As I sit down to write this, the path has been cleared for me to simply wake up and get started on the vital few; namely, the activities I’ve identified as contributors to my success and happiness. The mundane tasks and chores that need to be done on a day-to-day basis are complete, and no longer stand the way — as obstacles or excuses — of me finishing the activities that are vital to my growth and success, e.g. meditating, reading, writing, exercising.

This clearing-the-obstacles routine has contributed hugely to the success I’ve had in my personal development endeavours over the past few months. Clearing the decks by doing all of the “I can’t be bothered, I’ll do it tomorrow” chores like washing up, clearing the kitchen, putting out your workout clothes etc. pays massive dividends when it comes to getting the important things — the vital few — done each day.

For me clearing the obstacles means:

Clearing the kitchen — I make sure I’ve washed and dried, or put in the dishwasher, any dishes that are still out. Everything that I’m not going to be using in the morning should be in its place and out of sight.

My WOD is prepared — I write tomorrow’s WOD on the whiteboard in the garage, including calculating the weights I’ll be lifting from the prescribed percentages. I prepare all of the equipment for the first set of exercises and pull down the rower so that all that’s left to do is walk out to the garage and start warming up.

Everything is laid out for the morning — I put out my workout gear for my WOD, a glass of water, toothbrush and toothpaste for the five step snooze-proof wakeup strategy. I make sure a mug is out and the kettle has enough water for my first cup of coffee (to reduce the chance of waking everyone up with taps running and cupboards banging). I also put out the kids’ beakers for milk, nutri-bullet cups… basically anything I will need in the first hour or two of the morning.

The effort of preparing for tomorrow the night before is like investing on regular basis; the compound interest will build and build until one day you’re a millionaire (successful).