I refuse to believe the myth that there are productive and unproductive people. Everyone can be productive but it all stems from how you start your day. If you love the snooze button then congratualtions, you have begun your day by putting things off for another few minutes. You will reach a point where you simply run out of excuses and carry on out of habit rather than necessity. If you need a cup of strong coffee every morning just to wake you up and another a few hours later then try my morning routine out for size. Do this for one week and if you don’t like it feel free to go back, but the first step is trying.
5 Step Morning Routine
Once in a while you need to completely detox yourself from everyday stresses of work, relationships and life in general. My time in London was fun and productive but it also took a massive toll on my health. Instead of trudging on I decided to visit some relatives in Latvia and switch off from the world for a week. On my doorstep I had fresh sea air and lush forests to stroll through which helped collect my thoughts. There was also no internet or phone signal which eroded the temptation to check Facebook every 5 minutes. Instead I focused on my health and tried to completely switch off from the outside world.
1 – As soon as you hear the alarm clock, roll off the bed. If you love the snooze button either switch it off or place your alarm / phone on the other side of the room so you have to physically get up to turn it off. Since you’re already standing do 10 push ups or star jumps. This will get the blood flowing through your body.
2 – Continue by going to the bathroom and doing one of these things; take off all your clothes and take a cold bath or shower for 5 minutes (you won’t want to stay for longer as a beginner) or wash your face with cold water. If the thought of a cold shower sent chills down your spine start out slower. Have a normal shower but for the last 30 seconds turn on the cold water. The initial shock is unpleasant but just count to 30 and you’ll be fine.
3 – Go to the kitchen and boil some water. Make some green tea. I prefer Yerba Mate as recommended by my ‘spirit animal’ Tim Ferriss. Yerba Mate includes three xanthine alkaloids that are found in smaller quantities in coffee and have been proven to enhance biochemistry and creative writing.
4 – Sit down on a mat and do some light stretching or if you have time, 15 minutes of meditation by closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Try to slowly count to 10 without a thought entering your head. Eventually you will find that this is impossible and that’s entirely the point. You can never switch off your mind but realising that thoughts are just that, thoughts. They don’t have any effect on what you do so pay no attention to them. In one ear and out the other.
5 – Write down one thing you wish to accomplish today. It can be a large task, it can be a small task. It just has to be important in the grand scheme of things. I find the Chrome add-on Momentum really helpful with this. Do not check social media or emails right now, these things can wait. Unless you’re a doctor I’m sure the world won’t stop spinning if you forgo social media for a few mornings. The importance of a good information diet cannot be underestimated.
Do this every day for a week, and you’ll ask yourself why you thought you needed masses of caffeine to begin with. Starting your day with enhanced awareness and calm focused energy that lasts throughout the day is beneficail in ways you cannot even imagine.
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