Does your morning routine look like Margret Thatcher’s or do you walk around with one eye closed till 10 A.M? When you look at celebrities, entrepreneurs and influencers you will see one thing in common in most of them that most of them have very consistent morning routines. They all have set a routine for themselves. Having routines reduce stress as it drives you towards consistency and efficiency.
There cannot be one routine fit all, some people might start their day with meditation, and others may include oil pulling or even drinking certain amount of water before anything for weight loss. Does water intake reduce weight? However, we are talking beyond some rituals. A morning routine should be such that it catapults you out of the bed! It should give you motivation to welcome each new day and must set you for the whole day. If you find a routine that works for you, it will give a boost to your productivity and creativity and you will also actually start to enjoy your mornings; even if you are not a morning person and regardless of what time does your day actually start.
According to science our will power is soaring in the morning, so you must start strong. It is in these early hours that you can start to drive your day, or your day will drive you. Always tackle the tasks which you find the hardest to do, first thing in the morning. For instance: if you work out in the morning you will burn more calories, it will be beneficial to maintain insulin levels and you will have just the right amount of energy to carry you through you whole day. When we postpone tasks for later in the day, they usually come to us when we don’t have ample amount of energy. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue starts each day at 5:45 a.m. with an hour-long tennis match. This is one of the most enthusiastic of the morning rituals I’ve come across. However, do whatever works for you, be it going for a run or a swim or even a HIIT session.
Another mistake that most of us make is that we all hit the social media and start checking our different email accounts the moment we wake up. We are distracted right from the moment we wake up. Then we might scan the news as we are having breakfast and some of us are even glued to our mobile phones even during the commute. Stop doing that! Instead actually enjoy your breakfast and the ride. Here is what David Karp, founder of Tumbler does. Karp saves all his e-mails until he arrives at work. Once he gets there he takes a 15 minute walk. He doesn’t check his emails till 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. Even after that he first goes through his inbox, which contain emails only from Tumbler staff or his girlfriend. Once he’s done with those, only then he goes through the other folder. He does that while taking notes, this sort out what he needs to do and what requires his immediate attention. This way his day is easier to plan. He checks his emails after the walk and first hour of his work day is dedicated entirely to emails. Then he doesn’t check his emails all day long.
Another great example is Steve Jobs, his morning routine included, asking himself one simple question every day. Yes, same question every day which worked like his motivational tactic. Steve was quoted as saying “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”…….And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. This is an amazing way to keep you motivated. It sort of answers any question you might have about your day. It works like your guide. Every morning you can ask yourself this question and it will naturally guide you. Just listen to this answer carefully and follow the voice of your heart.
One of the easiest ways to hack your mornings is by creating a tomorrow list. Mark Twain organized his mornings according this quote “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” The live frog here is your toughest task. If you get done with a big project or the most important things on your list first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of accomplishment. End each day by creating a list for the next day. Schedule the tasks in such a way that you keep the important ones for first half, and the least important ones for the second half. As you keep on finishing the tasks check out each one, at the end of each day create a similar list and repeat. This way you will have a sense of accomplishment, you will be much more organized and it is easier to plan your whole day.
Creating a meaningful morning routine will make you more successful. Your mornings should not be rushed. Wake up a little early, and DO NOT hit the snooze button. Always take out time for exercise or even some meditation. Have a healthy breakfast that keeps you energized for the whole day. Stay away from technology. When you get into a healthy morning routine you will see you will make healthy choices all day long. Your stress levels will come down. You will be more organized and this will also help you de-clutter your mind, so you will be more focused. Even if you feel you are not a morning person, give waking up a bit early a shot. Experiment with a few routines and rituals. See what you like the best and what works for you. No need to get overwhelmed if you can’t get yourself to do all the things mentioned in this blog. The idea here is to set up your routine in such a way that you go to bed looking forward to each morning that is to come.