“Win the morning and win the day.”
I know there will be a lot of you night owls who will be reading this, so if you’re one of those people that really get your best work done at night, (definitely not me) then keep doing what you’re doing. It’s clearly working.
If you think about it, the main idea behind this principle is that you can get time working while the rest of the world is quiet. Whether that’s in the morning, (how I like it) or late at night, it doesn’t matter. What matters is progress and increasing productivity.
The reason why I like waking up early and getting work done rather than staying up late is because when I would stay up past a certain time my mornings would be really rough. I couldn’t get my mind going no matter how many cups of coffee I had.
Sleep is important and science has proven that you need to get at least 7 hours of rest a night, but that’s a topic for another post.
When I can’t get going in the morning because of staying up late working, I really don’t get much work done at all the next day. I’ve found that the early mornings for me are my sweet spot and that’s what I’ve stuck with for ultimate success.
Develop A Morning Routine
When I developed a rock solid morning routine, it was a game changer for me. The greatest thing about developing your own morning routine is that it’s yours and you can adapt and change it how you see fit.
Do you want to get your workout in? Great! Write that blog post you’ve been meaning to do? Awesome! Scare the crap out of your kids when it’s time to wake them up for school? Not cool, man.
Here’s some of the things I like to get done in the morning.
- Drink 8oz of water immediately upon waking
- Meditate – (The headspace app is great for this. Just 10 minutes!)
- Getting my most important tasks done if the time permits
- Listen to my favorite podcasts – Tim Ferris’s podcast is currently on pause on my iPhone
- Read or listen to audiobooks
- Use my inversion table – it’s great to loosen you up before the day begins
The morning is your time to do whatever you want. This is just some of the things I do to give my day a fresh start.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind when putting together your own early morning routine:
1) Making drastic changes too soon isn’t good for the long term
We want to make sure that these positive habits stick so don’t go hard core right off the bat. Ease into your routine.
Start by just waking up fifteen to thirty minutes earlier than you normally would. See how that feels and get used to it. Then push it another fifteen minutes when your body tells you it’s ready. Keep this up gradually until you get to the time you want to wake up at.
2) Get to bed earlier
Most people are used to staying up a little later and winding down from a long day. I get it, but it will make you miserable if you keep it up.
I guarantee if you don’t get to sleep earlier, you won’t be doing this routine for very long. Your body and mind need sleep. Make sure you give it what it needs.
If you’re one of those people who can’t shut off your mind before going to bed, try reading something that wont stimulate your mind. That usually does the trick for me.
3) Make it so that you have to get up to shut off your alarm
If your alarm on your phone or whatever you’re using to wake up is right next to you, then you’re far more likely to hit that snooze button. I know you, come on!
If you have your alarm far enough where you have to get out of bed to shut it off, you’re now up and you can stay up. Caution, this one might annoy the significant other so be forewarned.
4) Get out of your bedroom fast
Your brain can play some crazy tricks on you at this point. Don’t let it try and rationalize why you need to go back to sleep.
That’s it. You’ve shut off your alarm, now go out of your bedroom before you talk yourself back into that comfy, amazing, oh-so-soft pillow.
Go into the bathroom, do your business, flush, wash your hands and use that water to wash your face a little bit. It helps big time.
Do not make going back to bed an option for you.
Now that you’re out of bed and up at an early time, you deserve a treat. Reward yourself.
If you make doing this pleasurable for you, you’ll continue this good habit for the rest of your life. The benefits far outweigh the initial annoyance of doing this each day.
Eventually, like anything, your body just gets used to it and your internal clock starts to get you up at this time naturally.
It’s really easy to go down a rabbit hole with reading blogs and watching YouTube videos, but don’t let that happen to you. Make use of all this new time you have access to and get things done.
Taking Your Mornings To The Next Level
Here’s a few extra tips for you over achievers. These next few have really helped bring me an extra boost of productivity each day, and not to mention peace and well being. These next few tips are small, but are incredibly powerful.
1. Make your bed
There’s a reason the military makes their soldiers make their bed when they wake up.
The reason you should make your bed is that it’s such an easy task to complete in the morning and it takes no time at all. Just don’t make the bed with your significant other still in it!
If you start off the day with an easy task and finish it, not only will you have a small sense of pride, BUT you’ll also get the desire to accomplish more tasks in the day. The little things in life matter and build on one another until the snowball gets really big.
It also gives you the ability to control what you can control. Not only is it something that you get done in the morning, but it’s something you come back to once the day is through.
You can visually see something you’ve accomplished and it’s a great way to end the day.
Small, but powerful. Try it.
I know I mentioned this earlier, but the benefits are incredible and this topic definitely deserves it’s own post.
For some quick tips, I just focus on my breath for the most of the exercise. Each breath in and out gets counted from 1 to 10 then I start over. I do this for 10 minutes and it quiets the mind.
During this time I also check in with my body. I take notice if anything is tight or bothering me and make a mental note to address it.
If you take the 10 or 20 minutes to do this each day your productivity will go up 10x with less stress.
3. Write or Journal
In the morning I like to either write or jot down thoughts in my journal. It’s pretty rare that I don’t do both at some point in the day, though.
When I’m writing, it’s usually for this blog. When I’m journaling, I’m either writing down ideas I’m learning/pondering or I’m writing down things I’m grateful for. Man is this a game changer.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the FEW things that go wrong during the day, but when you have a gratitude journal, you have the ability to see (and be thankful for) the HUNDREDS of things that go right in the day which you wouldn’t normally notice otherwise.
It’s helpful medicine.
I hope you enjoyed this post and put some of these steps and habits into your morning routine. I’d love to hear if any of these tips have helped you in any way so drop me a comment!