked about this in a networking event yesterday morning. It was a small group of six women entrepreneurs given conversation cards to facilitate connecting. The question on the card was, “What do you do consistently each day?” Rather than share business practices, several women talked about their morning routine. It was a key factor to letting the day come to you rather than chasing after it.

Vanessa, who is six months into her own coffee business, shared that each day can be very different. Some days she focuses on administrative work. Other days, she’s out in her coffee cart. But what she does do consistently each day is exercise. When she starts her day by working out, she’s got more energy and focus for whatever the day brings.

I shared that I had a consistent morning routine too and someone asked me to describe it. I do some kind of physical activity. I’ll do 5 to 7 minutes of sun salutations or Qi Gong and 10 burpees. Then, I dedicate about 15 to 20 minutes at my alter. I chant, breathe, meditate. Then, I write my morning pages, which takes 30 to 40 minutes. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time for this. But I also know that it, along with the movement and meditation, helps me align with my creativity and what’s true for me on that day.  I take time to make time. When I get up and rush into work without this morning routine, I end up chasing the day.

Perspective Shift

The number one strategy for letting each day come to me and not feeling overwhelmed is dealing with the story going on in my head. Time is not linear. It’s a “stubbornly persistent illusion” as Einstein is often quoted as saying. I remind myself of this often because there’s some deep programming telling me my morning routine is taking too much time and that there’s something else I should be doing, even though I run my own business and my time is my own.

New ideas and insights don’t come to me while I’m sitting at my computer like they do when I’m gardening, showering, or moving through sun salutations. If I was employed, my employer probably wouldn’t be happy to pay me for this type of work but that’s where it comes from.

This is a holistic approach. The thinking I do while digging in the dirt contributes to a better piece of writing when I sit down to my computer. So I really can’t clock in and out of “work” and this perspective helps my relationship with time.

A Good Day Begins Last Night

I can also let the day come to me by preparing for it. The more I can do the night before, the easier I can find the groove of the next day. I put a thermos of hot water in my bathroom next to an empty glass and a bottle of lemon essential oil. This way I don’t have to go downstairs to the kitchen in the morning. This honestly saves me about 20 minutes – that’s how distracting my kitchen is!

I’ll lay out my clothes, saving every ounce of the next day’s decision-making fuel which is a finite quantity. I may even go so far as to remember to fill my desk diffuser so all I need to do when I sit down to my computer is press the ‘on’ button.

The biggest before bed move I can make is to set up the project I want to work on the next day. Starting is the hardest part. If I’ve got a document open with a note or two written, I’ve already started and I can jump into the stream. It’s so satisfying to sit down to a piece of writing that’s already started. So I do myself a huge favor and set that up the night before.

Every day? No. I’m human. But I can start a trend, I can plow a path of routine so that I’m more likely to do these things than not. And if I miss a day, it’s no big deal. I can begin again. The secret is to not miss several days. Then the momentum is lost. The routine fades.

The key word is “consistently.” This doesn’t mean robotically. It means regularly. Exercising three to five days a week is consistent. Missing morning pages once or twice a week is still consistent. Consistency comes most easily through simplicity. A simple routine before bed and in the morning that can be repeated without too much effort or thought is most likely to stick.

You can join our conversation from yesterday morning. What do you consistently do each day? How do you set yourself up to let the day come to you so you’re not chasing it down like a bus that just pulled away from the stop? Journal or share a comment below.

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