“The human body is not intended to be awake before the sun comes up!” I ignorantly and somewhat rebelliously declared to my wife as I tried my best to swim to the surface of consciousness this morning.
I am not a morning person. Those of you who know me personally may add that I am not an afternoon or evening person either. And to that I say, you’re probably right.
But studies have shown that our productivity level drops as the day goes on. That is why it is important to develop a morning routine or ritual that allows you to be as efficient as possible before lunch, and before you hit the dreaded “2pm wall.”
One of the things that most distracts me is the overwhelming temptation to check my electronic devices immediately. This is probably the most counterproductive thing you can do, which is something I’m finally realizing, thankfully. The reason being that if I see something that needs to be addressed, I find it next to impossible to do anything else before it has been addressed. On some days I am guilty of missing breakfast, and neglecting my own personal hygiene because I dive headlong into the craziness of running my own business.
Here’s what I am laying out for myself as a guide (and hopefully I can stick to it so that it becomes a habit):
A no-brainer. My wife and I were not coffee drinkers until we had our second child and even then we had to force ourselves to like it. But now I realize that coffee is more of a psychological thing than anything else.
A constant struggle. Now you may not be a spiritual person, and that’s fine, but for me, this is an indispensable tool in my daily arsenal. It helps me to reconnect with God and focus my mind on the things that really matter…and also allows me to empty my own personal complaint box to start the day.
I forget this part more often than I realize but the saying is true, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Mine usually consists of toast and a glass of Kefir (look it up). Just enough to kick start the metabolism, but not too much so that I feel lethargic for the rest of the day. Hint* If you really like breakfast food (eggs, sausage, pancakes, etc.), try having a night with breakfast for dinner. That way you can still enjoy it without feeling like taking a nap as soon as you’re done eating breakfast.
For me, I try to read a little every morning. It helps stimulate the brain and exercises the mind so that you are ready to tackle the day ahead. I usually start with some Bible reading; but I also try to mix in some non-fiction or fiction (depends on what I’m currently reading at the time). I recommend using this time to read something in hard copy format. The pull of technology only gets stronger as the day goes on, so fight off the temptation as long as you can.
The final step is one that we “solo”preneurs can sometimes overlook. Especially if we are not planning on face-to-face interaction with the outside world on a particular day. But I realize that showering and getting dressed – as though I am leaving for the office – helps me to get in the right frame of mind to approach my work, even if it is mostly out of my home.
Now I know you may say “I don’t have enough time to do all of this before I go to work.” Well, may I suggest that you wake up earlier to allow the appropriate amount of time to accomplish all of the steps in this routine. You’d be amazed at how much you can achieve in that extra time each morning.
I’d be interested to hear about your morning routine, so please feel free to reach out and let me know.
“I would have it inscribed on the curtains of your bed and the walls of your chamber: ‘If you do not rise early you can make progress in nothing.’” ~William Pitt Chatham
“I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning.”
~ Johnathan Swift
I spoke about this recently on the podcast, so please take a moment to download and listen.