how to transform the daily grind into the daily groove


Some people call it the daily grind. But I’m all about the daily groove. I figured this was the perfect thing to post today as a way to metaphorically dust the cobwebs off of this blog.

Let’s start at the beginning…I run a coaching and consulting business with a social mission. I work 7 days a week but I choose to start and end my day by LIVING. About 70% of the work I do is virtual which means that my home is my office, board room, lunch room and castle.

This is how I got my groove.

Fuel up. I find it impossible to do anything well without a good meal. I try to take a clean and balanced approach to food. I love my coffee (decaf, these days) and treats but the bulk of my day is filled with whole fruits, lots of veggies, nuts, vegetarian protein sources and yummy grains like quinoa and spelt bread. I find a little bit goes a long way in fueling my brain and body.

Check-in with your Zen Master. My most important meeting of the day is always a morning check-in with my personal Zen Master. Her name is Khailee and she is a 2 year old all-black shih tzu. She has a very soulful, all-knowing energy about her and that’s all I need to set my day right.

Be insatiable. I am always working toward goals and priorities. Everyday I put together a list of priorities and action items from my workplan for myself both in biz, health and life. As much as I love checking things off my list, I love knowing that I have more to work toward tomorrow.

Pick your moments of genius. You probably already know the optimal conditions for your own productivity and genius. Maybe you are a very early morning person who likes to get it all done quietly while the rest of world is still asleep. Or maybe you hit your creative peak after the kids are in bed or catch a second wind just after your 4:30pm yoga class. For me, I am oddly most productive during very specific periods of the day. For example, on weekdays between 8 and 11am, then again in the late afternoon/early evening between 3 and 7:30pm. But I really rock out on weekends – especially Sundays.  As a result, I can transform myself into a conduit for creativity and innovation at the right times.  (Psst RescueTime can offer some intel for those who haven’t yet found their most productive moments.)

Set boundaries. For me the most empowering word in the English language is “no”. I have learned through painful trial and error that sometimes you have to say “no” to others in order to say “yes” to yourself. So I am very conscious of setting boundaries on myself and my time. Trust me, the anxiety or discomfort that comes with having to say “no” is insignificant compared to the burden you will feel in biting off more than you can chew.

Forget multi-tasking. I used to be the poster child for the multi-tasking generation. I recently stepped down because my brain was too full that I was no longer able to juggle so many ideas. I have resisted the urge to open yet another tab in the browser of my mind. Try it.

Take a confidence vitamin. A positive pick-me-up or break from those hum drum feelings could be what you need. Writer extraordinaire, Alexandra Franzen has a whole whack of confidence vitamins to get your groove on.

Ditch the Debbie attitude. Have you become a Debbie Downer? Negative thinking is an act of volition. Business guru, Marie Forleo suggests giving yourself a spiritual smackdown. I did this recently and it worked wonders.

Contact the complaints department. Little hiccups in life happen every day and they can really get under my skin. About half the time, I forget about them pretty quickly. The other half of the time, I feel the need to state my case to the universe. I’m a big externalizer so in order for me to move on and be able to re-focus on the important stuff, I need an outlet. Usually a quick conversation that lets me get my frustration off my chest is sufficient. I have my go-to people for different types of annoyances. Once its shared, the complaints department is closed. Let it go and move on.

Breathe in. Fresh air can do wonders for productivity. It is a mood enhancer. The other day I opened the outside door of my sunroom along with all of the windows and let that beautiful breeze free flow as I got down to business.

Create your daily soundtrack. When you don’t want quiet, I think it is good to be mindful of the “noise” you have around you. I like music. A lot. I have playlists for everything: my mile run, commute via transit, weekend house cleaning, cooking, different types of work, road trips, etc… Here’s a favourite playlist to get you started.

Carry a personal totem. There are days that I know will require a superhero level of energy, grace and patience. And on those days especially, I carry with me a personal totem like this. That totem changes but usually there is some kind of symbolic or sentimental value attached to it.  Whatever it is, there is something about being accessorized in love that helps me to take on the world.

Show gratitude and love. There are 3 amazing creatures, without whom, I would be significantly less groovy: my husband and my two dogs. But truthfully, there are so many people I engage with on a daily basis that add so much value to my work and life. Collaborators, friends, clients, family, and team members are part of a larger community for which I am grateful. The trick is not just acknowledging that but spreading the word.

These are just some of the many things that I do to transform the daily grind into my daily groove. I am curious to know: what works for you?