Success Starts Early:
Maximize Your Mornings, Conquer Your Days
The morning is the perfect time to set the tone for the productivity you will achieve throughout your day. Start right and you will be firing on all cylinders all day long. Start wrong and you will be dragging, emotionally fragile mess.
The choice is yours. While we all have days where we struggle to get in the groove, the most successful people in the world tend to plan their days in a very strategic way that allows them to be safeguarded against anything that could stand in the way of being their best and most productive selves for as long as is required on that given day.
If you do not have a well established morning routine, maybe it’s time you found one. While we are each unique bundles of personal preference and opinion, some things seem to work for just about everyone. Keep reading to learn more about how you can create the perfect morning strategy to help you reach your goals.
Listen to Your Body
Some people thrive in the early morning hours, others are natural night people who get their best work done while most of the world is soundly asleep. It absolutely does not matter which type of person you are. Sure, the morning people tend to get all the positive feedback and encouragement but the fact is, regardless of when you are most productive, you need to design a morning strategy that works with your personality and physiological make up.
Restorative sleep as I have discussed previously is an extremely important element of success. If you are someone who is constantly losing valuable sleep time because you struggle to fall asleep as early as you life, perhaps you should consider embracing that and just wake up at a time which is more in line with what your body is telling you.
Now if you are struggling to get up because of improper choices or time management, those are separate issues. However if you are someone who gets tons done later in the afternoon or evening, do not feel you need to be up in the morning simply because the traditional 9 to 5 work day has been structured to favor those who are up early in the morning.
When it comes to planning your wake up time, make sure you are choosing a time that works for you and your body. If you thrive in the morning, start early. If it takes you hours to actually get moving and to be productive, consider starting later. Listen to your body and make a plan for waking up that works with you and not against you.
It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. It matters that you do the things that are best for you and the goals you are seeking to accomplish.
Go to Sleep with a Plan
One of the best ways to reduce stress and improve productivity during the day is by going to sleep with a plan each and every night. Instead of spending your last couple of hours awake engaged with mindless television or other distractions, use your time to create a to-do list or set of goals that you would like to accomplish for the following day.
That way, once you wake up, you can just get going and working on the plan you already laid out the day before. You don’t have to be limited to professional tasks either. Things like planning your outfit, meals, exercise, social plans and everything else can be factored into the plan you formulate in the evening.
Of course things may very well come up which will force you to change your plan and that’s totally fine. You don’t need to rigidly hold on to your plan and allow it to rule your life. Instead hold it lightly and use it as a guide. The idea is that by spending more time in the evening to plan for the following day, you will have more mental capacity to actually engage with the day without having to make as many choices and decisions about how you will actually spend your time.
Build Your Daily Ritual
Everyone’s daily routine or ritual is going to look a little different. Some people need food first thing, others prefer to begin with an exercise and others still simply battle their alarm for as long as possible and then rush like mad to even make it to the office on time.
Your daily ritual is the way you kick off your day. It is the way you harness the energy and focus you need to take on superhuman challenges with the enthusiasm of a true champion.
Your daily ritual is the time where you set your focus. It could be great time to reflect on personal values, engage with personal development, exercise, meditate or spend quality time with your family. Some elements of this ritual may come and go as your needs change but the general structure should remain the same and it should be something that you consistently practice.
When you start your way in a mission focused way, you set that tone and bake it into the rest of your day. Time management is so essential to achieving success in life. Building a consistent morning ritual is one of the best ways you can strategically manage your time.
Eat The Frog
American author Mark Twain was known for writing some pretty insightful things. Among them was the following: “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”
Eating the frog refers to tackling your meatiest and most critical task of the day, first thing, as soon as you complete your morning ritual and make it to your work environment for the day. Instead of being passive and putting this off, you jump right into it and then, once it is accomplished, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you have already completed the most pressing task on your plate.
When you start your work day by eating the frog, you know that you can tackle anything that your day can throw at you. Though it may not always be easy and you may need to deviate from your plan as discussed above, when you dive into the hardest part of your day first, you gather some wind in your sails and fire under your ass.