Following on from our Setting Yourself Up For Success article, we’ve had quite a few people contact us asking what we do personally as part of our daily personal growth routine. Welcome to “Personal Development For Busy People”.
My name is Michael Francis, chief product researcher at successful personal growth. Clearly my daily activity is surrounded by personal development information and therefore I am always totally immersed with the subject.
However, I do have a personal self-improvement routine which is totally separate from the work I do for Successful Personal Growth; and I’m more than happy to share that with our readers.
This is not something that I’ve dreamt up overnight, but something that’s taken years to put together and TRUST ME it works.
Most of the resources that I use are free resources. However there are a couple of inexpensive products that you may wish to purchase to boost your daily success.
Personal Development For Busy People
This can also be called: “How to Squeeze 1 Hour of Personal Development into a Busy Day…. EVERY DAY!!!”
A Change of Attitude
I never used to be a morning person when I worked in the corporate world. Actually, I REALLY hated mornings.
However, since leaving the corporate world, four years ago, I’m much more motivated about the upcoming day and now usually spring out of bed first thing in the morning, ready for the challenges ahead.
Instead of wasting time reading negative Facebook posts and watching the negative news (more on that below), I am now charged up and ready to tackle each and every day.
I have seen massive improvements in my daily productivity by doing, what Tony Robbins would call, an “Hour of Power”. But, I don’t follow exactly what Tony Robbins suggests in his “Get the Edge” the programme and I’ve designed my own which, coincidentally, takes about an hour to do – but spread throughout the day.
The good news is this has nothing to do with muscle wrenching exercise; or pacing down your road screaming affirmations like “It’s going to be a perfect day!!” at 6 o’clock in the morning (as Tony Robbins suggests in his program). Fortunately, there are other ways to totally motivate yourself and you don’t even have to leave your bed.
- USA Readers: Get the Edge – Tony Robbins
- UK Readers: Get the Edge – Tony Robbins
As you will see from scrolling down, I squeeze a lot of self-improvement actions into my day. This would not be possible without some useful computer tools to organize myself. I personally use Microsoft Products; and MS outlook and MS excel are key for me.
Of course, you might have your own organisational tools, but if you don’t you can use free versions from open source; or even use Google’s free spreadsheet and calendar.
By using desktop applications such as Excel, you can create links within the spreadsheet to take you to other relevant documents and mp3’s on your computer, or to YouTube videos.
OR you can just keep all of your daily personal growth material (documents / videos / mp3s / links) in one folder. And you can just use a paper calendar, or journal to keep track of your progress instead of a spread-sheet.
A Day of 3 Parts
Whilst I will break the individual tasks down later, I basically structure my personal development day down into three areas:
- Morning: Motivation ‘pump-up’ session.
- During the day: Am I on track?
- Evening: Review sessions.
Again, I should repeat that all of this is for my own personal growth and nothing to do with the additional personal development information that I need for my role working for successfulpersonalgrowth.com
A) Morning Motivation ‘Pump-up’ Session (12 minutes)
How you start the first hour of your day can have a major impact on how the rest of your day will go.
Avoid Morning Negativity
A rare glance at Facebook first thing in the morning reminds me of how easy it is to fall into the trap of negativity.
A lot of my old ex-corporate colleagues post negative status updates about their:
- Horrendous journey to work.
- How they are dreading the upcoming day.
- How badly their first hour is gone at work.
Because of this, I now avoid Facebook early in the morning because I got sick of seeing the negative status updates (in fact many of my old acquaintances have now either been deleted or I have opted out of seeing their status updates).
This might seem a drastic thing to do, but reading such negativity first thing really can have a subconscious effect on the rest of your day (and it’s also a bad time-suck too).
Try this out for a week. It will be hard, but you will notice a difference – don’t even take a quick glance whilst travelling to work – just avoid it altogether.
For all of the above reasons, I also avoid the news first thing in the morning too. It will still be there later, you won’t be missing anything.
Okay, with those out of the way, let’s now REALLY change your life for the better.
Hydration is crucial after losing a lot of fluid during sleep, through breathing and sweating. There are many reasons why you should stay hydrated (just check out any reputable medical website).
Basically your mental and physical performance will both deteriorate if you are dehydrated.
Therefore, I will start the day with 1 pint of lemon and cucumber water, and will drink this whilst undertaking the tasks that follow. The lemon and cucumber will alkalize the water – which is what your body needs to neutralize the generally acidic food that we consume.
2. Oxygenate (1 minute)
Before I start anything, I make sure that I inject a blast of fresh air into my head.
Ideally, you’d start off with some form of outdoor exercise. However, as a minimum, as soon as I get up, I open the window and undertake 60 seconds of deep breathing.
Really oxygenate that blood and all of your tissues and organs.
3. Motivation video (6 mins)
We have a Top 10 Inspirational Videos article; and a Top 10 Motivational Videos article is in the pipe-line. If I had to pick one video, above all others that I’ve seen, which really pumps me up every morning then it’s the following one.
Sacrifice – Motivational Video
4. Gratitude (1 min)
I keep a gratitude journal of things that I am grateful for. Each morning, I will spend no more than 60 seconds thinking about 2 things that I am grateful for in life.
This can be absolutely anything: friends, family, individuals, material things, our environment – whatever springs to mind. I try to think about different things each day. However, if I’m particularly grateful about something in my life then repetition just enforces that gratitude.
We have a free book on gratitude, which you can read about here.
5. Today’s Achievements (1 min)
I will review (i.e. just read) 5 things that I am going to achieve today (I will write these down just before I go to bed the previous night).
6. The Secret Daily Teachings / Desk-top Widget (1 min)
I read today’s page from The Secret Daily Teachings book. Each day has a motivational law of attraction message.
You can get the book from here:
- USA readers: The Secret Daily Teachings
- UK readers: The Secret Daily Teachings
Alternatively, you can pick up the Secret Daily Teachings widget from the official Secret website: http://thesecret.tv/widgets.html
7. Look at my goals (3 mins)
This is just a quick scan of my headline daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. This is just to burn them into my brain. Repetition being the mother of achievement.
So, all of the above takes less than 15 minutes – what a powerful way to start the day…….. and so much better than reading about other people’s bad journey to work, or the latest disaster from around the world, don’t you think?
B) Am I on Track? (10 – 15 mins)
Unfortunately, in our busy lives, it is all too easy to get side-tracked throughout the day and get overwhelmed. However, irrespective of how busy we are it is vital for our mental and physical health that we take time out during the day from whatever job we are doing.
Of course, I do appreciate from my corporate experience that many people don’t even have time to go to the toilet during their working day, let alone think about self-improvement.
I have picked just one ‘bite-sized’ thing that can easily be incorporated into even a busy person’s day, although it could quite easily be added to the morning ‘pump up’ session.
8. Tony Robbins Giant Steps (10-15 mins)
This is a fantastic book, which enables you to increase your personal development skills over the course of a year. Just think how advanced you will be over the course of 365 days – progressing just one step at a time.
I do the exercise from one page per day.
- USA readers: Giant Steps
- UK readers: Giant Steps
C) Evening Chill-Out Session (20-30 mins)
Just as it is important to start the day well, it is vital that you end each day in a positive and relaxed frame of mind.
The past 12-16 hours have now gone. You can reflect and learn on the day’s activities. However, worrying about what “might have been” is not going to serve you in the future. You need a good night’s sleep and this cannot be attained by fretting over “today’s events”.
I make point of going to bed by 11.00 PM, and without my laptop. Therefore, there are a couple of things that I need to do just before getting into bed.
9. What am I grateful for? (3 mins)
In my journal (which is on my computer) I write down three things which have happened that day that I am eternally grateful for. This can be anything like:
- Stumbling across a really helpful or interesting article (for work or personal use).
- Someone being really complimentary about the work we’ve produced.
- Having no issues with any of our suppliers (e.g. internet problems, site down time).
- It just being a bright and sunny day.
10. Today’s best achievements (2 mins)
In my ‘best achievements’ log, I write down the two best achievements of the day. These can be anything and are not linked to the things that I am ‘grateful’ for above. If the day has gone as planned, they should be the achievements that I set out in the morning ‘pump up’ session. Most of the time they are.
11. Vision boards (5 mins)
My vision boards are in PDF format, having been created in Microsoft PowerPoint. I have five of them for different areas of my life and I make a point of looking at each of them just before I switch off at my computer.
To me, they are a reminder that no matter what has happened throughout the day, this is where my life is ultimately heading.
12. My 5 Priorities for Tomorrow (5 mins)
This is a simple list of 5 things that I must get done the following day. Of course, I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night fretting about the following day’s activities. However, sometimes just knowing what’s on the ‘menu’ for tomorrow can allow my subconscious mind to work on solutions whilst I sleep (Try it, it REALLY works).
13. Subliminal videos (10-15 mins)
I have a couple of these that I watch each evening. Here is one you might want to start with.
Law Of Attraction Money Maker
14. Subliminal audio / guided meditation (30 mins)
After have done the above I’m now ready for bed where I can go to sleep listening to a subliminal track, or guided meditation.
This is in addition to the days ‘hour of power’. I listen to this as I’m drifting off to sleep, and will often find myself slipping off the head phones about an hour later.
Here are some of my favourite resources for quality subliminal and guided meditation recordings:
- Steve G Jones (click here)
- Brennan Smith Natural Hypnosis (click here)
- Hypnosis Vault (click here)
- Subliminal MP3s (click here)
- Thoughts Inspire (click here)
I am lucky in that I have a certain amount of flexibility in my work-life. However, with will-power, I believe that many people can employ the following additional tips, to improve their productivity:
a) I never switch my internet on before 12pm – Even if your job is computer based. It’s too much of a distraction (you CAN live without it and still do computer work).
b) I never look at any emails before 12pm – It’s too easy to get sucked into jobs that will throw me of the main goals of the day.
c) I never go on social media before 6pm. Again this is a time-suck. PLUS you tend to get more positive comments from ‘friends’ at the end of the day as well.
Squeezing in Personal Development Even If Your Life is Hectic!
66 Free Personal Development Books
If you decide to purchase any of the products suggested on this page, we shall give you 66 personal development books for free. You can see which books you’ll be getting here.
To get your free books:
- Click on any of the links in this article taking you to Amazon, or one of the websites offering hypnosis or subliminal recordings.
- Purchase the product that we’ve recommended.
Now take the following steps:
I can understand that many people might be a little reluctant to incorporate all of the above into their daily lives because they, mistakenly, believe that it is wasting too much time. However, you can never waste time on personal growth…… It all pays back in the end.
What you will find is that you will have much more focus, in the future, and be much more motivated. The 1 hour you might be spending on my suggestions will actually be recuperated in much better productivity in the long run.
I hope that this article has given you an insight into what someone working for a personal development company does for his own self-improvement. Of course, there are always plenty of other books to read and CDs to listen to….. And I do…… but that’s just part of my “Day job”.
What are YOUR daily rituals for personal development? Why not add some comments in the section below telling me what you think of my program and let me know what you do on a daily, or weekly basis.
Successful Personal Growth
Group Of Business People At Work (photostock) / Thumb Up Like unlike Hand Symbol (basketman) / Lemon Fruit (Danilo Rizzuti) / Running Track (tungphoto) all at freedigitalphotos.net