Tuesday, October 25, 2016

3 Morning Steps to Maximize Your Day

The research is conclusive and the jury is in: the most productive people in the world have a solid morning routine. It starts early and it is scheduled to prepare the leaders mentally and physically for a productive day.

1. Get up early.

This tends to get easier as you get older. Young parents need to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but most of us can control our schedules. We just don’t do a very good job of it.

Michael Hyatt (← the best blogger on the internet) has written extensively about this, including how to become a morning person. If you’ve tried to get up earlier, but you just haven’t been able to maintain it, today is your day. Just do these two things: 1) Set an alarm AT NIGHT! If your alarm goes off at 9:30 pm, that means no more Facebook, no more screen time, just start your bedtime routine. Then, 2) set your wake up alarm for 5 minutes earlier than you did today. And then 5 minutes earlier tomorrow—this really works! After 12 days, you’ll be getting up an hour earlier. Keep going until you get to your optimal time.

2. Exercise—even if it’s only for 1 minute.

What?! One minute won’t help. According to recent research, even one minute of vigorous exercise (think walking in place with quick, high knee raises) will clear your head and bring increased energy. What about it? Can you afford 5 minutes? Download the app from for easy exercise routines with a funky music option.

3. Eat breakfast.

Yes, a (somewhat) balanced breakfast will increase your energy, productivity, and outlook throughout the day. Research from the book The Power of Full Engagementis the first book I remember that revealed your pattern of calorie intake was a huge predictor of weight gain. You can have the exact same amount of calories in a day, but those who eat a big breakfast, medium lunch, and light dinner lose the most weight. For after dinner snacks I’ve had to move from ice cream to frozen grapes—but it’s worth it.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The most brilliant scientists, the most creative artists, and the sharpest businesspersons have one thing in common: each is given the gift of 168 hours this week. You’ve now created more productive hours in your life by adjusting your morning routine. So go be awesome!

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