Lynda’s High 5 for Leaders
5 Ways to Prime Your Mind for Success Tomorrow Morning©
by: Lynda McNutt Foster
Each morning I pick a different video to crawl on the elliptical with. It’s got to be something interesting or there’s no way I’m pumping for 20 minutes on that thing. I give videos about one minute to see if they have something that will add to my library of knowledge and have the ability to keep me from checking every 30 seconds about how far I have left to go.
This morning I was priming my mind with material to assist Courtland, one of our executive coaches, prepare for tomorrow night’s forum, The Generational Divide, at the Grandin CoLab in Roanoke. It starts at 5:15p if you want to attend. Let me know and I’ll save you a seat. Anyway, I was watching this video. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s a TEDx Talk by a Millennial who educates Generation Xers and Baby Boomers, like me, about how to best work with that group. Man, she really made a good case about anything, good or bad, we’re experiencing we created in them. She’s probably right.
The average American watches about 4 hours of TV a day. “Watches” is the key word I think as so many people are doing other things while the TV is in the background. Years ago, now, I used to wake up flipping through Facebook. I’m off that addiction now, all together, as I realized that it simply primed my mind for drama and there’s plenty of drama in the world without having to scroll through FB looking for it.
So what are you priming your mind with in the morning? Are you intentionally focused, each morning, on what will create the best you to show up in the world? Do you have a routine that awakens your prefrontal cortex (that’s the CEO of your brain) and gets your blood pumping through your veins in a way that is not just caffeine induced?
Here’s 5 ways to seriously prime your mind for a focused, productive, and satisfying day ahead:
- Watch any of these: channels on Youtube. You can seriously feel like you’ve read a book a day in less than like 15 minutes with Brian Johnson channel. One of my favorites was Your Brain at Work by David Rock OR Evan Carmichael. Believe. Stuffed full of “Top 10 rules for success” he edits together the best highlights from famous folks to bring you a quick guide to get your day focused on the type of behaviors that lead to their success. One of my favorites is Will Smith’s Top 10 Rules for Success OR Fightmediocrity is another great channel for condensing books into their biggest themes. If you haven’t read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People here it is in under 8 minutes.
- Listen to any of these: Audiobooks are great primers. If you haven’t listened to How Google Works there is a massive amount of useful information for any leader in that book. It could be worth it to spend some time listening to Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset. It’s one of the best sellers in leadership circles in the world right now. And, well, if you want to learn quickly how to design your time for richer outcomes (WARNING: shameless plug ahead) in less than 111 minutes you can listen to my book on Audible, Time Mastery: 7 Simple Steps to Richer Outcomes.
- Do any of these: Exercise for 12 minutes (the amount of time Dr. Medina wrote about in Brain Rules) to get the blood flowing to all parts of your brain OR Do stretching exercises for a few minutes to loosen up and prepare your body for the day OR Do a 7-minute gratitude meditation OR Eat a smoothie with spinach and blueberries (big time brain food).
- Ritual of appreciation. Priming your mind, each morning, with appreciation is like setting off fireworks in your brain. It activates all different parts of your brain and creates the best possible environment for higher level thinking and being for the day.
- Be this. There’s no rewind button on life. Yesterday is gone. Today is not here yet. You’ve got today and even more importantly, right now. This very moment. Embrace it. Be alive in it.
I am asked by clients and participants in my classes what the best books to read are, videos to watch, etc., so I thought it might be helpful if I started sending out what I am reading or listening to each morning on Twitter. You can start following that feed at @lfosterva.
How does your team prime their minds in the morning? Try some of these practices that can help prepare your team for higher levels of thinking and success each day.
- Greet one another pleasantly in the morning. Nothing throws off people’s day more than when the boss or a co-worker walks right by them without as much as a word.
- Review your co-worker to do list. Is there anything you need to respond to a co-worker about that would allow them to have a more productive day? Is there a task or decision you need to get complete for them so they can finish one of their to-dos that has been pending?
- Start with what went right. If you have morning meetings, begin each one with a quick round or announcement of what has gone right. This type of asset based thinking builds trust and primes your team’s mind for looking for strengths in themselves and others.