“Time is what we want most and what we use worst.”
– William Penn
Have you ever tried to account for your day by the second?
Do you ever stop to think just how many hours out of the 24 in a day, you spend doing something productive? How many of these hours, minutes, and seconds count towards your end goals and translate into something bigger?
Unless you’re CONSCIOUSLY engaged in chasing your plans and ambitions, you’ll find that this exercise will be deeply wounding to your self-image.
More often than not, the only thing keeping you from realizing your vision is ineffective time management and a belief system that doesn’t support your goals.
Lack of solid action —> Lowers self-belief —> Failure to achieve
Low self-belief —> Increases procrastination + lowers commitment to the goal —> Failure to achieve
It’s all connected which means you need a system that counters both points of self-sabotage and helps you make solid progress without any accompanying stress or overwhelm.
A morning routine can do that for you.
It can replace the chaos with discipline (the most essential tool for success) and you’ll find your mind and body functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Let’s go over 7 mind-blowing (and much-needed) benefits of a morning routine –
1. Cease control of the day as soon as you wake-up
I plan to get up at 6am in the morning so I am gonna go ahead and set 6 different alarms for 5:30, 5:40, 5:50, 5:55, 6:00, and just in case I’m still not up, I’ll set one for 6:15am as well – Does this sound familiar? Or maybe you’ve more experience with the repeated hitting of the snooze button till you’re forced to get up out of sheer annoyance.
Either ways, this is not how you should start your day!
Win the morning, win the day.
Either you run the day or the day runs you.
We’ve all heard these adage before but somehow, when we muddle through our day, we don’t really believe that the slow progress or the lack of productivity may be down to the fact that we have little to no control over how and where we invest our time.
We blunder from task to task with no clear priorities. A morning that starts with a bad mood already takes away your zest for the work ahead, putting a dark cloud over the rest of the day.
Basically, you willingly suffer the loss of your most precious asset (TIME) simply because you don’t have a disciplined approach to your day! Isn’t that crazy!?
2. Ideal time to build new, better habits
“Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly overtime.”
– John Maxwell
Boy, it is hard to break old habits and replace them with new, healthier ones.
The good news is that there are tricks to make the process a little bit easier. One of the best ways to develop productive habits is by adding them to your morning hours and consistently repeating them every day.
Sleep recharges your brain and replenishes your willpower, but as the day progresses, we lose our ability to resist temptation and make tough decisions. This makes morning ideal for forming new habits.
3. Set a positive tone for the rest of your day
As I have mentioned, waking-up annoyed and exhausted is no way to start the day. Start with confidence and complete belief in your ability to get the best out of your day.
It can be easily done if you wake-up with clear intentions and a sure idea of how your day is going to progress.
I don’t know about you but when I am SURE that I’ll be making solid progress the next day, it is easier for me to get out of bed. So, stop letting your freakin’ snooze button dictate your mood!
4. Build Momentum, ensure success
This is a no-brainer!
Now, if I build a plan before I go to bed, I don’t have to waste precious time deciding what I have to do once I’m up and about. As soon as I get out of bed, I can get started and after that, it’s an easy, smooth progression from one task to another.
Start easy and build on the satisfaction derived from the completion of the preceding task. Also, every time you finish a task, your brain releases dopamine giving you a feeling of pleasure.
Once you start associating that feeling with your daily tasks instead of social media or binge behavior, you’ll find your productivity skyrocketing.
5. Bring Discipline to your life
No successful entrepreneur or artist will ever tell you that they succeeded because they choose things at random and hoped for the best.
No, they always credit mental clarity and solid planning for their success. They had to make sacrifices, exercise discipline and self-control on a DAILY BASIS.
“People fail to achieve mastery not because they aren’t talented but because they are not disciplined.”
– Daniel pink
Discipline is a difficult skill to develop, no doubt! Having said that, it’s integration into your daily life can be immensely rewarding. Only with strong discipline can you exercise complete control over your mind, and therefore, your life.
“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”
― George S. Patton
Fortunately, self-discipline is a learned skill, and a morning routine is the most gentle way of acquiring it. Building a schedule and sticking to it very single day is the easiest way to build self-discipline.
6. Distraction free time for creativity and Ideation
In the quite of the morning and before everyone wakes-up, you can almost believe that you’re all alone in the world. These few hours are a gift to those of us who need to create and ideate as part of our job.
There are no distractions! The level of focus that can be achieved at this time is incredible.
If you have a passion project or a side hustle, a morning routine is a must for you.
7. No longer ‘Inspiration dependent’
Most creative people believe that they must wait for moments of inspiration to do good work. If that were true, I don’t think we would have even 20% of the beautiful things we enjoy in the world. There would be fewer paintings, sculptures, books, buildings for us to enjoy because all the artists would have wasted a lot of time waiting for inspiration to strike.
The real secret to good work is once again, discipline and consistent habits. The truly famous artists, the ones who have been immortalized because of the sheer beauty of their creations, made their work the pivot around which their world revolved.
Writers like Stephen king, Malcolm Gladwell advise aspiring writers to write daily even if it is crappy work. You see, a dependence on inspiration can be overcome if you make your creativity a part of your daily life.
Habituate yourself to creating something, small or big, every single day. You may not do great work all the time but each day will add to your growth and progress.
It takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery. You’ll never get there if you wait for inspiration.
“A winner is the person who wakes up every morning and fights the fight.”
– Jim Rohn