Picture the following:
The alarm goes off. Assuming you don’t hit snooze for a third time, you grumble as you shuffle out of bed and throw some clothes on. Your first instinct? “Let’s check Twitter! I wonder if anyone posted anything interesting on Facebook at 4am while I was asleep!”
You walk down the hall, eyes glued to your phone, pausing so often that it takes five minutes just to make it 20 feet to the damn bathroom. “Wait, why am I in the bathroom? What did I need here?”
Realizing you have zero reason to be in the bathroom, you walk to the living room – eyes still glued to your phone – and plop on the couch. You check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter again, Snapchat, your email, Twitter again. Maybe check Facebook again, just in case. ESPN too.
It’s been 15 minutes since you woke up and you’ve accomplished nothing.
Turns out, you DID need something in the bathroom: your contacts. They’re kind of essential for you to, ya know, see things and interact with the world in any sort of meaningful manner. Back to the bathroom you go!
Feeling hungry, you walk to the kitchen and spend approximately 90% of your time gazing deep in the refrigerator or pantry for absolutely no reason, as if, by some magical witchcraft, breakfast shall suddenly assemble in front of you, if you just stare hard enough.
You finally grab some cereal, pour a bowl, grab the milk – oops, that’s the orange juice. Narrowly avoiding a fatal error, you put the orange juice back and actually grab the milk. Bringing your bowl to the table, you whip out your phone and…check Twitter again.
It’s been 30 minutes since you woke up and you’ve accomplished nothing.
Noticing the time – “OH SHIT I’M GOING TO BE LATE” – you run upstairs, throw on some clothes, and run out the door, muttering to yourself – “I never have time to do anything!” Your cereal remains half-eaten in the bowl, growing soggy and sad.
WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?!
Now, let’s contrast that with the following:
You wake up and immediately head to the bathroom, put in your contacts, then head to the kitchen. You don’t even need to think – you just act. Make tea, microwave some eggs, grab a yogurt out of the fridge, then head to the table to eat. Your phone is still in your room – no distractions.
After finishing breakfast, you find a quiet spot and meditate, clearing your head of clutter, preparing your mind for the monumental task of kicking today’s ass.
Head back to the kitchen, start your coffee, and prepare lunch. Coffee’s finished? Bring it to your desk and FINALLY, time to use your phone! But no social media.
You load up your to-do list that you completed before going to sleep last night and immediately get to work.
It’s been 20 minutes and you’ve already accomplished more than many people do in an entire day.
Morning Routines – Setting Yourself Up For Success & Productivity EVERY Day
When we wake up without a morning routine, we wake up without a purpose. This sets up for a day with zero direction or purpose.
We wander aimlessly from one activity to the next, without ever accomplishing anything.
We waste time on social media and other unproductive activities, while our obligations continue to pile up.
Establishing a consistent morning routine allows us to operate on automatic. From the moment we wake up, we don’t have to think – we just do.
This saves valuable cognitive willpower, and helps us to avoid decision fatigue. We end up feeling much more energized making important decisions, rather than feeling drained and “burned out”, because we avoid wasting finite cognitive abilities on minor decisions or aimless activities.
A good morning routine helps accomplish important tasks from the instant our feet leave the bed. We prime ourselves for a productive, successful day, free of procrastination. We lock ourselves into a proactive, productivity mindset, versus being reactive to any and all stimuli thrown our way.
This gives us more time in the evening to relax, and relish in the company of our family and friends engaged in enjoyable activities, rather than catching up on everything we put off throughout the day.
Creating a consistent morning routine is one of the best – and easiest – ways to increase your productivity.