How often do you catch yourself floating through the day? How often do you wake up hitting the snooze button? How many times have you got up out of bed, sat down at your desk and had no idea what to work on or simply lacked the focus and motivation?
For a while, I was like this. When I discovered some of the most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs had impressive morning routines, it made me consider mine and work on improving it.
Since then, I’ve crafted and followed a morning routine that has made me happier, healthier and much more productive.
Morning routines and rituals are all the rage nowadays. It seems to be a topic many entrepreneurs like to talk about.
This is for good reason. There are a lot of theories and talk out there about why morning routines and important and how they can benefit people such as entrepreneurs.
But I wanted to share why I found it so helpful for me. First, I’ve found it helps put me on track and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I find my most productive days are the days where I followed my morning routine.
Also, putting all of my most important tasks, and healthy habits first thing in the morning helps ensure I actually get them done. If I go to the gym in the afternoons instead, there’s a chance I don’t go. Integrating my gym time into a morning routine has helped me stay active. So the healthiest and best things I do all day, I do first thing to ensure they get done, as well as leaving me time and energy for whatever else the rest of the day.
The most important thing, above all else, is that it has forced me to learn to start waking up earlier. I’m not a morning person (I know everyone says that) so I’ve struggled with even the thought of getting up at a time like 5am. For you, your morning routine might not look like anybody else’s and it won’t have to. However, the one thing you should probably consider implementing is getting up earlier than you likely are right now.
I get so much more done in the morning than I do at nights. I also love working and having the whole day ahead of me, filled with energy, than working late at night, getting little to nothing done and just wasting my time.
I’m about to talk about my morning routine but I just want to remind you that this is my morning routine. I’m sharing this to inspire you and give you ideas, not prescribe a one-size fits all routine. What your morning ritual will be is up to you and it depends on what you ultimate want out of it. Do you want more energy in the mornings? Do you want to be more productive? Etc.
Here’s mine. I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to follow it to a T every single day. However, I do try to everyday and, again, it has yielded amazing results for me.
My Morning Routine
- Wake up at 5:30 am: I’m not a morning person but I’ve worked to improve how I feel waking up early in the morning. I hate alarm clocks, I also hate hitting the snooze. Most alarm clocks are like a shock to the body. I use the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock to wake myself up every morning with simulated sunlight that turns on gradually. I love it!
- Drink a lot of water: As you might know, after a long night of sleeping, we wake up dehydrated. Water is really healthy for you but your body benefits from it most first thing in the morning. I find I feel better after downing half a bottle before I get into my routine. I’m less groggy and more focused.
- Yoga (20 mins): The first thing I do, besides drink water, is some yoga. Yoga has helped me tremendously and I see the health benefits from it every day. I’m building my core strength, improving muscle stability (like in my bum shoulder) and it allows me to stretch and loosen up first thing in the morning.
- Meditate (10 mins): I’ve been meditating for a long time. Longer before it was cool and mainstream. In fact, I first discovered meditation during a high school field trip to a Buddhist temple, and that was over 10 years ago! My daily meditation practice has helped me with my focus and also helped calm me down. I presently use both HeadSpace and Muse to meditate. HeadSpace is a guided meditation app that I recommend everyone try. My Muse Headband is a little more sophisticated. It tracks my brain waves and lets me know if I’m calm or not during a session.
- Journaling (5 mins): Every morning, I will journal and write down things like what I’m grateful for, what I want to accomplish today and my affirmations. I presently use The Five Minute Journal and it’s great. However, I’m also working on creating and releasing a new daily goals journal called The Hustle Journal. The Hustle Journal will help keep me accountable everyday and it will allow me to set and track short goals.
- Read/listen to something positive that sparks my mind (30 mins): On my commute, I will listen to either an audiobook or a podcast, or even read, something positive. I don’t fill my brain with negativity and the news. I don’t consume any media outside of business and marketing. I do this to stay positive and fill my head with useful information that will help me grow as a person and grow my business. So the positive media that sparks my mind might be a success story, something about creativity or inspiration, or anything else that can put me in the right mindset.
- Run (20 mins): I will run at the gym for around 20 minutes on a treadmill.
- Listen to something motivational (15 mins): Before starting my day, I will listen to something motivational. Sometimes, I’ll go back and watch a few motivational videos on YouTube. I have a playlist filled with motivational and inspiring videos, talks and stories to get me going and light a fire under me. One podcast I enjoy is The Daily Boost.
- Review my day and priorities (5 mins): Before I start working, I review my tasks and priorities of the day on my Trello board.
- Breakfast (green tea, green juice): I like to keep my breakfasts small, simple and healthy. I will usually have a green tea and I’ll often have a green juice made from kale, green apples, and celery. Once in a while, I’ll also have a protein bar just to satiate me.
After that I’m in a much better mood, I’m much more motivated, and I’ve take care of the healthiest and most meaningful tasks of my day upfront.
Before I go to bed, I also have a short evening ritual. This allows me to unwind, sleep better and prepare for the next day.
- “No Screens After 10pm” rule: I have a little rule which I follow every evening where there are no screens after 10pm. No television, no computers, no laptops, no smartphones. I don’t look at a single screen after 10pm. This helps me unwind better at night as well as sleep better and faster since I’m not being over-stimulated by all these bright screens.
- Write 10 ideas: This is something I learned from James Altucher and I’ve found it has helped me with my creativity as well as make me an idea machine. It’s a short exercise where I write down 10 ideas. That’s it. It’s just a mini-brainstorm session on anything I want.
- Read: I try to read fiction to help me fall asleep as well as improve my writing. Lately, I have been reading a lot of business and marketing books at night but I can’t help it!
- Sleep: Just like it sounds.
That’s it! This is my current daily routine and I’m really happy to share it. So much of what I get done I attribute to my daily routines. I can’t stress enough how useful they have been and how much I’ve benefited from doing these things everyday.
To help me follow these routines and habits, I use Coach.me, an app for my phone. This reminds me to checkin to ensure I do all of these routines as well as giving me a support group of other people to keep me accountable.
How about you? What’s your morning routine and do you have one? I’d love to read your questions and comments below, I engage with and respond to everyone!