“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer
Do you have good intentions to get certain things done in the day but never quite manage to?
I have a little ..well.. secret, so read on 🙂
Before I discovered my little secret, my day would typically start like this:
I'd just about wake up from my sleep in the morning at 6.45 am.
Snooze my multiple alarms a few times, cuddle up in my duvet and begrudgingly go and have a shower.
Then I would race through ironing for all; miss train 1 and 2 and usually on the verge of missing train 3.
I'd catch train 3 usually hot and bothered and then I'd have another little nap. On a good day, I might plan my day on that train journey.
Day after day, this was the norm and seemed like the thing to do.
After all, there were usually other people running for train 3 just like me.
Although life has improved somewhat since the above, I have to admit it isn't perfect just yet.
I now have a routine with a trick up its sleeves, which has been doing something magical for my life.
It goes like this and I fine tune it daily:
4.30am: Arise with a little prayer. Hand in hand with Mary, we say:
“Thank you, LORD, for this precious day. Thank you for our lives and for the wonderful things you are doing in it. Help us to live with positive influence and to bring you glory in all that we do. Amen.”
4.40am: Read curated devotional content. This helps us clear our minds and reminds us of why the day exists and its significance.
5.00am: Mary powers up the laptops and I grab us a cuppa.
We get to work and not a word is spoken between us as we power through 2 sessions of 45mins each. We speak at the interval.
6.40am: Freshen up etc. Having more than one bathroom helps. And yes, Mary does get ready in 20mins.
7.00am: Our little princes' alarms go off and the sun rises in their rooms. More times than not they're grumpy.
We talk to them about the day ahead and what to expect: Show and tell, swimming, playing etc. Plus we remind them to listen, share and have fun.
7.30am: Hugs and kisses. Packed lunch in the bag. Headphones in ears and I listen to Podcasts curated by other winners from around the world.
With the above routine, I am pumped up and set to take on the world and any challenges it presents.
Now here's the really interesting bit about all this and why it works:
Although our routine is unique to our family situation, this next bit could be helpful to your life too.
What you don't see in the above is that at 9.45pm every night, we sit and write down our expected morning routine.
And I mean the actual activity that will happen in the morning. This way, when we wake up we are not planning but instead executing.
This is so important because I work with my wife as a team. I rely on her for many things and vice versa. This planning helps us row in the same direction and in sync.
Some of you who are married might relate to this especially if you have children. There is hardly ever time left to spend together.
This window early in the morning when we hang out and hustle together actually brings us closer and builds our relationship.
The things we write down are:
- 9 things we will do in the morning. These are usually super specific e.g. “Get Josh ready for school including putting his bags by the door” or “respond to blog comments from yesterday”
- The desired start and end time of the morning routine. Then when we later compare that to the actual start time and end time.
- One thing we are grateful for.
If you're interested in doing this for yourself, check out The Productivity Planner.
Having covered quite a few of the points above, below is a summary of other reasons why it's important to have a deliberate morning routine:
1. You're winning even before the rest of the world is awake
Nothing beats knowing that you have put in a tonne of work potentially even before most people you know are awake.
I'd recommend not just having a morning routine but actually starting the day earlier.
This forces you to go to bed in time and keeps you efficient with your time.
Related: The Secret Sauce for Winning
2. A routine helps give you focus and master productivity
You get to decide every night what your morning routine will be, therefore is a way of keeping yourself accountable and giving you laser-like focus.
The more you repeat this process daily, the more you start to aim for peak performance in each of your morning sessions.
The Productivity Planner is a life saver!
3. Build on something you're passionate about day after day
So many people want to start a business or a side hustle but usually, don't have the time.
The early morning is an amazing time to do this as the world is quiet.
This way even if your day job turns out to be a disaster, then you have already invested some time in your own stuff.
4. It is another way of paying yourself first
Would you rather check your work emails when you wake up or commit that time to other things that matter to you?
Your mornings are precious and your brain is at peak performance. Therefore, I'd definitely recommend using this time to do your best work!
Are you convinced about waking up earlier in the morning? If not, why not?
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.