3 Ways to reinvigorate your life when you rediscover your mornings

by Paul Goodchild on June 1, 2011

It was just 2 weeks ago that I discovered my favourite online tool of 2011.  Sure, some think Spotify is amazing (I’ve never quite seen it), that the new Facebook pages for business is cool, or even Workflowy is the dog’s “testicules” (which it is).

I’ve found the simplest, cleanest, and smoothest journalling program available (in my humble opinion). And it’s absolutely free. All you need is a good web browser and of course an internet connection.

This site is: 750words.com

I will go into more detail about 750words in another post. For now just know that 750words is a tool that allows you to easily create daily journals. It has helped me get re-focused, and wrestle back control of my morning and my productivity.

On my first day, I wrote this:

It feels that the longer it [problems with my apartment at the time] goes on, the harder it gets to connect. My daily routine of getting up late, no exercise, crappy diet, and resistance to do anything will forever hold me back.

How to fix it? I think part of the problem is inconsistency in my work. I need to find a groove, a rhythm and run with it. But I haven’t got it yet. …

as I wrote on I decided to turn to routine and habit, so I started to write one:

Standard Daily Schedule:

  • 08:00am: wake up
  • 08:15am: exercise
  • 09:30am: breakfast / coffee / morning pages
  • 10:30am: emails/facebook and setting draft place holders for later
  • 11:00am: video editing for 1hour
  • 12:00pm: Spanish or other language learning
  • 01:00pm: 1hour break for lunch etc.
  • 02:00pm: Video recording or editing
  • 03:00pm: business development for 2hrs. This needs defined later.
  • 05:00pm: final emails
  • 06:00pm: 1hr of reading. Whatever: novels, personal dev etc.

This was the first draft, and needless to say there’s no way I’ve stuck to this schedule for the past 2 weeks. But it now forms a framework for each and every day.

I’ve done the morning exercise on approx. 80% of the days following this resolution. For each morning that I’ve done the exercise, I’ve then taken my time over breakfast, gone to a café to write my “morning pages“, and completed my emailing etc. by 11am.

By around 10:30~11:00am every day I’m feeling fresh from the morning run, and clear headed from the writing.

Too much sleep & no exercise is a productivity killer

Before this habit was started, I’d estimate that since coming to Sevilla a couple of months ago, approximately 85% of my days were starting after midday.

That was a complete productivity killer.

There were other reasons for the lack of productivity, but having neither daily routine nor daily exercise was killing any hopes I had of building my business.

So what are the 3 principles to reinvigorating your daily life/routine? They’re not ground breaking in any way, but may require you to adjust your priorities.

For each of them, consider what you need to do to try them for a week, and quickly the activities you must “sacrifice” to see them happen will become clear.

1) Wake up earlier

Waking up early isn’t as difficult as it seems. I’ve always maintained that I’m not a “morning person”. But I think this is a misnomer.  We’re nearly all morning people – we just don’t like waking up because sleep is awesome. I love sleep.

The secret to waking up early is as obvious as the secret to waking up late…

Of course knowing the secret and being able to leverage yourself to act on it are two different things.

2) Exercise in the mornings soon after you wake

I’m sure I don’t need to espouse all the benefits of exercise, but what’s the difference between exercise done in the morning and exercise in the evening?

When you exercise your body releases endorphins  – natural feel-good chemicals – amongst doing other good stuff. If this is the case, do you want them hitting you right before you go to bed, or as you kick off your day.

I’ve found the feel-great response to morning exercise stays with me throughout most of the day. I prefer having that for the day, than for a couple of hours before I head to bed.

3) Write a journal (brain-dump) after you wake up

Writing the morning pages (journalling) at the beginning of the day serves to flush your chattering mind. We all have issues, ideas, to-do lists etc. whirring around in our minds.

Doing a morning brain-dump is, for me, one of the greatest aids to productivity I have found.

Again, like the exercise, journalling in the morning sets you up for the rest of the day. You can do it in the evening also, I guess it’s down to personal choice.

Give it a go!

This might all sound a little full-on, but remember, you don’t have to do it everyday and you don’t have to stick to it forever.

Try it out and see how it works for you.

Here are a couple of links to help you:

What’s your opinion of all this?  Did you try some of it out? Did you notice any improvements to your day/well-being/productivity? Please feel free to comment below.


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

← Previous Article:

→ Next Article: