A modern hack to achieve the life you dream of.
If you're anything like me, I'm sure you've heard. The secret to a productive day begins with a great start -- guess our moms were on to something, with all that nagging to make our beds.
While a quick Google search will bring up millions of results on morning routines, at the end of the day you can only do so much with your morning. You might even be doing some of these already -- if you like keeping everything tidy on a personal organizer, you’ve come to the right place!
Read ahead for the 5 best morning routines, in no specific order, you needed to put in place yesterday!
1. Eliminate Decision-Making
This one is tricky, as you will have to prepare for it the night before. That's right, you will have to sit down at the end of each day and think of what's coming the next day. The details on this agenda will vary from each person. Some of us will focus on our work tasks, others will decide their outfit, breakfast and toilet time.
You may remember how Steve Jobs always used the same outfit. Like him, many other successful people limit their wardrobe options. Here's what President Barack Obama had to say about it:
"You'll see I wear only grey or blue suits. I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."
Whether science backs it up or not, the truth still remains -- the more decisions we make throughout our day, the harder it will get. If you don't believe me, try to remember all the choices you made today. It was easy for you to determine what to have for breakfast, but you might be struggling with what you'll have for dinner.
I always try to make the items on my agenda as detailed as possible, especially since I found this planner. What I love about the Bullet Keeper is that I can neatly organize everything I need to tackle throughout the day.
2. Eat a Frog
You're probably familiar with Mark Twain's infamous quote:
"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."
Of course, I'm not suggesting you head out to the closest swamp and catch a handful for breakfast. What you should do, however, is tackle your hardest, toughest task first thing in the morning.
If you sat down the previous day and prepared your agenda, that's great!
You can assign yourself the task you dread the most for the early hours. These will ensure that anything else that follows will be a piece of cake.
If you're capable of knocking down the big bad frog at the beginning of your day, no other threat will seem menacing enough for you.
3. Be Thankful and Journal
A lot has been said about journaling. While some see it as a stepping stone to becoming Bridget Jones, others use it as a powerful tool in achieving success. And so should you.
There are plenty of benefits to journaling, from helping you put things in perspective, to mapping out your emotional state. Franz Kafka famously said:
"In the diary, you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today."
Keeping a journal, or notebook, of your thoughts today can become a bright light in the future darkness. If you make an effort to include in your journal your proud achievements, however small they may be, you will have a book filled with positive, reliable energy you can count on.
Whenever you feel life got you down, all you have to do is go back in time and remind yourself of how truly great you can be.
Everyone and their dogs have jumped aboard the meditation train, in the past few years. And they were right to do it! Starting your day with a little meditation session will set-up your day for success. Lao Tzu once said:
"If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place."
The more we evolve, the more we realise how powerful our minds can be. Meditation can help you focus that tool inside your head.
By sitting down and allowing yourself to be at peace, you will gain a better understanding and control over your thoughts and emotions. By doing so, you will better face the many challenges life will throw at you all day long.
A good exercise is to keep a notebook handy and write down how you feel after meditating -- you can do this directly on your journal or your weekly planner.
This way you can always refer back to it throughout your day. If you feel like you’re losing control, you can always remind yourself how you felt that morning and hold onto it.
5. Exercise and Hydrate
As important as it is to train your mind, you should not forget to train your body, too. Even former First Lady, Michele Obama, agrees:
"For me, exercise is more than just physical -- it's therapeutic."
By consistently training your body, you will be stronger, faster and more capable of dealing with the challenges ahead. Exercising will also make sure your body remains alert and active, so you'll never be caught off guard.
As important as exercising is for your body, keeping it hydrated also plays a huge role. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially in the morning. If you start your day with a cup of coffee, imagine this: would you enjoy washing your face off with the black liquid in the morning? Neither does your body!
After spending 8 hours -- at least! -- in complete rest, a glass of water is the best gift you can give your body. This will also give it a gentle warning like 'hey, the day is about to start. Get ready.'
Tim Ferriss' Morning Routine
Who better to tell us about morning routines than Ferriss himself? Arguably the King of Productive Days, Ferriss has his routine to achieve everything he sets his mind to. He might not have a monthly planner, but he certainly keeps a notebook handy.
- He makes his bed;
- He meditates;
- He does push-ups;
- He keeps his body hydrated;
- He writes it all down in his journal.
One thing is certain -- whether you write your daily agenda on a weekly planner, or journal away on your personal organizer, writing is the key. Making a notebook, even, a part of your life can lead to drastic changes to it.
You’ll be more focused and goal-oriented, as you can refer back to it at anytime; and you can look back and see the progress you made, or ideas lost along the way. A monthly planner can also work, for those of you with bigger goals. Just make sure you don’t make them so big they seem unattainable.
Now that you understand the importance of a morning routine, are you ready to join the elite group of people who can actually stick to it? You'll most definitely be setting yourself up for success. Every single day.