Win the morning, win the day
The first sixty minutes upon waking up set the tone for the rest of the day. That’s why morning routines are a very important aspect to consider when engineering your life as a career lion. Here are five of the carefully curated morning routine habits successful people use to win their morning and therefore win their day.
1. Prepare the night before
This one is inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, who wears the same outfit every single day so he has one less thing to think about in the morning. That way he saves his problem solving abilities for real decision making. Now I do like some variety in my daily outfits, but it helps to put together your outfit and workbag the night before. Therefore, you do not need to make those decisions in the morning.
2. Start off the day with mindfulness and meditation
As mentioned in this blogpost, about 80 to 90 percent of Tim Ferriss’ podcast guests have some form of meditational practice. When doing this in the morning, it will help to start off the day with a clear mind.
3. If you eat breakfast, have a fatty one
Ever experienced brain fog or a growling stomach only an hour after your breakfast? Chances are you’ve had a carb and therefore sugar rich breakfast. Try a fat based breakfast with eggs and avocados to keep feeling full instead. Or, what I tend to do a lot, intermittent fasting by having no breakfast at all. With intermittent fasting one only eats during a certain window of the day, which is a smaller window than the average three-meal a day plan. On the days I do intermittent fasting (IF), I only make myself some butter coffee in the mornings. I make my coffee with freshly ground Brazilian coffee beans in a French press. I also add some coconut oil and grass-fed butter and blend it, therefore the name butter coffee. Not only do I benefit from the IF effects, such as improved brain health, it also saves some precious time I’d rather spend in bed. I am aware of the debate whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but let’s dig into that another time.
4. Activate your nerves with a cold shower
Cold showers are something you’ll need to get used to. But the benefits are definitely worth it. Not only does it increase alertness, it also improves circulation and immunity. Also, it makes your skin glow, which is always a welcome addition.
5. No e-mail in the AM
The hardest habit of them all is to not immediately grab your phone and check your e-mail and social media accounts. As written in the 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferris, e-mail is best to deal with in batches as it is a huge distraction when getting things done. Reading e-mail has been found to be a stress factor, which preferably needs to be postponed until lunchtime. Besides starting off the day distracted, studies have found that e-mail in the AM reduces productivity.
Ideally, I would do each and every one of the habits in the morning. The goal is to be as disciplined as former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink who wakes up every morning 04:30 AM sharp . Unfortunately, this is not my reality yet. My reality is being waked by my alarm clock, pushing the snooze button and trying to get a little nap in before I really need to get out of bed. The things I still have time for are Headspace, shower, and some form of breakfast. For time-saving purposes, I drink lemon water with my vitamins and put some whey protein in my coffee as some form of breakfast. Drinking lemon water in the morning has many benefits, one of them being the energy boost it gives you. I would like to make an effort to ease more of these habits into my morning routines. I’ll try to incorporate one per week, starting off with better preparation the night before. What does your morning routine look like and what do you do to win the day?