Most of what you will hear/read about daily routines from successful leaders and entrepreneurs involves a ridiculously early beginning to the day followed by regimented list of activities before they head into the office. There’s even a book called the 5 AM Club – it’s on my reading list, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.
I, in fact, am one of those crazy people that’s starts their day at a bordering-on-insane time of day, but I don’t believe that you have to do that, in order to be successful. I don’t think there’s a secret sauce to the early riser mantra.
However, I’m a firm believer in the secret sauce of a morning routine…and really routine in general. But for this conversation, let’s focus on the morning.
A friend of mine, Adam Carroll, has shared on numerous occasions that his goal is to start each day at a level 10. If you start your day at the peak level, any major problems or road blocks may drop you down a bit, but at least you’re still at a 7 or 8. If you start your day at a 6, a big issue may take you all the way down to a 3…and no one wants to be there. He also works on this with his kids…something I have incorporated as well.
Best Solution Starts the Night Before
There are several aspects to my morning routine that I believe are important to note and the first begins the night before. I stop any phone/tablet use an hour before I go to bed – lots of research that you can find on why that’s a good idea, but for me personally it has reduced the time it takes me to get to sleep and I am sleeping more soundly because of it.
The 2nd piece (also the night before) is a consistent bedtime. I know you’re not a child, but your body likes routine and it REALLY likes a sleep routine. If you haven’t read about Circadian Rhythms, do a quick google search, but try to set your sleep time around 90 min increments.
Consistency is Key
A consistent wake up time goes hand in hand with the consistent bedtime. Each morning, I begin with a 30-60 workout. I vary my workouts – weight training, running and yoga – mostly because otherwise I get bored, but I’m sure there’s physical benefits there as well.
Following my workout, I have my “quiet time.” For me this is a mix of bible study, devotionals and prayer time. I highly recommend the Bible if you’ve never checked it out, or if you need a reintroduction. However, for many people this is a time for meditation and/or other reading.
With the exception of notes during my work out, the Map My run app and Bible App on my phone, I keep myself from screen time for the first hour of my day as well. Trust me, whatever juicy piece of news or picture of a kitten you’re hoping to find on Facebook or Instagram will still be there if you wait until after your morning routine to check it out.
I follow my quiet time by spending time on my Passions before heading to work (hence the reason I’m part of the ridiculously early risers club). As I am speaking to more and more audiences, and after work I want to be present with my family, I’ve found that working for an hour or so on blogging, speaking engagements, or my podcast is most easily achieved before the rest of the family even gets out of bed.
Get Your Mind and Body Right
The consistent theme through most morning routines that I have read about or heard discussed, is spending time on both your physical and mental well-being. Getting your mind and your body firing on all cylinders before heading out the door is imperative to a successful day.
What’s something that has worked for you – big or small?
What do you think keeps people from starting a morning routine?