I see the morning as being the foundation of my day. If I mess it up, I feel tired, I’m distracted and get pissed too easily. It’s not fun. So, feel miserable about waking up? Need six hours to get out of your drowsiness? Tired and get nothing done during the day? Let me show you how I fixed it.
The first moments after you open your eyes are the most important. The first thing you decide to think about, the first things you do, carry over to the entire of the day. So knowing that, you realize that it’s crucial that the first thing you do in the day is winning at life. I’m serious, this is how I feel about my morning!
I’ll walk you through my morning routine, which is built to make four things happen:
- Create energy
- Become stronger
- Get focused
- Become smarter
These four things have happened before the day has even started, before anyone else is awake yet—it’s amazing! That feeling, knowing that you’ve done so much already, is priceless. So yes, that means you have to wake up early. Otherwise, life will find a way to get you off track. For me, at this point it’s just impossible to stay in bed when anyone else in the house is up already. I love that I have the time in the morning where I can be with myself, do all the things that are important for me and get them done first thing in the day.
I hope you take something from this, either the entire thing or just a few elements, doesn’t matter, anything you add to your morning routine will make you feel better. I’m pretty sure of that. And I’d recommend you do all of these things, eventually. But all at once could be hard.
This is one of those things people have difficulty accepting. I get it—I’m lazy, you’re maybe sometimes a tiny bit lazy, just humans are lazy. But at some point, you make the click and you realize: energy is something you generate! It’s not like a daily lottery or something—there are specific things you can do that will make you feel alert, awake and full of energy.
And I think the first few seconds after your alarm clock goes off—they’re crucial here. That’s the moment when your brain is deciding whether it wants to wake up or come up with an excuse to stay in bed. Don’t give it the opportunity. Just flat out say no, this is my morning, and jump up! It’s really weird the first time but it works. If you’re jumping and running around…you’ll be awake, trust me.
One really tactical tip for waking up with energy is making sure it’s the same time every day. There’s been research on this and I’ve experienced it too: if you go to bed late and you wake up the at the same time, it actually feels better than if you’d sleep in to get your hours of sleep. Yes, you still need to do your best to get to bed on time—so set an alarm for that—but if it doesn’t work out, wake up the same time. You know, a lot of people sleep in on the weekends but I think that’s actually a really bad idea: you’ll feel tired on Saturday and you’ll feel tired on Monday. Not worth it.
The second step, working out, actually has a lot to do with energy. One of my main motivations for working out every morning is that it just makes a huge difference in my energy levels. I try to move as much as possible throughout the day because sitting still makes my brain sit still, and the morning is where I kick that off.
What you do here doesn’t really matter that much. Try to get sweaty. If you want something simple, do a HIIT routine and go sprinting or do squats, do push-ups and plank for a minute or two. I’ve been doing these simple exercises for years now and it’s great!
Transitioning to the Chapter of the Mind
At this point, I take a shower and make my coffee. The next part of the routine is more about brain work than body work. But you can fit it in any moment you want.
This is actually a recent addition to my but it has really helped defeat distraction and make sure I work on the things that are important to me. So I sit down with my agenda and plan what I’m going to do today. My days usually follow the same structure:
- The morning is for the most important task; one block of pure-focus, distraction-free work
- Around noon I read a bit and do communication work like email
- The afternoon is another work block but can be a bit more scattered, less deep work and things like meetings are scheduled here
- In the evening I make sure I have some time to wind down and relax a bit.
This is a great moment to spend time with friends.
This is probably my favorite moment of the morning. Every morning, I take around half an hour and I read a book. Learning is important to always keep doing, I love it and it just makes me feel happy—to know that I’m already smarter, before it’s even eight in the morning.
This should definitely be something long-form. Reading a hundred tweets is just going to direct you to the Distraction Path. I try to decide the night before what I’m going to read or learn to make sure I don’t get distracted because I have to find something to learn.
That’s it! After the learning is done, I know exactly what I have to do and just follow along with what’s on the agenda. But first, take the time to celebrate. It took me way too long to realize this, and I tended to be just “meh” about my routine—always thinking I could have done more—but taking the time to be proud of all that I’ve done already really helps keeping the routine and it keeps me happy throughout the rest of the day! Celebrating and rewarding yourself are habits, too.
I Hope you enjoyed this! I hope this message sets you up and gets you going. I hope you take the time right now (yes, just take a pen and do it now!) and write down what you’re going to do tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to hear from you in a few months when you’re running at full speed and winning every morning.
Thanks for reading.