When I run a race, my tendency is to start off way too fast, keeping up with those around me. Before I know it, I’ve slowed down because I can’t keep that pace up for a full distance. It ends up taking me longer because I have to walk some and go slower toward the middle and end of the race.
When I start out at my own pace and run my race, then I have energy left to power through to the end.
I’ve discovered I do the same thing in the morning. Some mornings, I jump up and launch into the day, turning on the news, catching up on email and gulping coffee as if on deadline. I get to work and there are more emails, voice mails and interruptions galore – I get caught up in the busyness and priorities of everyone else other than me. It’s like being swept along in the race with all the other runners.
I get distracted easily and end up starting and stopping a lot without making real progress on much of anything. I feel frazzled and frustrated and worn out by the end of the day.
Other days I start out slower, with time spent on my devotions, quietly writing, reviewing what I need to accomplish, and taking time to savor my coffee instead of gulping it down. I get to work with a plan, and block out time for the work I need to accomplish before diving into less urgent matters.
Those are the days that end up being incredibly productive. Those are the days I feel calm, in control, and powerful. I become more energized as the day goes on and I check more off the list.
Can I end up being productive even if I don’t start out that way? Sure, but it is much harder to turn the day around if it didn’t start out the right way.
My goal this year is to focus on starting each day at my pace, so I can accomplish more of my goals and feel more productive and satisfied.
How will you start each day?