The idea of a morning routine is growing more popular, as more people become aware of the value of setting yourself up for success. When you look at the list of things that show up on a person’s morning routine, you will find things like hydrating, exercise, meditation, cold showers, reading something spiritual or inspirational, or keeping a journal. These are all excellent practices, and they will allow you to have a better start to your day. But this list is lacking the one additional practice that would ensure you progress towards your most important goal, project, or initiative. What’s missing is your first ninety-minute block of work.
Intentional to Unintentional
Effectiveness is mostly a result of intent. Starting your day with a solid morning routine is to exercise your intent, but what comes after may not be. You might decide to open your email inbox straight away, shifting into a reactive mode after just being intentional with your time and energy. You might allow yourself to be distracted by the many wonders the internet brings to you at the click of your mouse.
After setting yourself up for a successful day, you give your time to things that do nothing to move you closer to your goal—and further away what might be a successful day. Your morning routine needs to prepare you for what’s most important, and one could argue that your morning routine is wasted if all it does is prepare you to spend time on small things while ignoring your priorities.
If you are going to put forth the effort to follow a morning routine, extend that intentionality into your day.
What’s Most Important?
Prioritizing all aspects of your health first each day ensures that you have the time and energy to take care of your most valuable asset, yourself. It changes your mental state and improves your energy. What it doesn’t do is move you any closer to the goals and outcomes you want to achieve, something requires equal intentionality and something that benefits from the same rigor as your morning routine.
There is no reason to waste the better physical and mental state you worked to create on things that are trivial or distractions from what is most important. What follows your morning ritual should be the next most important outcome you need to create, your number one priority for the day, extending your intentionality.
The Next Ninety Minutes
One of the reasons you procrastinate is because you believe some task or project is going to take a long time to compete. The reason it feels like it takes a long time to complete something is that you allow yourself to be distracted—and in some cases, see those distractions. It does take more time to do things when you don’t give yourself over to your work, eliminating distractions, focusing solely on the task at hand. The result is that the most important things don’t get done, and when they do, it took longer than necessary, pushing the results you want further into the future.
The remedy to procrastination is to do the most important thing first each day without fail. In doing so, you will train yourself not to procrastinate but to get things done early. The logic here is right in line with rationale for your morning routine, namely doing what’s important first, protecting it from being overtaken by the demands of others throughout the day. To ensure you have the time, start with a ninety-minute block.
Ninety-minutes seems to fly by when you are distracted and feels a lot longer when you give something your full attention. It’s more than enough time to make progress on your most important initiative, and in many cases, it is enough to complete some significant piece of work. You might want to use a ninety-minute block before you go into an office. If that doesn’t work, start your day by intentionally doing what’s most important, training those around you not to interrupt you during that time.
If you care enough to keep a morning routine or ritual of, say, ninety minutes, extending it by an additional ninety-minutes for your highest priority work will transform your results, as well as the speed at which you attain them.
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Filed under: Productivity