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I’ve decided guru overload is real, and it can be a serious affliction!

Let me explain.

Online these days you can find an expert for anything you want to learn about. That’s good news of course because, whoever you are, there will be someone you are comfortable learning from. Sometimes there will be a number of leaders, trainers, coaches – call them what you will – that resonate with you.

I have a list of “gurus” that I love to listen to, to tune in to whenever they put out a new video, or blog post, or course. Some of my gurus are amongst the most highly regarded and highly paid on the planet!

One thing I’ve learned however – and this comes after numerous attempts to redesign my life, or my routine, or my business – is that if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you. No matter how many famous, rich, motivated people use the technique!

Here’s an example:

Numerous gurus insist that the key to being highly productive, aka successful, is to rise early (5 – 6 a.m. is suggested) and fulfill all your personal care rituals (exercise, meditation, healthy food) before you even think about entering your office, or turning on your computer or checking your emails.

I’ve tried that time and time again. I’ve even created a schedule in 15 minute blocks so I didn’t have to remember what to do next.

Trouble is I hate getting up in the dark. I’ve done it. I’ve had jobs where my shift started at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. and I’ve never been late. But I hated it. I begrudged every winter morning when I was at work before daylight was even on the horizon.

So, now that I’m retired from the workplace and have no one to answer to except myself and my dog, why would I continue to do that which I hate? Starting the day grumpy does not strike me as a productive way to proceed.

Here’s what works for me: I roll out of bed about 7:15 – 7:30 after completing a short stretch or gratitude meditation. I hit the coffee maker and take care of my dog’s immediate needs. I turn on my computer and go to the bathroom. I open three tabs on my computer: 2 email accounts and Facebook. I pour my first cup of coffee and sit down at the computer.

[Now Brendon Burchard, whom I love and respect, says “The inbox is nothing but a convenient organizing system for other people’s agendas.” and he recommends steering clear of it until you’ve set up your own day. But I am strong of character!! ☺ ]

I take a look at all the emails that have arrived overnight and start culling. Sometimes that means unsubscribing from an email list I no longer appreciate, sometimes I just delete because I do want to stay on the list but I’m not interested at this time. It’s very rare that I actually open an email because Yes, one can get sucked down the rabbit hole of “other people’s agendas”. I then get a second cup of coffee and tackle Facebook. There are a few groups I catch up on, I look at my Messenger, I respond to any comments on my dog’s FB page – that’s really easy as she always says the same thing: <3 <3 which is 2 hearts on FB and is merely an affectionate acknowledgement, not a conversation starter – and then I sign off.

Next is my personal routine: yoga, meditation, shower, snack, walk and breakfast. I sit down to work about 11 a.m. and go until my stomach calls me to stop – twice – and after dinner I usually don’t turn on the computer again (unless, honestly, it is to leap headlong into the rabbit hole called Facebook, but I’m not big on gossip or drama so inevitably find the call of Netflix documentaries more alluring!).

I love this routine!! It works for me and I get in all the important things that the gurus say should be a part of my life – healthy food, activity, meditation, gratitude, journaling – but at a time, and in an order, that works for me and my personality. I am also productive! So it can’t be wrong, can it?

That, dear reader, is my discussion of guru overload… Part 1