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What's your minimum viable care?

In this third post in our series "Back to the Basics," I want to talk about your MVC. What's MVC? MVC is your minimum viable care.  I know that a lot of you are getting things done. You are chasing the kids.  And trying to get your business going, but you wish you were more productive. Maybe there's brain fog. Or you're having trouble focusing and not getting done what you want to get done because you can't get your brain in gear to do it. That's where MVC comes. MVC is the minimum viable level of care that you need to do to be productive.

What is your minimum viable care

I'm going to tell you what my MVC is and share a little bit more about this concept and invite you to create your list. 

What my minimum viable care is

A lot of people talk about peak performance and wonder how to get to that peak. Most time though, you treat yourself like crap.  You don't do the things you need to do and you except to be awesome.

I believe that there needs to be this minimum level of care that you need to reach to get to that peak and do better. 

For me to get to that peak, I want lots and lots of energy. But things are nuts right now in my world. We are leaving in a week to move to our new house. It's also nearing the end of the normal tax deadline. We're packing up the house. And making sure that we're spending time with Erik. Also, we're trying to close on one house and then close on the other house a week later. And things are just nuts right now.

So I need to keep in perspective what are the minimum things that I need to do.  If I don't do these things then I can't focus on my desk. I can sit at my desk all day long and not get anything done.

Be more productive. How to get your brain in gear

My list of MVC items

I'm going to give you my list of things. Your things might be completely different. Think about are things that help you focus. What are the things that you need to do so that you can get it done?

Here is my list of five things.  I probably could have done more than five, but when I boiled it down and I thought about it, these five things are what help me focus at my desk. This list is the things that if I don't do, I am not functional.  And I have a hard time sitting at my desk and getting work done.

  1. Get 7 hours and 15 minutes of sleep
  2. Drink 32 ounces of water per day
  3. Take a morning shower and get dressed
  4. Create my big-three list for the day
  5. Move for 20-30 minutes each day

Get 7 hours and 15 minutes of sleep

I have to get seven and a quarter hours of sleep. That sounds like a really weird number, but that seems that's my minimum viable hours for sleep. I noticed that when I get seven hours of sleep, I'm okay in the morning. If I get more than that, I feel better. But that seems to be the level that's the minimum viable. So seven hours and 15 minutes seem to be the sweet spot for me.

Drink 32 ounces of water per day

The next one is I need to drink 32 ounces of water per day. Now I would love to get to 64 oz.  I've noticed that 20 oz. is not enough. During the day, I drink other things like coffee and tea. But I've noticed that if I get at least 32 ounces of water, I feel good. I feel better if I drink more. But again, this is minimum viable.

I also add magnesium and trace minerals to my water. That helps with my energy levels. And it helps to avoid cramps at night.

Take a morning shower and get dressed

Number three, I have to take a morning shower and get dressed. My brain will not turn on unless I've showered and gotten dressed. If I need to be productive for the day I have to take shower and get dressed. After that, I am ready to start my day.

Minimum viable care - what is your MVC

Fill out my planner and have a big-three list for the day

Number four, I need to fill out my planner and I need to have a big-three list for the day. So I've talked about this before in other episodes, but essentially I use the Full Focus Planner. I've used it for a year now.  This planner is helping me achieve my goals. I love the fact that I put my goals in there for the year, and then I break it down by quarter. And then I break it down by week.

Then every day I'm looking to see if I'm achieving those goals.  This is why every day I set my three most important tasks for the day. It's important to focus on what are the big three things you need to get done today.

I then fill out my planner. So first of all, I fill in what's on my schedule for that day. Any meetings, calls, and things that are on my schedule.

If you don't look at your schedule first and then plan what you want to do that day, a lot of times it's just not realistic. For me to be productive, I have to fill out this page. I need to know what my schedule looks like. And I need to know what I can get done in the spaces between the items and my schedule, and get those items on the schedule as well. 

Move for 20 to 30 minutes every day

Number five is I have to move for 20 to 30 minutes every day. I just know that if I don't move, I completely lose all focus. Even if I do three, 10-minute walks, that works just fine. 

I noticed that when I do these walks, I am way more productive in the afternoon.

The first four things on my list will get me through the morning. The thing that pushes me through Erik's rest time is getting my movement, getting my blood flowing, and getting outside in the fresh air when I can just really helps me to get recentered and refocused for the afternoon. 

During my afternoon break, I spend time with Erik, get him down for his nap, and then add some additional time in the end so that I can go for a walk or get some movement going. 

Sometimes that movement is a fitness video game that I have, that's called "Ring Fit Adventures. It's for the switch. I'll play that. Or I will get on my treadmill. And I'll watch an episode of something, or I'll watch a course that I'm taking, or listen to a podcast episode. Getting outside though is the best form of movement for me, because there's just something about being outside. This just recharges my soul. 

What is your MVC list?

I would love to know what your five minimum viable care items are. If you aren't sure, sit down and figure out what are the five things you can do.  Maybe these five things become a checklist for you. Or they're one of your big three items. Maybe your MVC becomes your morning startup routine.  Whatever your MVC is, that becomes a critical part of your day.

Let me know what your MVC is. You can post it in the Small Biz Mama community. The more we can crowdsource this and put our list together, it's going to help other people. So go to the Small Biz Mama community on Facebook. If you're not a member, you can just ask to join. Just make sure you fill in the questions. We do not let people in if they do not fill out the questions.

Remember, we are not aiming for perfection. Let's aim for a little bit better than yesterday, because honestly, that is the best way to go.

Stop aiming for perfection. Aim for a little bit better than yesterday.
What is your minimum viable care

​Disclosure: We professionally create this podcast that receives compensation from companies that we talk about. So you must assume that any link you click is an affiliate link. Kristin and Ingram Digital Media only have affiliate relationships with companies that we believe in wholeheartedly. We are independently owned, and all of our opinions are​ our own.


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