3 Things Everyone Should Do Before 8am
No matter who you are, anyone can apply this 3 step strategy to boost productivity and win the day
You have no less than a billion things to do throughout your day: projects to get done, assignments to submit, and people to manage.
Chaos is a good thing. It means you’re getting stuff done. But if you’re not 100% prepared for this chaos, it can easily spiral out of control.
That’s why, no matter what you’re up to in life, having a healthy morning routine is crucial to your success.
Over the last few years, I have played with tons of different morning routines. You name it, I’ve tried it: meditation, working out, eating a ton, not eating at all, taking cold showers, the list goes on.
Through all of these routines, I’ve found what works and what doesn’t.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or wanting to improve your current one, here are the three most important components you need for a successful morning routine:
Part 1: Your Physicality
How many times have you caught yourself yawning…in the middle of the day? Without a healthy body, forget about being productive. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it won’t matter what your big goals are or how successful you are.
It’s critical that you start your day focusing on your health. This is also where you can gather energy for the rest of the day.
Routine Ideas: stretching, working out, breathing exercises, drinking water, choosing healthy foods
Part 2: Your Mental Agility
In order to fully prep for the day, you’ve got to have your brain firing on all cylinders. And no, this doesn’t include reading fake news articles on Facebook. This is about being intentional with how to stimulate your brain neurons so you can be at your best.
Routine Ideas: reading a nonfiction book, playing a game of Sudoku, journaling, reading blogs or newsletters (hint, hint)
Part 3: Your Purpose
The last (and most overlooked) piece to a positive morning routine is doing something towards your life goals. By doing something for your own personal goals, you are signaling to your brain that your goals come before anything else. This is such a powerful intention and can massively help you take action throughout the day, no matter how crazy it gets.
Routine Ideas: reviewing weekly/monthly/yearly goals, doing one thing to move your goals forward
Obviously, no two routines are alike. We all have different priorities, different obligations, and different ways of working. But to help illustrate what a positive morning routine could look like for you, here is my current routine with links to some tools that I use as well:
Daily Minimal Routine
Let’s be real — sometimes our mornings don’t go according to plan. We don’t hear our alarm, have an early meeting at work, or just hit the snooze button 5 times. It’s okay, we’re human.
But still having a solid morning routine is important no matter how thrown off you may get. That’s why I created the Daily Minimal Routine (DMR). This is your morning routine compressed down to the bare essentials.
I use this a lot when I’m traveling or something else in my schedule is wacky, like having to be AT work at 5 am (yeah, I’ve done that a few times).
Even on those off days, it’s important to still get something positive in. So rather than skip everything altogether, create a DMR for your morning.
Once you have your morning routine figured out, pick one stupidly simple thing from each section (Physical, Mental, Purpose) that you can commit to every day, no matter what.
Here is my DMR, the absolute essentials for my morning:
- Physical: drink water & stretch
- Mental: journal
- Purpose: review weekly/monthly/yearly goals
This stripped down version can help you at least do something to prepare you for the day.
What you do between the hours of 5 am and 8 am will determine the rest of your day.
How you prepare yourself will speak volumes for how you show up when it counts. We all have different obligations and factors that contribute to how much time we can allocate for our morning routine, so everyone’s will be different.
Experiment! Try different (even weird) things until you find what works for you.
Powerful habits aren’t easy to implement, it takes time and consistency. That’s why I developed a set of tools to help me along the way.
I’ve bundled all of these tools together so you can use them too. In my free Success Toolkit, you’ll get the insights it took me years to develop and tools that can cut your learning time in half. If you’re ready to take the next step…
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Originally published at www.scottabradley.com on February 23, 2017.