Start the day with a boss attitude

Director of Hunter Galloway, Nathan Vecchio, started broking in 2015 and using the techniques from Joshua's Top Broker Handbook, is writing big numbers, leading to Vow Financial naming him Broker Partner of the Year Rising Star in 2016.

As you know, Top Brokers understand the importance of making the most of each and every day, starting at 5am in some cases. Ever since I joined the industry, I have always paid special attention to the first two hours of each day. I find that these few hours can help determine how the rest of my day will unfold – because beyond that, the day can get away from you. Between client meetings… settlements not getting booked… or approvals running off track, this is why it is so important to start your day right. 

I find it interesting that not only Top Brokers believe in the importance of a morning routine, but world leaders like Barack Obama, Steve Jobs Tony Robbins and more all swear by their morning routine. For example, Obama starts his day with exercise, reading the newspaper and breakfast with the family. While Steve Jobs looked at himself in the mirror, every morning honestly asking himself ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ How are you starting your day? Are you getting off on the right foot? Or starting on the back foot constantly chasing your tail throughout the day?

How are you starting your day? Are you getting off on the right foot? Or starting on the back foot constantly chasing your tail throughout the day?

On Top Broker, we have covered in the past planning your week for success. While I’ve tried lots of different techniques, below I have covered the top things you can do to start your day off on the right foot, improve how much you get done and help you go home each evening feeling satisfied, with a job well done.

Start your day with exercise.
Yeap, we call it the 5am club. In winter it’s damn hard to wake up at 5am while it’s still dark, so I always try to set up a strong routine in the summer so that it continues through the year. The 5am club is a great hack for busy brokers, and as mentioned, Joshua actually created a weekly planner in order to assist.

At the moment I’ve been doing laps in a heated pool nearby, which is an awesome way to start my day. Now I’m also going for a bike ride with a mate, which is another great motivator.

Figure out what motivates you to wake up, and do this first thing in the morning. After a few days you will find that you are thinking much clearer, and able to work better than ever before. 

Another way of ‘exercising’ is exercising the mind. I’ve spoken to people who really enjoy writing in the morning, but for me, physical movement is something that really clears my mind and puts me in a good mindset for the day. You also release loads of endorphins and there are so many other benefits too.

List your daily goals and gratitude 
Ok stick with me – this might seem a bit airy-fairy new-age, but I have found that it genuinely works. 

Have you ever gotten to the end of the week, having worked 60-70 hours yet you couldn’t even remember one good thing that had happened – and only the negatives?

Deal got declined? 

Credit manager was a jerk? 

This is a HUGE one for me, and if I miss it, I feel completely out of tune.

Each morning I’ll write down five things I’m grateful for, no matter how simple they are. This is how I stay in check and enables me to leave home with a positive mindset.

Like I mentioned, it can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind of things and forget how good we’ve got it. So doing this simple activity of writing what you’re grateful for, almost brings everything back into perspective and helps you remember all the amazing things you are doing, in your working hours.

Set a list, and never multitask
What is the single best tip to get more done throughout the day? For me, it’s about fully immersing myself into a single task and not letting myself get sidetracked. 

If I have allocated time to work on an application, follow up, or back office task, I do not answer my phone (unless it is a referrer or new number) because as so, as you get distracted from a task. It can take 10-15 minutes to get back to where you were – and studies have actually shown once you have been distracted it can take an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.

So close your email and set yourself times throughout the day to check them. Turn off your music, mute your phone or use plugins for your web browsers to keep you off Facebook, newspapers or even sites like Top Broker – if they are causing you to procrastinate. I like StayFocusd for Chrome, but there are lots of other great plugins worth checking out too.

Be consistent, less is more. 
Consistency is key in everything we do and your daily schedule is no different. Constantly having to make choices about what time you should wake up, what you should have for breakfast, how you will plan your calendar or what you are going to wear to work – although may seem small –  can tax you mentally.

Research has shown that humans are cognitive misers – in English, this means we have a limited supply of willpower. Every time we make a decision, a little bit of that willpower is used up. Our brains don’t care if we are deciding whether to have Vegemite or jam on our toast for breakfast, or whether we should prospect today using the phone, email or LinkedIn – both decisions cost us something.

What does this mean in short? Try to minimise your choices, to maximise your productivity. 

Wake up at the same time every day – no more deciding whether to hit snooze or not.

Eat the same breakfast every day – I usually go for a protein shake. If eating the same thing everyday bothers you, alternate between two different breakfasts.

Use a structured calendar – see our Free Tools page for an example calendar. This means that you don’t need to decide what to do and can focus on actually doing.

Get rid of all your different coloured socks – buy 5 pairs of black socks, 5 pairs of brown socks, and 5 pairs of sports socks.

Develop a uniform for yourself – if it’s good enough for Obama and Steve Jobs, it’s good enough for you. Also, it could be powerful for your own personal branding!

Build habits – habits require no willpower.

Be challenged, but not so much that you get overwhelmed with it.
If a task is too hard, you’ll then feel like you can’t manage it. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed at times, but you need to rise above the challenge. This is when it’s time to reach out to a colleague, friend or to the Top Broker Private Group for advice. 

A task should require your full concentration, to keep you motivated and involved, however, if it’s too hard, you’ll find yourself procrastinating and getting discouraged. Give yourself tasks that are manageable and find the balance between these two things. 

Sit back, and notice the change
It will seem foreign at first, you might think it’s weird writing the good and bad of what happened in your week – but trust me, you will see the change. For me, I can see it personally. It’s funny how just two years ago I didn’t implement any of these routines and now they are a fundamental part of my day. 

When I wake up at the same time every day, I minimise my decisions so I can increase my output and ultimately I know that my performance and drive to succeed is much clearer because I’m ready to attack the day. 

How are you starting your day? Are you starting on the right foot? And are you achieving everything you want each and every day?

PS: I’m going to be taking over here at Top Broker for a little bit while Joshua focuses on a few big and exciting projects we are looking forward to bring you in the next few weeks. A quick background, I started broking in 2015 and using the techniques Joshua has given in the Top Broker Handbook I have grown my business in a very short time to writing some big numbers, and was fortunate enough to be awarded Broker Partner of the Year Rising Star in 2016. 

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