Last year I had a book recommended to me by my brother-in-law. Normally his book recommendations are heavily based in business procedure and protocol. So foolishly…I put the recommendation on the bottom of the list. Last summer, the timing seemed right so I cracked it open. While I didn’t care for the writing style, the content was important and more interesting than I had thought.
We’ve all heard how our mornings set the tone for our day. Most people wake up hoping the stars will align and their morning won’t ruin their day. Roll out out of bed with the alarm, start the coffee, maybe get kids (or spouse) up, tend to breakfast, get dressed and head to work…hopefully not in a frantic already. Yet there are things we can do take control of the mornings and start our days on the right foot.
Wake up at least 2 hours before you start your day
I start my day at 9am so I wake up at 6:15 right now. Getting up early is very common in the highly successful people. Oprah rises at 6am, Richard Branson at 5am, Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) rises at 4am, and Bill Gates wakes at 5:30am. All of these people do it by choice. They aren’t doing because they have 6am stage calls, meetings or anything else. They do it to spend time with themselves doing what they feel is important.
Use the time wisely
Start by thinking about meaningful things you can do in the morning that will positively impact your mood and productivity. What are somethings you don’t normally do that you wish you had more time for? Getting up one hour earlier only to waste it watching morning tv will not aide you. Consider using it for: exercising, reading, meditation, writing, playing guitar, learning a foreign language. Think of things that are being creative or being active. A list of 3-5 things will do well for one hour of activity.
Prioritize the things that will make a difference
Make your morning routine about things that will get you energized for the day and give you an immediate sense of accomplishment. Doing this will make it easier to keep going because the accomplishments can remind you of why it’s good to wake up early. Let’s face it the first week will be unique and new….the second week will be killer.
Always wake up at the same time every day..or with very few exceptions.
Waking up every day (even the weekends) at the same time is extremely important for keeping the morning routine. I rise at 6:45 every day. I hope to get to 6:15 but so far I haven’t been able. I do this Monday through Friday only allowing exceptions for New Years Day and jet lag. Your body thrives on consistency and regimen. Don’t lie in bed with your phone after the alarm goes off. Get out of bed right away. (I recommend leaving the phone out of sight until the end of your morning routine.) It’s better to sneak in a 45 minute nap later in the day after you’ve been up for awhile than sleep an extra hour.
If I were to recommend two things for your morning routine….
I recommend starting with drinking a full glass of cold water first thing and in under 10 minutes. Most of the grogginess we associate with mornings actually stems from dehydration. Drinking the full of glass of water will restore fluid and wake up your body.
I also recommend fitting in your reading in the morning. It is one of those things we rarely make time for during the day as we get busy. Compared to exercise it doesn’t really make sense to get in a “quick read” because you have 15 minutes. Also, the most successful people in the world devour 40-50 books per year. If you spend an hour every morning, it won’t be hard to hit that number.
So what does my morning look like?
6:30 Rise and drink full glass of water
7:15 Listen to quick Youtube business inspiration video
7:30 Get ready for the day (all that personal stuff)
7:45 Read from a book of my choosing
9:00 Start my work day
Owner of Brio Properties
Director of Online Content WAA
Owner of CRC Investments