Regular listeners and readers will know that alongside my usual Real Estate content, I often talk about mindset and discipline, as I believe these are essential to success of any kind.
This week I’m going to be taking you through the various systems that I’ve kind of developed over the last couple of years that have helped me optimise my productivity, maximise my discipline and honed my general health and wellbeing.
This is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice and always consult a medical professional before commencing any new exercise programme or activity.
Living life on your own terms
The reason I want to talk about this is because the majority of my readers and listeners want to learn about property investment and real estate in order to become a better investor and to create wealth. Simply put, so you can live life on your own terms.
Nobody wants to die the richest person in the graveyard and so the idea, as far as I’m concerned, is not just to create money: it’s to create freedom. Not simply financial freedom – I’m also talking about freedom of time and freedom of purpose.
I want to be able to afford to do the things that I want, both financially and in terms of available time. I want to be able to go after the stuff that really matters to me and that holds particularly strong or deep meaning for me. That’s what freedom means for me.
Systems to Optimise your Productivity
So let’s take a look at the systems that I use to optimise my productivity, discipline and wellness.
I’m going to start again by saying that ‘your health is your wealth’: something that really can’t be overstated. If you want to be more successful and productive, the starting place is to have a strong body and a strong mind.
This is so important to me because I watched my own dad die at the age of 45, and health was not a priority for him. I would consider myself pretty obsessed with my health and fitness and whilst it’s for many reasons, an important one is that fact that I have five kids. I know what it’s like to lose a parent and I would hate for that to happen to my children.
But it’s not just that. From a business perspective, if you’re fit it means you’re sharper mentally, so you make better decisions, you’re able to cope with stress better and often I find you’re more creative.
You should also watch your weight and what you eat. What you consume is obviously very important – not just in terms of food you put in your mouth, but also in terms of what you consume mentally: what content you’re watching and what you’re consuming online.
What works for me
So my own routine is something I’ve been honing for some years now, especially in the morning, and it sets me up for a successful, productive day. Whilst I’m no robot, consistency and discipline are personal values of mine, and this is the lifestyle I try to maintain.
Seven days a week I’m up at 5am (or thereabouts). In order to do that (and not cut short my sleep), I go to bed earlier than a lot of people – I try to be in bed by 10 o’clock and asleep at the very latest by 10.30, so that I’m getting at least six and a half hours sleep. Ideally you should be getting seven hours, or if you can, eight, although I find that as you get older you don’t seem to need as much sleep.
However, do remember that having a good sleep is part of your daily recovery system – especially if you exercise a lot. Try not to go to bed and scroll on social media, and if you can, don’t eat too late.
I try to stop eating at 6pm, with the idea being that it allows my body to recover without wasting energy on digestion. Alcohol will impact your sleep as well – I I gave up drinking years ago – so if you likes a couple of glasses of wine at night remember that it might feel like you it’ll help you fall asleep very quickly, but won’t give you good quality sleep.
Priming your mind
It’s all very well working out and eating well, but it’s also important to to prime your mind. I meditate every day – just for 10 minutes using the Calm app, and it really sets me up for the day. I also read a page of a book called The Daily Stoic (a piece of stoic wisdom or philosophy from people like Marcus Aurelius) – now this might not be your thing but I find it fascinating. It’s only a small passage and takes about 90 seconds to read, and then I’m done.
I have a five-minute journal which I fill out every day with how I’m feeling or what kind of a workout I’m going to do, and I have another journal that I write more deeply in, where I keep a list of the values that I try to live by and what my main goals and ambitions are. It’s too easy to wake up in the morning tired and groggy, to just roll into the day and let it hit you. If you go in primed and ready, you’re saying ‘okay, yes, I what do I stand for?’, and you start off on the right foot, meaning you’ll be making decisions from the right place.
Something I’ve been doing recently is shocking my system with cold water: every day for months I have an ice-cold shower in the morning. I put the water to the absolute coldest and jump in – not to get it over within 10 seconds, but to have a normal length shower. It’s important to do things that make you feel uncomfortable! I’ve also been reading ‘The Wim Hof Method’ and implementing a breathing exercise called box breathing as a way to de-stress.
Planning out your day – identifying the frog
Finally, you need to properly plan your day so you can identify your priorities. It’s important to have one priority for the day – if you’re working on a bigger project then the one priority that day might be a component or a task related to that.
One thing I’m guilty of is having big to-do lists. The reality is that if you have a big to-do list you have no priority, so it’s really important to identify one thing that if, if you achieve it, makes everything else easier.
The other thing that I try to do is identify what I call ‘the frog’. That’s the unpleasant task that you’ve been putting off because it’s unpleasant or it’s going to require a load of thinking and just seems like a lot of work. That’s when you say, ‘OK, swallow the frog!’ because if you can get that off your list then the sense of relief is fantastic.
Do not start your day by opening your email! When you do that, you’re getting the everyone else’s agenda rather than your own. If you’re planning on achieving some great thing, then your agenda should be something like a small task that takes you in the direction of your bigger goal or the purpose.
I hope that’s been helpful – you can take a listen to Episode 150 of the podcast for more hints and tip. Good luck!