PSA: How you start and end each day has a pretty big impact on the middle part.
Your morning sets the tone for your energy, how efficient and productive you are, and how you show up for others, and your evening habits help close out how your day went, allows you to reflect & integrate, then slow down for a peaceful night’s sleep.
I know what some of you are thinking: “I don’t have time for a morning routine – let alone an evening routine.” Yeah, I get it, it sounds a little extra.
While many people see these routines as “unnecessary” and even luxurious, I can attest to their power. I’m ALL about being intentional with every second of my day, and the first few hours really set the tone for the rest of the day. And, pretty much all of the successful entrepreneurs we look up to typically share my sentiments.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve recognized that the more I prioritize my energy and MYSELF, I am able to show up better for my business and loved ones. It’s all about putting that oxygen mask on yourself first, rather than running on empty.
So today, I’m going to share my daily routine and how I protect my energy as a 7-figure female entrepreneur.
MY MORNING FLOW:
In general, meditation provides the mind with a mono-task, which trains us to focus on a single item, rather than being mentally pulled in multiple different directions. Nowadays, multi-tasking has become so normal for us, but there’s such power in having a singular focus and being fully present for just one thing. For me, this practice has greatly increased my productivity and performance by training my brain – day by day – to stay present and in the moment.
For the most part, I practice Vedic Meditation… and I don’t overthink it! I literally get up, sit on my bed, and practice for 10-20 minutes. There’s no audio recording, no timer, no music… nothing. For me, this is what has worked best and allows me to get into a flow and just BE. I tend to wake up super excited to hit the ground running, and this helps me harness my energy, so I can approach things in a calm and centered state.
Mid-day, I cheat and use tools like NuCalm and Braintap – both of which include guided meditations that help you fall deeper into meditation, quicker – so if you’re new to meditation, I’d highly recommend using either tool.
Also, if I’m feeling called to do a longer meditation, I swear by Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Meditations – they are absolutely incredible!
When it comes to my breathwork practice, I like to use it as an anchor throughout my day. I’ve found that having an anchor really grounds me and helps me stay embodied versus being all in my head. Can you relate?!
Throughout the day, I try to practice Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing. Here’s how to do it: breathe 4 seconds through the nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and do an audible exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds. You can do this practice for a minimum of 3 cycles and you’ll be golden. I swear this works!
Also, I practice holotropic breathwork a couple of times a week. I usually use this as a tool to release stagnant energy after a long workday. This practice helps me unwind and return back to my workday the next day with fresh energy – something I’m sure we can ALL use more of!
I don’t necessarily do this practice every morning, but mostly just on the days where I wake up feeling anxious. This helps me tap back into a flow state and get grounded within my body before starting my workday.
As you can see, embodiment is a big theme for me! I’ve really been into somatic therapy techniques as of late, as it’s such powerful release work that leaves such a lasting and meaningful impact.
I also love taking walks whilst being on meetings and calls, stretching and foam rolling (obsessed with Lauren Roxburgh’s program), dancing, exercising, and of course – rebounding (so amazing for the lymphatic system).
P.S. I’m writing this piece circa April 2020, so although we can’t make it to the gym, there are still plenty of routes we can take from home!
PEN TO PAPER:
Journaling, in whichever form, can be super therapeutic for a multitude of reasons. Getting thoughts OUT of your head and on paper essentially frees you from their power… and, practicing POSITIVE thoughts via writing is super healing in itself. Every morning, I practice a combination of gratitude and future-casting, which has been such a powerful morning practice for me.
Currently, my morning journaling prompts include: 5 items I’m grateful for, followed by 5 items I want, but in the present tense, as if I already have these things and am feeling their gratitude. It’s pure magic!
Manifestation and magnetism are fueled by emotions, so when you viscerally FEEL these things, you are more likely to draw them in. Remember: where your focus goes, energy flows!
When it comes to journaling, I’m also a big fan of Julia Cameron’s freewriting – this is especially helpful when I have a lot on my mind. This could be an amazing resource for you as well!
Another no-brainer, but weirdly overlooked.
Anytime I’m feeling uninspired, drab, or run down – I instantly feel better by downing some live, mineral-infused water. When your cells aren’t adequately hydrated, they don’t communicate with other cells as well (hello brain fog) and your body and brain thus don’t function as well.
Did you know that one of the BIGGEST factors of lethargy is dehydration? Such a simple shift that creates amazing results for the body. I love these small shifts!
The first thing I do when I officially begin my workday is prioritizing. If you’re a fellow entrepreneur or business owner, you know the importance of this firsthand!
Prioritization is one of the most mentally taxing things your brain does, so I like to do this first, to best leverage my mental energy and ensure my day flow has a strategy and thoughtfulness behind it.
I like to consolidate my tasks into 3 MVP items, and no more than 10 admin items, which take less than 5 mins each. Here’s a quick pro-tip: start with the hardest and least appealing tasks first, that way you move the needle in the right direction early in your day!
Once I’ve prioritized my to-do’s, I time block my MVP and admin tasks!
I categorize my MVP items by what type of “work” is being done – whether it’s management, biz dev, creative flow, etc. – my brain has to be in different modes for each task, so I like to give them their own designated windows.
When I’m in my work blocks, I put my phone on “do not disturb” and ensure my desktop notifications are switched to OFF. I have a timer on my phone to buzz me when my time blocks have been completed and then I’ll switch focus.
What works for me best is working in 50 minute increments, followed by a quick 10-minute embodiment break. Then I’ll just rinse and repeat this process. It works like a charm!
I do my periphery admin work like emails in the evening once I’m already mentally drained and ready to relax straight afterward.
My Evening Flow:
To wind down after a long day of work, I love incorporating some stimulant-free nootropics into my regimen.
Right now, a combination of CBD (my favorite is Soul CBD’s 1500 MG watermelon), L Theanine, 5 HTP, Bacopa and Ashwagandha are my go-to. If I’m feeling extra inspired, I’ll make a hot turmeric drink with liquid/powdered forms of some of these ingredients. It’s seriously so delicious and a perfect way to wind down after a day in meetings or on my computer.
Around sunset most nights, I like to pop in an Audible, podcast, or Coursera course and go for a long walk. This satiates my brain and helps me get some fresh air at the end of the day.
And depending on the kind of day, there may be a wine roadie involved. So much fun to relax and unwind in this way!
I create a rough outline of tomorrow’s tasks, this kind of unloads what’s on my mind, so I can start my morning off with total ease, knowing I have a plan of attack for the day.
I make a list of these tasks on a small post-it, and gauge what I should be doing tomorrow vs the remainder of the week. Keep in mind: I stick to the 3 MVP rule, so anything that doesn’t fit tomorrow can be squeezed in later on in the week.
This is the best time to also dial in non-work related tasks, like planning a workout, catching up with friends, meal-prep, etc. I’ve recently become a bit adverse to making commitments, so I usually plan these things out no earlier than the night before! This allows me to stay present and go with the flow during the week.
REFLECT ON THE DAY:
In the same journal I write my morning gratitude, I like to list out 3 things I’m grateful for in the evening, as well as my 3 biggest wins for the day. It’s such a simple practice, and yet it creates such incredible results and gives me the space to celebrate my wins and reflect. I highly recommend adding this practice into your evening routine if you’re not doing it already.
So, there you have it! I don’t necessarily abide by these every day, and sometimes I settle for an abbreviated version, but I do like to follow the 80/20 rule here. Consistency is queen!
This is what I’ve found works for me, based on a ton of trial and error. I encourage you to experiment and find what works for you. Don’t overthink it, just do what makes you feel good, gives you energy, and fuels your body and mind. Whatever that is for you is totally perfect!
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” –Jim Rohn
We have the power to create an inspiring day that brings us so much joy. So, now get out there and change the world.
Anna is the founder and CEO of BrandUp, a creative agency based in sunny LA. She’s an entrepreneur at heart, a brand ninja and energy optimization / biohack queen. She’s super passionate about helping entrepreneurs make a full-time living doing what they love, while maintaining balance along the way.