I have always been a morning person for as long as I can remember. During childhood sleepovers with friends, I would be awake by 5 AM many mornings, anxiously awaiting for them to wake up as well. It seemed as though night time is when all my friends would start to come alive, and I couldn’t hang. If we were sitting down on a couch past 9 PM you better believe I would be asleep in minutes. As my friends would sometimes sleep until 1 PM, I would sit there thinking about all of the practice (whatever sport I was into at the time) I was missing out on.
Throughout the years, most of the jobs I had required me to wake up early. The few construction jobs I had as a teenager.. 430 AM wake up. Working in the warehouse.. 5 AM wake up. Working as a fitness trainer.. 430 AM wake up. Working as a paramedic.. 445 AM wake up. Going through the fire academy.. 4 AM wake up. Working as a firefighter/paramedic.. 5 AM wakeup. Working as an entrepreneur.. average wake up time of 345 AM. You get the point.
There were moments where I use to think “I can’t wait until I can sleep in a little bit later one day.” Especially the past decade, my mind has shifted away from this thought. It is because of the morning I can have success throughout the rest of my day. I started to notice whenever I would “own” my morning, the rest of the day would be that much more productive. This same pattern seemed to be true with high achieving people I had been around, or interviewed. A quick side note to “owning the morning”.. At the end of the day, you have to figure how to best optimize your schedule to make yourself most productive. For most, that would mean putting more effort into their morning routine, even if that means having to set that alarm clock back. There are the select few who truly are more productive at night.. but still the same principles can be applied. Although there is no exact secret pill to swallow for being productive, here are a few things that can help..
- A SUCCESSFUL MORNING STARTS THE NIGHT BEFORE
For me personally, this means everything is ready to go for the morning hours before bedtime. My clothes/shoes to workout are already out, my coffee and French press are good to go, my meal is at least somewhat prepared, the house is cool enough to be able to sleep comfortably, my alarm on my phone and watch are set with both already charged, (not scrolling through social media right before bed is a good idea too) and my schedule which is had already been written down is good to go.
2. DO NOT SNOOZE YOUR ALARM
My wife and I have joked about this a bunch. Be consistent with when you wake up, even if that means you are tired for a few days when your body adjusts. If you snooze, there is a high probability you will go back to sleep and end up wasting time.
If this is possible, try to exercise in the morning. Not because there is any special health benefit to working out in the morning, but because you will feel great and energized the rest of the day. Just like adjusting to your alarm clock, you will probably go through an adjustment period with how you feel working out in the morning.
4. DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN YOUR SCHEDULE FIRST (NORMALLY THE MORNING)
This can be reading, journaling, praying, doing a task for work.. again, this might not be possible for some people in specific scenarios. If you are able, give this a go and see how the rest of your day will turn out. You will be pleasantly surprised.
5. CONSISTENCY IS KING
Your morning routine might not be perfect, but be consistent. That is when you will see true life changing results. This might mean you have to power through those first few days of feeling exhausted.
EXAMPLE (MY MORNING ROUTINE)
345 AM: Wake up, drink water, small meal with coffee, pray, read, and a short walk
430 AM: Workout
6 AM: Post workout meal, look over the schedule for the day, shower
630 AM: Begin work, prioritizing the most important task first when possible.
9 AM: Podcast (a few days a week)
CALL TO ACTION
Write down one tangible thing or behavior change you can implement to help own your morning, and DO IT.
Stay mission driven everyone.