Run Your Day Like an Athlete

Apply the techniques that runners use for an effective daily routine.


Start slowly and do what it takes to wake up your mind and body.

Begin the day with gratitude, meditation or prayer.

Stretch, breathe deeply, do some exercises.

Briefly check weather, news, email.

Get inspired with a motivational quote or music.


Get to work-review your calendar and to-do list for top priority items. Choose tasks that require thought or creativity in the morning when most of us have the most energy. Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely concludes that generally people are most productive in the morning for two hours after fully waking.

Start with important work: first a high priority task you want to do, followed by a high priority task you don’t want to do. (I prefer this sandwich method, but there is also the worst first aka the Eat That Frog method)

Focus-don’t get distracted. Give yourself encouraging self-talk.

Be Aware-add incoming tasks to your system and adjust as needed. In any extra time available, add tasks for goals and projects, plan or learn something.

Pace Yourself-maintain a rhythm, remember to breathe deeply.

Be Disciplined-push yourself a little. Be strong and tackle the difficult tasks you would rather avoid.

Stay Hydrated-drink plenty of water.


Regroup & Refresh-slow down and do easier tasks like phone calls and errands in the afternoon, when energy is usually lower. Stay motivated by reviewing progress and lists.

Review & Plan-review the day and plan for tomorrow. Clear your desk, know where to begin tomorrow, and assemble anything you will need.

Visualize-think about how the next day will look so you can hit the ground running.

Recharge-relax and enjoy the evening. Connect with people you love. Get the rest you need and let your subconscious solve problems while you sleep.

Download a printable Run Your Day Like An Athlete (pdf)


Free Printables: Planner Insert (pdf)

Learn more about how to Optimize Your Day With the Science of Productivity with A Daily Routine. Learn more about productivity with the free Time Management 101 tutorial. See how this chart with the daily routines of famous creative people from Podio sparked my curiosity and taught me the importance of a time audit.


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I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

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18 comments on “Run Your Day Like an Athlete
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