Phew, just got to the office in the nick of time. Ugh, you see the pile of work stacked in your inbox. You open your email system and you have tons of unread messages. You are behind, and you can’t even think straight and it’s just 8:05.
Off you go, down to get that first cup of coffee. As you shuffle down the hall, your colleague starts a conversation about the game last night. You banter about how bad those calls were, but in the end of the bantering you still lost the game, and another 5 minutes of your life.
Moving down the hall, your boss peaks around the corner. With one hand he gives you the “come hither” sign, as he has his phone pressed to his ear with the other hand. Motioning for you to sit down while he finishes this call.
As you wait, you begin to look around the office. You see his desk is perfectly in order, no mess at all. His half empty coffee cup is positioned to the right of his keyboard, and you can see his email inbox is empty on the monitor in front of you.
A random thought goes through your head, “This guy doesn’t do anything”. But then you see the awards that are hanging up on his wall. Numerous plaques for being Employee of the Month, and pictures with the President of the company, smiling and shaking hands adorn his office walls.
You look at his outbox on his desk, and there are at least 3 complete project folders already in it and it’s not even 8:15. You stop thinking that he doesn’t do anything, and want to kow what his secret is?
Each and every one of us know both of these employees don’t we? The one that seems to always be behind, the other always like a duck in water, calm and just moving along. What is the secret?
Over the past several months, I have listened to a Podcast called EOFire, hosted by John Lee Dumas. Seven days a week, he interviews entrepreneurs. His format is virtually the same for every interview, asking what the person’s strengths & weaknesses are, an Aha Moment, and a bad moment of the person’s career. The one question he asks at the end of each interview, is what is your ‘secret to success’. The common answer, not all of them, but the one that is the most frequent is the 5AM club. A high percentage of the guests say that this is the time that is best used to get themselves together.
Ever since I was a Detroit Free Press paper boy at 12 years old, I have been waking up between 4:15 and 5am every day of the week. I have used this time very well, and never feel stress when I walk into my office. I used the old adage; don't let a moment go to waste, early to bed early to rise, or get a jump on the day!. I have a very rigid routine. And now, I found a name for it!
This morning’s Episode of EOFire, Episode 1297, the guest was Garrett Gunderson. You can listen to his entrepreneurial story on your own, but I want to discuss his secret to success. He put a name to it, and called it the Three E’s … Exercise, Education, and Enlightenment.
Exercise: Each morning, exercise in one way or the other. Walk, run, yoga, stretch or do whatever it is you do to keep your body fit. Exercise has a way to kick off those endorphins and clear your mind. I personally walk every day. Seven days a week, my goal is to walk a minimum of 3 miles with my dog. Rain, sleet, snow (and I live in Michigan), I am out there trudging along. On an average basis, I miss 4 or 5 days per year.
Education: Do something every morning to increase our skill in your career. Read an article on management or marketing, find a blog you like (this one is excellent by the way), listen to a podcast on a procedure. Whatever it is, the goal is to continuously improve every day. It will help you in those high stress days when you need to find solutions to new problems.
Enlightenment: This is up to you. Meditate, read the bible, write a gratitude journal, something. Do it for you. What can you do to get your creative juices going, clear your mind, and start your day off thinking positive thoughts?
The Three E’s! I’ve been doing this since I was 12, and I won’t say how many decades that is, but I am very glad there is a name for it.
You can start this tomorrow, at no cost. Get up earlier, start your day with the three E’s, and you won’t be surprised when you get to the office. Maybe your office will be the one in order, with all the awards hanging on the wall!