In today’s fast-paced world, finding ways to boost productivity and maintain focus throughout the day can be a challenge. Our daily habits and routines play a vital role in achieving our goals. As someone who thrives on structure and routine, I’ve discovered the power of a well-planned morning routine to kickstart my productivity. So, let’s dive into my morning routine and explore how it has helped me stay focused and accomplish more.
“Show Me Your Calendar, and I’ll Show You Your Priorities.”
During my conversation with Greg Scheinman, he said one of the things he tells the midlife males he’s working with is, “Show me your calendar, and I’ll show you your priorities.”
This resonates deeply with me. Having worked in education for over 20 years, having a daily schedule to follow was crucial to my productivity. During summer vacation, that lack of schedule and a failure to establish a routine ended with me wasting a lot of time on the days I wasn’t traveling. I look back on how much I could’ve accomplished or learned or grown during those summer months and I just hang my head in regret.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Start with Intention:
During the school year, my morning routine was dialed in! Ideally, I wanted to get to work at 7:30, and it normally took me about 25 minutes to get there (when the roads weren’t covered in snow and ice), so I would set my alarm for 6:00 am.
Why so early?
Because I am a firm believer that the first and last 90 minutes of your day are the most crucial when it comes to creating a template for consistent productivity.
So my morning looked like this:
6:00 A.M.–Wake Up
6:05–Shower. While I was in the shower, I would use a Clarisonic vibrating facial exfoliating brush as a mind settler, focusing on each part of my face, clearing my thoughts, and bringing myself to the present moment. Why? Because when I got into the shower, so did the 800 thoughts I was having. Taking a minute to mindfully wash my face allowed my overactive brain that had just woken up from its slumber to slowly warm up rather than go from 0 to 100.
After I got out of the shower, I would move into my bedroom and take myself through a 15-minute morning mobility routine. This mobility routine activated every part of my body and got my blood pumping a little bit and loosened stiff muscles from a night’s rest. By incorporating movement into my routine, I set a positive tone for the day, both physically and mentally.
After that, I would go through the motions of getting ready for the day. To minimize decision fatigue, I would plan my outfit the night before, eliminating the need for excessive decision-making in the morning. After that, I’d take out the dog, take my vitamins, and drink a big glass of water. Then I would proceed to the kitchen, where I would enjoy a nutritious breakfast of oatmeal with collagen, peanut butter, strawberry jam, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. I never got sick of my oatmeal breakfast, and eliminating “What should I have for breakfast?” from my decisions list saved much-needed mental bandwidth.
Meditation and Mindfulness:
Following breakfast and brushing my teeth, I would take time to meditate for 10-15 minutes using a guided meditation from Mark Williams’ book, “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World”. This allowed me to cultivate a calm and focused mindset before entering the chaos of a large public high school with thousands of hormonal teenagers. This practice enhanced my ability to respond rather than react to the daily challenges I encountered throughout the day.
Using the Morning Commute as a Learning Opportunity:
During my morning commute, I would embrace the power of delayed gratification and present-moment awareness. Instead of searching for the “perfect” song on my iPod, I would let it shuffle through my extensive playlist of over 8,000 songs. This exercise helped cultivate patience and appreciation for the music randomly played and opened my mind to new songs I had never heard before because they would get passed over during my frantic search for “my jam.” In fact, I’ll never forget how blown away I was the first time I realized “Lebanese Blonde” by Thievery Corporation from the Garden State soundtrack was on my iPod. How had I never heard that song before?! Now THAT’S the perfect song!
Once I finally got to work, 90 minutes after waking up, I would challenge myself one last time by recalling the songs that played during my commute and writing them down on the whiteboard in my office.
Hopefully, this morning routine inspires you to prioritize and structure the first 90 minutes of your day to optimize productivity and achieve your goals. Our calendars reflect our priorities, so take a moment to evaluate your morning routine, identify daily habits that can improve your mindset, and reduce time-consuming activities that hinder your success. Remember, a well-structured morning routine can set the tone for a productive day and help you achieve your aspirations. Embrace the power of routines and watch your productivity soar!
If you’re looking for someone to help you jump-start your life through self-promotion, let’s set up a free call some time. If you’re ready to take the next step, join our Mindful Midlife Community for access to our weekly virtual meditation sessions as well as 20% off all programs including Mindfulness for Anxiety. Don’t forget that you’ll receive 50% off your first month of 1:1 coaching when you sign up for my Mindfulness for Anxiety course. Just go to www.mindfulmidlifecrisis.com and look under Courses for more details!
And remember…progress isn’t linear. Our growth looks more like the stock market. Some days we’re up, some days we’re down, and we may not reap the benefits for a while. But if we play the long game and stay consistent, disciplined, and patient, you’ll see that the stock market always bounces back, and so can you.
My goal is to help you navigate the complexities and possibilities of life’s second half, and I hope this free and useful information provides some insight that will help you reflect, learn, and grow. If this article has motivated you to take inspired and intentional action, please do me a favor and share it with the people in your life who may find some value in what I shared today.
Thank you for reading!
May you feel happy, healthy, and loved.
Take care, friends…