Why having a productive morning sets the tone of your day
It’s 4 am on June 19, 1991. I finally got to sleep around midnight after a fucking exhausting day. No alarm clock today, but instead two huge, mean men beating metal rods on metal trash can covers while walking around the room screaming “wake up pussies!” I immediately jumped from the top bunk and stood straight as an arrow on a white line. Then I had 5 minutes to shower, shave, brush my teeth, go to the bathroom and get dressed so I could return to the white line, at attention and ready for inspection. If anything was substandard, or we were even 10 seconds late to the line it was “drop and give me 50”.
What the fuuuuuuuck?” “What the hell did I get myself in to?” “ Is it too late to get out?”
Apprehension and fear aside, I felt surprisingly refreshed and well rested. I only got 4 hours, but I guess it was a really good 4 hours.
Later that day, after doing endless hours of military training exercises with ambulances following behind in case we passed out (which some did), I learned that we’d get to “hit the bunks” earlier tonight, at 10 pm.
The next morning – repeat. And so on for the next 10 weeks.
Everyone refers to me as a “morning person”. I wake up at around 5 am every day, even on weekends, and jump out of bed ready to go. Feeling good about the day and how much shit I’m going to get done.
People call me crazy or insane when I tell them my morning routine. “It’s the weekend, you should sleep in”. Or “no way, I’m definitely not a morning person”
What I learned from my military days was that you’d be surprised at what you can condition your body to do. If you’re getting a solid night’s rest, I mean good sleep - you don’t need to sleep in late.
It all starts with your nightly routine. Take care of the small things the night before like preparing the coffee, picking out an outfit, gym clothes, etc for the next day.
You’re mind needs time to slow down before you can go to sleep. Don’t always try and go from 60-0 when you lay your head on your pillow or you’ll end up tossing and turning and thinking about all the shit you need to do. It’s a lot easier to go from 20-0. Just like a car.
Instead of watching TV up until the minute you head to bed, read a book or meditate starting 30 minutes before. Give your mind time to slow down and replace distracting thoughts with positive, serene ones.
If you want (or need) to unwind a little bit more once you hit the sack, try a meditation podcast. Not the TV.
My mornings frame the rest of my day. Getting up early allows me to have the time I desperately need to focus solely on myself. Once the rest of my family wakes up, it’s game on.
If I have a good, productive morning, it sets the tone for the rest of my day, both physically and mentally. I also feel like I’ve already accomplished a ton of shit while the rest of the world is still dreaming.
It’s important to have a routine. Little things every day add up to big results right? My morning routine goes a little something like this:
Grab a cup of coffee (it’s prepared the evening before and set on a timer).
Have a glass of water.
Crack open my laptop and check and respond to emails for 10-15 minutes.
Spend 30 minutes marketing online (Social media, etc.).
Get a 20-30 minute workout in. Either on my Peloton or weights, maybe pushups depending on the day.
Have a green pressed juice and another glass of water.
Write a blog post, watch some news, read or cruise the web (this is my free time). Usually about an hour.
The whole routine usually takes me about an hour and a half and I usually still have another hour I can spend either watching a little news on TV, reading a book, or checking stuff out online. Sometimes I’ll write another blog post or find some inspiration for my day on Pinterest.
After a while, you won’t need an alarm clock anymore. If I have an early morning call (7 am or so), I never worry about waking up in time. My body and mind are conditioned to get me going earlier.