Your Morning Routine to Success
Self-help books won’t save you if you don’t start your day correctly.
It’s a new day, a beautiful morning, how are you going to use it?
The internet is full of stories of people who extol the virtues of an effective, and structured, daily routine. These mommy bloggers, young vloggers, and twitch streamers, no matter their origins, always end up finding religion when it comes to being productive and successful.
What is funny, is that in pioneering new mediums of entertainment and building personal brands, or creating new companies, they all eventually find themselves discovering the basics of entrepreneurship on their own.
When stripping away the complicated manuals, the hyped-up gurus, and breaking down the 12-week courses to their basics, it all boils down to a good morning.
Being “successful” can be as simple as that.
I’ll give you the two essential parts of a morning routine that have been extremely helpful for me.
Start With a Plan
This first step does not actually happen in the morning, because by then it is already too late.
Mornings are often chaotic, filled with many distractions that fight for your attention.
Set up a plan for your day the night before, so that you wake up ready to put that plan in motion. The challenge of trying to do this in the morning is that you already have all the red icons of unanswered texts, emails, and voicemails on your phone that pile up and leave your mind racing. If you don’t have a clear plan set, then you open yourself to doing what others want you to do; and those things hardly ever bear any resemblance to what you originally wanted to accomplish.
It is easier to avoid these disturbances by knowing exactly what it is you need to accomplish that day, and having a set plan.
I would expand on this and suggest that you develop this list so that it is aligned with your future goals, both individually and with your team. Your plan for the day should always have a purpose, and this should give you the direction needed to stay focused. Keep this alignment with where you want to go, how you want to get there, and what you are going to do to make that happen.
Take Care of Your Most Valuable Asset
What would you say to a carpenter who leaves his tools lying on the ground, or out in the rain?
Or to a singer who took up smoking?
What about a chemist who handled his equipment without gloves?
Surely the carpenter’s tools would rust and dull. The singer could not perform, and the chemist’s results would be contaminated.
Is your brain any different?
As an artist, a designer, a writer, an entrepreneur, your brain is your most valuable asset. It is what makes you you. If you let it rust, or contaminate it with things that will compromise its ability to be creative, no amount of self-help books is going to help you.
I am sure you put your dishes away to keep them clean. And you tune your car on a regular basis. Is your mind and body any less important? Just as gas is not enough for a car to run effectively, sleep is not enough for your mind to perform at peak capacity.
Make sure each morning starts with a wholesome meal, good exercise, and some time to ponder or meditate so you can start the day with a clear head.
A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone. — George R. R. Martin
How you do this is entirely up to the individual and will vary dramatically from person to person. The bigger point is that you start to take what you envisioned the night before and bring it to action. By doing so, you will help start your day focused on the objectives you need to get done and what matters most to you.
Your First Promise is Your Most Important
Simple question: what is the first thing you do in the morning?
Is it wake up? Or is it hit the snooze button?
If your day is going to be productive. If you’re going to be honest with yourself about the reality of your goals today, you need to start with the first seconds of your routine.
By hitting the snooze button, you’ve just broken your first task, your first promise, of the day. Congratulations. You have subconsciously given your brain permission to take every other matter with equal measure of disregard.
You can even put this to the test with minimal disruption to your day. Set your alarm to a time, any time, and make sure you wake up when it goes off. Just for a week. And see for yourself how your mindset changes during the day. See how much more you get done, when you say it will get done.
Being a successful entrepreneur, a successful artist, designer, or writer isn’t as complicated as some people make it out to be. It may be hard, but it isn’t complicated. And it all begins with the most annoying (or the most beautiful… depending on your mindset) sound in the world.