When I started down this so-called journey of writing a blog, I didn’t (and still don’t) know where it would take me or what the actual subject matter would be. I enjoy the idea of sharing things I’ve read, listened to, been taught, etc. to people in a way that applies to me (and hopefully their life).
As I wrote the Productive Scheduling post a couple of weeks ago, I never imagined so many people would find value in it. Along with that, there were also countless other questions regarding a daily routine, and so I’m going to put them out there for you all to see and use if it works for you. For this one, as the title denotes, we will cover the morning routine. As with anything that I write, what I do may not work for you. And that is fine! Pick parts that do work and then develop your routine. But know that if you want to win your morning, you’ve GOT TO HAVE A ROUTINE!
Aside- I just starting listening to “The Power of Habit” again and would strongly suggest that you all read/audible it. Habits emerge because the brain is continually looking for ways to save effort. In other words, the brain will make almost any routine into a habit because it allows our minds to ramp down more often. This also allows our brain to use its power for more important things in our life. The less you have to think and can simply act on your morning routine (especially when it has positive impacts on your life), you will boost productivity and overall well-being. Also, when you make a new Keystone Habit, there are generally additional benefits/habits that come.
So, without further adieu, here’s my basic morning routine:
- Wake up! Alarm goes off around 6:30 am (unless I’ve done BJJ before and I’ll sleep a little later because my body needs it). DO NOT SNOOZE- It’s terrible for you and just makes you more sleepy.
- Immediately check email and Social media! Since most people I work with work at night, I check and make sure nothing burned down in the night. There is a lot of research that says you shouldn’t do this, but it works for me.
- Get up and take a cold shower! This is new since my March goal was a cold shower every morning. Honestly, I’ve come to (sort of) like it, and it starts my day off right.
- Brush teeth and put clothes on!
- Make Green juice! I drink a cup of fresh celery juice every morning. This is supposed to be healthy – TBD. It seems to be helping my acid reflux problems.
- Start coffee making process! I use a french press, electric kettle, and fresh delivered Black Rifle Coffee Company. They have a coffee club that sends you beans the day they are roasted. I grind my beans every morning, and it makes a huge difference. Again, I get nothing from this, I just believe in the product. They also give back to the military!
- Prepare for work! Sit down and get notebooks, computer, and pen out. Look in my tools post for what I use for this!
- Write morning journal! While the water is heating, I write out three things I’m grateful for. Once the water is hot and poured over the coffee grounds, I write a paragraph or two on the day before and any emotions or thoughts that come of that. Pro tip: pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee, let steep (“bloom”) for 3-4 minutes, then pour the rest and let brew for 6-7 more minutes.
- Pour coffee and open daily task notebook! I then sit down and spend 20-30 minutes just focusing on What’s Important Now (WIN) – the thing I need to do today above anything else – and making sure my daily plan will work out. “Plan your work and work your plan!”
- Meditate! After this, I set a timer for 10 minutes of focus on my breathing to meditae. If I’ve got a hectic mind, I throw in my headphones and run through a 10-minute Calm guided meditation.
- EAT! This is one of the hardest things for me to do. Honestly, if there’s anything that comapnes in diffculity to waking up on time, it’s eating. I have never been a breakfast guy, and really don’t have an appetite in the morning. However, the boost in performance I get from eating a basic, clean breakfast is second to none. Think eggs, a piece of fruit and some bacon. Simple, clean, nutritious and delicious. If you want to be super fast, cosco sells hard boiled eggs in boxes pre-packaged by the twos that you grab as you run out the door!
- Walk the Dog! Then I take the dog out for a walk to let my brain get to full production mode.
This full routine takes about an hour or so. Since most people I work with work at night, I tend to work a little later in the day than most as well. This is why I sleep a little later than a lot of people. I would suggest looking at your day and scheduling something that makes sense for you.
The new Keystone Habit of getting up early then allows you to be prepared for the day. If you win your morning, you win your day. If you win your day, you can win your week. And it builds and builds. As always, TRY SOMETHING. Do it!