7 simple ways to focus your mind and increase your impact

You’ve likely heard the expression ‘to get out of the wrong side of the bed’? It’s said to originate from ancient Rome; Romans being careful always to get out of bed on the correct side to ensure that good fortune followed them through their day.

It may be superstitious but the reality is that if our day starts badly, it often continues that way. Having an ‘off’ day as a senior leader is out of the question; every day needs to be high performance.

Starting off with the right mindset is paramount. We all know the virtues of not checking our email, phone messages and social media in the first few moments of our day. But what else can you do?

Here are seven things that you can implement easily and quickly. The key is to start small and develop a sustainable practice that you can continue seamlessly. Based on a concept of ‘ten and five’ they take just ten minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, maximum. You can use a note book, or do these exercises in your mind if you prefer.

Morning (10 minutes)

Breathe. Take three or four minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breath. Nothing else, just your breath. Consider the flow of your thoughts, without following them with interest or need. Deep breathing techniques are one of the best ways to calm the body and help us relax, meaning we start the day in a state of calm rather than trepidation.

Appreciate. Write down three things that you are grateful for. Being actively grateful helps us appreciate the good things and people in our life. The saying ‘where the mind goes, energy flows’ is widely endorsed and positive psychology indicates that expressing feelings of gratitude is strongly correlated with increased happiness. 

Focus. Identify three things that will make the day successful. Think about what you want to get out of the day, what’s important to you and how you’d like to feel as the day draws to a close. This will focus your mind on positive achievements and outputs from the day.

Project. Think about who and what you need to be today to achieve what you want to get out of the day and the mindset and energy you need. Complete the sentence ‘Today I will be……….’ and clarify in your mind your intention for the day.

Connect with the world. Do these exercises outside. Or, if you can, stand outside and breath in the fresh air for a few moments. Alternatively, take your coffee or tea whilst sitting by a window. A walk or stretch is even better and helps awaken the body as well as the mind.

Evening (5 minutes)

Reflect. Take a moment to reflect on your day. Ask yourself what went well?  What are you proud of? What did you learn?  What will you do differently tomorrow? 

Reinforce. Tell yourself three positive things each night before going to bed. For example three things you’ve been pleased with during the day, or even three things that you like about yourself. Sustainable inner confidence can be easier said than done when the pressure is on. And it doesn’t hurt at times of tiredness to remind yourself that yes ‘I can do this’ before resting your head.

Receive Rebecca's newsletter

Subscribe to receive practical tips and ideas to help you be an even more successful leader in your business.

Interested in working with Rebecca

Contact Rebecca using the form below, or email directly to talk about working together.