If you don’t control your habits, your habits end up controlling you.
I’ve recently started becoming more conscious of how I use my mornings. It used to be a case of waking up to my 3rd attempt of hitting the snooze button. Sitting at the end of my bed for a few minutes contemplating whether to call in sick that day for some much needed rest.
Upon realising that it wouldn’t be a good idea. I get up to slowly prepare my outfit for the day. (When I say prepare, what I mean is I grab the first thing that looks ironed and presentable). Moving on to the bathroom at a snails pace and getting myself cleaned up. Then I head downstairs for a quick breakfast. Realising I only have about 15 minutes left until I have to leave.
This routine added no value to my life and didn’t prepare me for the day ahead. It’s like I was moving with the motion and was not in control.
When I started reading more about entrepreneurs. It became clear that these people knew what they where doing with their mornings.
The first thing I realised was their mornings began the night before.
In this article we’ll take a look at the routines most common with successful people. And the habits I have implemented into my own life that have changed the game for me.
Before you close your eyes.
Being prepared in life is the key to getting ahead. I quickly realised a lot of what I did in the morning, I can streamline by doing the night before.
- Prepare your attire for the day and place it wherever you get dressed in the morning. Or in your bag if you get changed at work or after the gym.
- Get your lunch ready and have it packed in the fridge ready to grab and go.
- Put everything you will need into your bag and leave it by the door.
- Write your list of things to do for the next day and what time (precisely) you intend to do these tasks.
Getting these tasks done the night before left the morning for more productive tasks. Like reading, meditation and a less rushed work-out.
Rise and Shine.
Now we’re prepared for the morning, the next habit that I noticed a lot of successful people do is wake up early. Some where between 4 and 5.30. Now mind you, this won’t work for everyone and it doesn’t have to (Read more about this on the article: Rise and Shine). Some people make the most of the night, but if you want to make the most of your morning these hours are the best times.
It wasn’t easy for me waking up early. I was one of those night owls who couldn’t get to sleep until the birds started singing. This ruined my day and could have been the reason for my sluggish mornings. After a month of fighting, it became second nature and I enjoyed my sleep way more.
The method I used to help me was to have my phone in the hallway outside my bedroom door. This forced me to jump out of bed so I didn’t wake anyone else up at those ungodly hours of the morning. The first few times my brain convinced me to slide back into bed but eventually I started to fight the urge.
Step out of the door with a spring in your step!
So these are the things that I try to get done when I wake up in the morning now. Well, before I even wake up.
Prepare for the next day.
- Wake up early. Keeping my phone in the hallway to force myself out of bed.
- Spend about 10 minutes thinking (not quite good at meditating yet). I use an excellent app called Tide which has a focus mode that plays gentle sounds as you focus on you.
- Read for 15 minutes while having my breakfast. Currently reading: What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark H McCormack.
- Head to the gym then shower and get dressed and groomed for the day.
And that my friends is what I call a productive morning.
There’s a few other helpful habits that successful people do which you may want to consider. Lifehack.org has a great article on this and here is a few of my favourites morning habits.
- Do an “Hour of Power”. — Spend thirty minutes listening to inspirational anecdotes and empowering quotes. I do this one by listening to podcasts on my way to the gym.
- Jot down on your gratitude journal — Everyday, write down at least one thing that you’re thankful for. Learn to count the small wins.
- Eat that frog first — In the morning, the willpower of highly successful people is fresh and ready to go. So, this is the best time to take advantage of it — do your hardest task, your “frog” first.
- Cuddle and bond with your kids — After all, you’re working so that your family will have a better time. Don’t let work get in the way of family — make time for your priorities.
A morning routine is a way to make the most out of the hours you have before you begin your day. Promoting good habits and already has you feeling accomplished. Make the most of your morning and let me know any habits for the morning that you think can be helpful to others.
Stay motivated. Stay happy and stay ambitious.