Not a month goes by without a new article sharing the tips and strategies for daily life used by Highly Successful People. “Highly Successful People” are those go-getters such as Fortune 500 CEOs, best-selling authors, and Nobel-prize winning scientists.
Great. So then there’s the rest of us. Here are 5 strategies for achieving consistent mediocrity, brought to you by real-life middle achievers just like yourself.
1. The morning ritual
A consistent, strategic morning routine will kick your days off right. Set your alarm to account for a 45-minute workout, relaxing shower, and breakfast of organic yogurt, fresh berries, and almonds before shipping off to work. Super achievers may also want to plan time for 10-15 minutes of morning meditation. Thus, if you need to leave for work at 7:30am, set your alarm for around 5:30am.
When your alarm goes off, snooze 6-7 times. Swear as you bang your knee on the corner of your bed while running to the shower. Shower rapidly. Alternatively, rub down your privates with a cold damp washcloth. Do not wash your hair. Wolf down a Snickers bar while waiting for your dog to poop. Congratulate yourself for leaving only 5 minutes late.
2. Your work schedule is key.
According to ‘science,’ your brain as at peak functionality first thing in the morning. Schedule meetings and other less essential activities for the afternoon. Now you can annihilate your most difficult task in the AM when your neurons are firing like an NRA spokesperson.
When you arrive at the office, acknowledge that your crazy morning has earned you a temporary internet interlude. Kick off your day sipping weak Maxwell House and capitalizing on your high brain capacity to write baller posts on social media. Spend your afternoon meeting time bragging to your coworkers about your hilarious Facebook post and how you started a troll war on reddit. Scramble to finish that one critical task in the last 17 minutes of the day and feel a surge of pride when you send it off to your boss (who is obviously going to be working late) and receive her immediate reply: “Acceptable.”
3. Consider your perspective on failure.
Those who achieve greatness often acknowledge their acceptance of failure as a part of the learning process. According to experts, failures help us understand the next steps for achieving our goals. Each day is filled with dozens of failures. Embrace them. When you grasp the dusty pull-up bar in your basement and immediately fall on your tailbone, congratulate yourself for trying, and grab a beer. When you get that 50th rejection letter for your dystopian robot love novel, celebrate and begin penning an even farther-fetched sequel. YOU ARE NOT AFRAID OF WEAK LATS AND PLOT HOLES.
4. Find time to breathe.
Research shows that meditative breathing improves productivity. Find 10 minutes around midday to get away for a brief breathing session. Sequester yourself in an unused conference room, and attend to the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe. Thoughts may enter your head – acknowledge them and return to focus on the breath. Sometimes persistent thoughts will circle back around every 10 seconds. Like how your parents just told you that they want to visit this weekend with their 2 cats and deafening sleep apnea machine. And also – why hasn’t Tony texted you back yet? He clearly got your texts because he is still checking Tinder like every 2 hours. Sob quietly for the remaining 8 minutes of your meditation session and then return to your desk drawer whiskey stash.
5. Getting the right amount of rest
Successful people often set two alarms each day: one for waking, and one to tell them when it’s time to halt activities and retire to bed. Research shows that getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is optimal. Eating, drinking alcohol, and exercising within 2-3 hours before bed may impair your ability to get a full night’s sleep. After you eat your dinner of fresh salad greens and grilled chicken breast, sit on the couch and watch Seinfeld reruns until you can no longer ignore the barking growl of your unsatisfied stomach (because a dinner salad is essentially hamster food). At 10:00pm, boil a box of spaghetti and experiment eating it with chocolate syrup. Since it is horrific, eat a bag of potato chips and gulp pink Franzia to quell your salt-mouth. Feel guilty. Attempt to do a Jillian Michael’s workout at 11pm. Collapse on the couch after 10 minutes with raging heartburn. Gulp Pepto and crash at midnight. But hey- you worked out.