Before we talk about this morning routine, I want to define what it means to be productive.
Online dictionaries say it means "to do a lot" and "to produce large amounts of something."
Ok great, but produce large amounts of what? When you take a look at your life, what do you want to create? Do you have a focus/plan?
Take a few minutes to make this clear. Is it to start your own business? To open a store? To write a book? To become an Olympic athlete?
With your focus in mind, I want you to walk through these next 5-morning routine habits and adjust them to help you reach your goal. I want you to maximize your productivity by setting yourself up for success from the moment you wake up.
Are you excited? I am! So let's do this!
Morning routine summary:
- 5 steps
- 5 minutes each
- 25 minutes total
Step #1. WAKE UP EARLY(ER) (5 min)
I am a morning person. Waking up at 6 am makes me happy - I know ... I am not the majority. But I don't want you to wake up at 6 am, but 25 minutes earlier than you usually do (giving yourself 5 minutes to roll around and stretch)
There is a great quote from Hal Elrod's book "The Morning Miracle" where he says that we are only as successful in life as the amount of time and attention we dedicate to our own self-growth and development.
Honor and gift yourself these 25 minutes to really set the tone for an awesome day!
Step #2. MEDITATE (5 min)
Meditation seems to be the hot new thing to do now - and there are good reasons why.
Before we begin, I want you to know that meditation is not linked to spiritualism or worship. Meditation is a relationship you build with yourself. Being in a meditative mode is to enter a state of consciousness where you become the "observer" instead of the "doer".
While in meditation, observe but do not attach yourself to anything during these 5 minutes. Observe the thoughts that come up in your mind, observe the noises around you, observe the feeling of your body against the floor or chair. But don't create an attachment or judgment towards any of it. You are taking a moment to take a step back; to look from the outside in.
But how will meditation increase your productivity?
The benefits of meditation are exactly what we need for a successful productive day:
- meditation reduces stress and anxiety
- improves concentration
- increases happiness
- improves information processing and decision making
- strengthens the ability to focus
- improves the immune system and energy levels
In my experience, meditation was essential in managing the high amounts of anxiety I had from my job.
To start, sit up straight on your bed with your back leaning against your headboard and your legs crossed. Sitting on a pillow might make this position more comfortable. If crossing your legs isn't ideal for you, sitting in an upright position at the edge of the bed with both feet on the floor is another great option.
Use your phone to set a 5 minutes alarm and close your eyes. During these 5 minutes, just observe. Focus on your deep breaths, listen to any noise coming in. If thoughts come up, that's ok. Don't focus on having an empty mind, but on letting your thoughts come and go without adding meaning to them.
If a guided meditation sounds more like your cup of tea, I suggest the following free phone apps: Headspace, 10% Happier, and Insight Timer. They all have 5 minutes guided meditation options.
Step #3. READ (5 min)
After you have cleared your mind, it's time to set the right mindset for your productive day. Dedicate 5 minutes to reading something that will add value to you and provide tools for you to reach your goals.
This is when having a goal in mind is needed. Pick something to read that will benefit your journey towards your goal and keep your focus.
Is it your goal to open a restaurant? Daniel Meyer's book "Setting The Table" might be what you go for. If you usually gravitate towards personal development books, Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now" might be your pick.
My current go-to has been Iyanla Vanzant's "Until Today!" book. She wrote daily devotion for each day of the year focused on spiritual growth and peace of mind.
Step #4. JOURNAL (5 min)
If you are not a journal person, don't worry - I am not either.
But I have found that 5 minutes is enough to help my productivity. For this step, pick one of the 2 options below that resonate with you:
1. On a notebook write anything that comes into your mind. The trick here is to use this time to "empty out" any noise. Dump all of the unnecessary clutter in your brain into this paper so it won't get on the way of your productivity throughout the day. Household to do lists? Crazy dreams? Complaints about your co-worker? Let it all out.
2. Create a gratitude journal. Being grateful for what we already have sets up the stage to welcome more things of the same. Being in a state of gratitude also increases happiness. Start by listing things in your life that brings you joy - things that you are grateful for. Waking up next to your partner, your warm bed, the amazing support from your friends. the time you made for yourself this morning to write this journal, etc.
* you can also alternate between option 1 & 2 depending how you feel that morning
Lately, I have been using The Five Minutes Journal. I came across this notebook on a random visit to a local store and I instantly fell in love. If you thrive better with a bit more structure, this journal will be a good option for you.
Step #5. VISUALIZE (5 min)
Visualizing is probably my favorite step of the morning routine because it is so much fun. I love it so much that this morning I did it for 15 minutes instead of 5.
Visualization is when you get to live the life you want! No boundaries or limitation. For visualization, get yourself in a comfortable position (sometimes I am sitting in meditation position while other times I am laying down) and I visualize how my day would be like if I had already reached all of my goals.
With your eyes closed and the alarm set for 5 minutes, imagine exactly how your day would be if you had everything and done everything you wanted.
Where would you be waking up?
How is your room? Large/small? White/blue? Large windows with a view of the ocean?
How do you feel upon waking up? Light/ happy/ filled with joy/ energized?
What do you do next? Go to your deck to practice yoga? Sit down for breakfast in your beautiful kitchen with your family? Head to work at your successful company?
Don't focus on the material details, but on how you feel. We want to set you up for success, so when visualization is over, you are energized and pumped to go follow your goals at maximum speed.
I hope this was beneficial to you guys!
If you have any comments, please share down below! Hope to see you back here soon ;]