“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”
– Jim Rohn
Mornings… Some people love them, some people despise them and some people try to avoid them all together by hitting the snooze button repeatedly. What many people fail to realise is that they are a crucial platform to how the rest of the day will unfold. I have found that if I start my day off well, the remainder of the day seems to flow more effectively. We will look at this in more depth below.
Before we get into the specifics of morning routines, I often hear people say that they don’t have enough time to be disciplined in the mornings or that they are not a morning person. Keep the following in mind however – discipline is the ultimate freedom.
If you’re disciplined with your time, you have more freedom to utilise that time. If you’re disciplined with your body, you have more freedom to be adventurous and active. If you’re disciplined with your business, you have more freedom to be creative and innovative. So again, discipline is the ultimate freedom.
The majority are contrary to this belief. They believe that being disciplined will feel too suppressive and robotic. This can be a dangerous premise to live by, and often leads to overwhelm. It was Benjamin Franklin who once said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” He knew then what we know now; high achievers are disciplined with their time, and hence their tasks.
Getting back to the importance of morning routines and why they are so crucial to the direction that the rest of your day will take. Think of your mornings as being the bow and you being the arrow. You want your mornings to aim you in the right direction at the point of release. If you leave the house stressed, the day rarely improves from there on in.
You don’t have to run 30 kilometres or meditate for two hours in the morning to set your day up for success; it may just be implementing three or four positive behaviours around waking up and the hours that follow. I often ask people to compare their normal workday to their ideal workday, from the minute they wake up until the minute they fall asleep. A compelling number on their ideal day have themselves waking up earlier, either to exercise or to be more organised.
Let me share with you the routines that I apply to the mornings. These habits have a huge impact on whether I run the day or the day runs me.
- Barley grass: Every morning without fail I will consume a barley grass mixed with water. This allows me to hit me daily greens intake before I have left the house. I take a multi-vitamin every morning as well.
- Arrive at least 30 minutes early to first appointment: I always plan my mornings around being early to my first appointment. This becomes crucially important when I travel to allow a space to recharge and mentally prepare.
- Exercise: When I can, I always aim to get my exercise completed in the morning. It removes the chances of procrastination and excuses later in the day.
- Don’t press snooze: I have always seen pressing the snooze button as a waste of time. You are neither naturally sleeping, nor are you being productive.
- Wholesome breakfast: Breakfast is a must for me. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that my daily performance would drop over 50% if I skipped breakfast, possibly more. Your body hasn’t eaten for over eight hours; it’s time to refuel it.
No one is genetically engineered to be a morning person or not, productive people just choose to be disciplined in the mornings because of the rewards it gives them later in the day; time, energy and productivity just to name a few.
If you are constantly having a war with your mornings and the main goal is to survive at all costs, then I strongly suggest changing some habits and developing your own productive routine.
I’d love to hear what morning routine works for you. How would you described your ideal day @work?