Your Morning Routine - The Foundation for a Successful Day
A morning routine is a critical foundation to a productive life. If you don’t have one, establish one right away! Research shows that people who get up early tend to be more productive, live healthier and are happier with their lives.
Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash
The quality of my life and what I am able to accomplish in a day has dramatically increased since I implemented a powerful morning routine.
Everyone’s morning routine is unique. It depends on the type of work that you do, if you have kids, what hours you work, etc…
Here is the morning routine that I try to stick to as much as possible.
Get Up Early
I get up early, at 5:00AM. It was a stretch in the beginning but now I would never go back to starting my day at 7:00 AM. Getting up early is what allows me to actually have a meaningful morning routine. Of course to make these early mornings doable it’s important that I get to bed a bit earlier then I did in the past. Most nights I try to be in bed by 10:00 PM.
Empty My Mind
I sit in a comfortable chair, with a pen and paper next to me, and do a morning brain dump for 5 minutes. I am not forcing myself to think about anything in particular. This exercise is more about having a quiet awareness of what is going on inside of me. I write down thoughts that come to me, things I want to do, ideas I have, things I need to follow up on, etc.
Getting my thoughts on paper allows me to stay proactive. Instead of letting my thoughts direct the course of the morning, I write them down and get back to them when it is time.
After my morning brain dump I take 15 minutes, sometimes up to 30 minutes, to meditate. The mood of the meditation depends on how I feel. I always start out sitting up quietly, but sometimes I need to release emotions, listen to a recording on a spiritual topic, dance or journal. I trust myself in whatever it is I need to do.
Next is exercise. I love cardio workouts, so mostly I run, either outdoors or on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes. One of my goals is to implement a more balanced exercise plan, that also includes some weight training.
Breakfast And Family Time
After exercise I take a shower, and get ready for the day. This is pretty busy time in our household, as we are all getting ready for the day. We eat breakfast, pack our lunches, and get ready for work and school.
Once I am in the office, usually no later than 7:30AM I begin my first work session.I read over my goals, plan out my day, identify my 3 “Must Do Tasks”, as well as other tasks that need to get done. I manage my tasks with Asana. Then I get working. I focus on my “Must Do Tasks” first. The mornings are usually a very creative and productive time for me.
I don’t check my emails until after I got at least one of the "Must Do Tasks" done. That allows me to use the morning time uninterrupted and I can focus on getting my priorities done.
I would say that I stick to this routine about 80% of the time. For me it's not about being perfect, but about having a goo structure that sets me up for a successful day. Over the years I have come to see that becoming more productive is not necessarily about always having the newest technology - apps, devices, etc, but much more about making sure that I reliably show up for my work day with energy, clarity and enthusiasm. This routine, is accomplishing that for me at this point in time. And I am sure I'll make adjustments along the way.