How to Win the Day
The phrase “win the day” seems to have become synonymous with being a successful entrepreneur or person and while the phrase (which is also a book) has always seemed a bit cliché to me I do believe there is significant value that comes from establishing habits that help you be more effective. A few weeks ago I wrote a very similar blog post to this one that’s all about the importance of an evening routine and in the process of writing that article and researching effective routines it seemed that every google search inquiry brought up the importance of morning routines instead. While I remain a stalwart believer that you can be just as effective of a person being a night owl as you can an early bird I decided to see what all the fuss was about in regards to morning routines. Here are a few of my takeaways from my research and a few tips on how to create a successful morning routine.
Every single article stressed that the number one factor in creating an impactful morning routine was the age-old mantra “early to bed, early to rise”. Article after article talked about how following your internal clock (circadian rhythm) makes for better quality sleep and therefore better quality work. So getting to bed early and ensuring that you get a good amount of sleep is, according to these articles, setting you up for a successful morning. Experts recommend setting bedtimes and wake-up times to ensure success and consistency. Above all remember to NEVER hit the snooze button!
Many of the articles I read talked about the book The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma. The basis of this book revolves around waking up at 5 am to follow the 20/20/20 rule. While 5 am seems a little drastic to me, scholars and health experts swear by the 20/20/20 rule as well. The first 20 represents 20 minutes of physical exercise, this exercise should be enough to get you sweating. According to health experts, 20 minutes of physical activity in the morning is great for reducing stress levels (cortisol) and increasing feel-good dopamine. So step 1 of your day is avoiding scrolling your phone in bed and instead, getting up and moving.
The second 20 is all about quiet time. This could come from yoga, journaling, meditating, or any other quiet activity. This time helps you to calm your mind before starting the day and allows you to evaluate where you are on goals and what you are doing well. According to licensed clinical psychologist, Erin Engle this quiet time could also include using self-affirmations to help you construct a positive relationship with yourself.
Use the last 20 minutes to expand your mind. This one is all up to you, whatever you want to learn more about these 20 minutes are the time to do it. Reading, listening to a podcast, or working on a new skill during these 20 minutes will help you stimulate your mind and prep for a productive day.
The last piece of a productive morning routine is all about choosing a fueling breakfast. Choosing a breakfast that is based on whole foods can help you feel energized and ready to begin your day. A suggestion that I thought was helpful was to spend the time, while eating breakfast, to create a to-do list for the day. This to-do list should go in order of what’s most important and will help you prioritize your day.
While I personally don’t subscribe to the 5 am club in totality (way too early in my opinion) I have found that the 20/20/20 rule has been effective for me. By following this rule I have felt way more energized to start my day and by the time my workday truly begins I am ready to tackle the day. Morning routines will forever be a challenge to me but I do believe that establishing one that works for you can be extremely beneficial. So my major takeaway from the different articles I’ve read? Find what works for you and work hard to be consistent at that. What are your favorite morning routines? Let us know by commenting or tagging us on social media @brightpointcreative.