One thing I learned from listening to Tim Ferris’s podcast is that the most successful people in the world have a morning routine. It’s different for every one of them, but they all have them nonetheless. It’s usually some combination of movement, healthy eating, coffee, meditation, and working that get’s them on the path to a successful day. I think you have to play with what works with your personality, your lifestyle, your commitments, and your physical requirements. Even the climate you live in will change how you go about your morning. For me, I have to get Hudson outside and well worn out before it gets too hot outside, so our daily walk together has become a part of my routine. Rather than walk you through the specifics of what I do, I figured I’d give you a template based on what works for me.
Water. Then coffee.
I don’t know about you, but I wake up gross. Like Tom Hanks shipwrecked on an island gross. But water? Water makes me 700% less gross after one large glass. We can’t be out best selves when we aren’t taking care of ourselves physically, and water is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle. Rachel Hollis talks about this all the time, and it’s one of the reasons I’m a fan!
But after water, I need my coffee. I love the ritual of it, and it helps me with the workout that is going to come next. But if you don’t need the caffeine or don’t like it (I will never understand you, but that’s ok) try tea, matcha, or just stick with the water part.
Even if you work out later in the day, I still think it’s good to get some movement in before starting your day. Run, walk the dog, or even just do 3 sun salutations. I feel more grounded and focused at work when I’ve taken time to connect to my muscles. Personally, I like a 45 minute workout and a 20 minute dog walk, and then yoga and another walk at the end of the day to clear my mind.
This looks different for every person. For me it’s prayer, but this can also be actual meditation or another religious practice or form of quiet time. In the same way that I like to connect to my physical self with movement, I think it’s important to connect to your mind outside of what you do for work. We are more than what we do, but that can be hard to remember when you’re deep in your job. Having this start helps me stay grounded through the ups and downs of the day.
Take this with a grain of salt. I listen to podcasts while I workout and walk Hudson, but I never listen to podcasts by people who work in the same realm as me. I don’t want anyone else ideas getting in the way of my own or causing me to compare myself or my output during the day. I save those podcasts for after the flow start work, when I’m working on more repetitive tasks or doing housework. That aside, I think it’s great to take advantage of extra opportunities to learn when you have the time to listen.
This sounds very generic and middle-school-health-class-esque, I know.But the more people I talk to, the more I learn that most people still don’t eat a good breakfast. Guys! We know better!! Just like I said earlier, we can’t do out best work when we aren’t our best selves physically, so make sure you’re eating, and make sure it’s food that will actually help you focus throughout the day. I know if I eat too many carbs I get a head fog, so I stick to protein and fat with just a little bit of carbs. Find the ratio that works for you, plan ahead, and don’t make excuses on this part. Even if you’re one of those people who “doesn’t get hungry” you still have plenty of time before 12 to fit in a small meal.
Get right to work.
Maybe that all sounded like a lot, but I work my best in the morning, so I try to get started as early as possible after my other tasks are done. And because I’ve made the rest of my morning so habitual and automatic, I’m able to save my energy and focus for getting through the actual work part. I’ll work straight through until lunch, with only a break or two to fill my coffee cup. And I get so much done! But maybe this sin’t you, and your flow state comes later in the day. That’s great! But the key is to find when that is so you can create a routine to support your creativity.
Oh, and all of these things can be done in an 1-2 hours, or even 30 minutes if you’re only doing a little bit of movement. Seriously! So if you leave for work at 8:30, you don’t have to wake up at 4 to have a solid morning routine. Just find what works for you, and make a habit of it. And remember that it takes 10 days to form a habit, so don’t let yourself give up or decide it isn’t right for you until you’ve passed those first trial days.
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