Management Today - Spring 2016 - 7


CEO OF THE QUARTER //

mt

Spring 2016

Next, I have breakfast at the American
favorite-Waffle House. I'm there so
often, the smiling staff already knows
my order. By 6:05 a.m., I have a spread of
bacon, eggs and coffee. To maximize my
breakfast time, I use the 20 minutes to
enjoy my meal, pray, read and jot down
what I'm grateful for. I believe if I can be
humbled with what I have, I will be more
generous with what I've been given.
I'm passionate about setting and meeting goals, so I also use this time to reflect
on what I've accomplished and what I
want to achieve next. By combining personal and professional development in the
morning I feel refreshed in nearly every
area of my life, and I'm able to channel this
energy into my work immediately.
The hour after breakfast is without a
doubt when I experience my best focus,
and it's when I tackle my biggest project
for the day. At 7:10 a.m., I pay $6.11 for
my meal and leave Waffle House to go
back home, which is my most cherished
time of the day. It's the time I get to
spend with my family before my kids
leave for school.
At 8:15 a.m., I drive to the Booster office, calling some employees on the way. I
arrive at the office ready to think through
the decisions that need to be made to help
my team succeed in serving our clients
well. By 9 a.m., I've accomplished more
than I used to in an entire day.
Here are some guiding principles for
mastering your morning.
Be Proactive to Be Productive
Mornings are so crucial because they
maximize my mental energy. To make
this work, I have to prepare the night
before. Removing simpler tasks from my
morning allows me to be most productive
when I start my day. What can you take
care of during the evening to minimize
unnecessary early morning decisions?
Whether it's making your breakfast or

packing your bag for the day, those small
decisions help delay decision fatigue.
Habits That Stick
My successful mornings are a direct
product of habits I've created. By minimizing the decisions I have to make, I focus on what is most important with my
early morning time. Doing hard things
becomes second nature, when every
day I've said I'd finish a tough workout.
Looming projects become like workouts.
To Be Generous, Be Selfish
Most of my morning is reserved for
reflecting on the previous day and focusing on what's ahead. By being selfish
with my time first thing in the morning,
I can be generous later in the day. Rather
than waking up an hour before I have to
be in the office, I wake up three hours
earlier so I have time to myself and time
with my family. By the time I'm with
them, I've already worked through my
big project; I can let it go and reduce the
stress or ideas that might float into my
consciousness if I'd just woken up. I take
ample time for all my morning activities.
I have a complete workout, a relaxing
breakfast to myself, generous time with
my kids and my wife, and the entire day
for my team and clients.
First Things First
By nature I'm not a "morning person."
But I've realized I can produce better
work with greater efficiency if I set aside
time early in the day when I feel fresh.
Rather than worry about getting to a
high-priority project all day, I knock it
out before additional work robs that time.
Anxiety is the enemy of productivity.
Being proactive is the key to eliminating
unnecessary stress from our lives.
We Are Not Robots
When someone hears that you wake
up at 4:45 a.m., two thoughts come

to their mind. First, that they could
never do that themselves. And second,
that you must wake up like a machine,
clear-headed and ready to work. While
this might be true for some people, it's
not for me. I hit the snooze once and
allow myself a moment to fully wake
for the day. Because this is my routine,
I get to make it my own. I wake up a
little groggy, and that's fine--because
I prepared for that the night before by
laying out all the things I would need. I
go straight to a fitness class, because I
know that's the best way to bring me to
life. And then, I refuel with a meal at my
favorite breakfast spot. You create the
schedule that makes sense for your life.
The key to mastering your morning
is finding your own rhythm and giving
yourself space to stick with it. Ask yourself what energizes you most. Is it an early morning walk or jog with your spouse
or a friend? Is it sipping your coffee with
a good book or working in your garden?
Try your own early morning productivity
routine, and let yourself fine-tune it over
the first few months. You'll land on what's
best for you.
In the end, my team deserves my
best. If I serve them and we collectively
build a great culture, then we can serve
our schools well, inspire their students
and accomplish Booster's mission: to
change the world! As leaders, we're our
best when we aren't stretched thin and
stressed, too busy for our relationships
with our families, friends and employees. I fully believe that taking time for
yourself in the morning, both personally
and professionally, will revolutionize
how you achieve your goals for the day,
the week and the year ahead. mt

Chris Carneal is president and
founder of Booster.
SPRING 2016 MANAGEMENTTODAY-MAGAZINE.COM

7


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Management Today - Spring 2016

Contents
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover1
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover2
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 1
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Contents
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 3
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 4
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 5
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 6
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 7
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 8
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 9
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Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover3
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover4
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