Over the last three years, I’ve been working on optimizing my life and have spent the better part of it essentially trying to figure out the best and most productive routine for me as an entrepreneur.
My weekends would be spent analyzing what is going to be the daily routine that I could do every single day that will allow me to increase my productivity and maximize my output so I can get more things done simultaneously.
This is something that many people experience and experience, so I wanted to bring you in and share my story and the things that have worked for me. It has not been an easy journey for me, it has been an absolute roller coaster, and it seems to be the same in the near future.
Self-optimization is not a road that has an end
Throughout these last three years, I found that self-optimization is not a road that has an end. This thought can sometimes bring people down, and I get that.
Over the last three years, I have tried all kinds of routines and rituals available, like taking up meditation, exercising every single day, changing my diet, sleeping & waking up at a specific time, and adding five things in my morning before starting my work day. I would keep hunting for what is the ultimate routine for me that gets me in a state of productivity, energizes me, and goes for the day.
What I have realized in the last few weeks
I was trying to figure out what I could add to my morning/day to reach a point where my mindset, productivity, and focus are 100% throughout the day.
I have come to realize over the last few weeks that I was essentially approaching it oppositely as I’ve been working very hard to grow my business.
Instead, my real focus should be on what things I can remove from my day to focus on the things that matter.
For most of you reading this, you’re probably entrepreneurs like myself or aspiring to start your own business, or maybe you’ve started and are trying to reach milestones and hit that next level.
The temptation to optimize our life
Many of us have the temptation, and I’ve had it for many months and years to see how we could optimize our entire life well.
Most of us think you know what, I’m starting a business so let me go ahead and begin to implement as well an exercise routine, journaling, gratitude, and let me be a better Muslim and also work on my deen do all of these things at the same time.
What ends up happening is that you’re going to set a goal for yourself, maybe a challenge of 30 days or 60 days, and probably you will show up for a week or two weeks for maximum, and eventually, it will fade out and feel bad for not progressing and hitting your goals.
This will lead you to dive into a vicious cycle of negative self-talk: oh, I’m a procrastinator, I’m someone who can never commit, and you start to say all these bad things about yourself, you begin to implement all these negative beliefs.
The truth is…
Most of us are trying to fit five different goals simultaneously, and three other businesses think our life will become more optimized by doing this.
But the truth is you only have the bandwidth for one thing at a time, so find what that one thing will be for you as human beings.
There are many things that I have eliminated from my life to make it more optimized. What essential activities do I know have the biggest impact on my day?
For me, that is exercise.
I need to exercise in the morning, or else I don’t have the same energy, focus or even have the same mental state. While I exercise, I listen to audiobooks, which helps me, you know, sometimes go through three or four books in a month because I’m just listening to them while I’m working out. For me, that has been, you know, one of the core habits, routines, and rituals that have impacted my performance, and so that is something that I have kept and that I continue to do.
Anything that I feel right now isn’t serving me isn’t having as big of impact things like meditation and journaling, I’ve eliminated.
But for most of you, you need to stop looking at the routines, the rituals, and what you can add to your life and instead look at what you can remove and only keep what is absolute, you know, the top one percent of activities that help you be a better performer.
Whether that’s exercise, meditation, journaling, or reading the Quran in the morning before you start your day, go ahead and do that and focus only on having one or two things that you do and let the rest of your time be focused on doing the work.