Morning routines rock

Not a morning person? That’s fine, most people aren’t. Though, have you ever noticed that some of the most productive (and successful) people you know are early-risers? Sure, there are exceptions to this rule but in general, those that get up early use those first few hours to get their day started the right way.

So what’s the point of getting up early? It’s simple, really…

Mornings are distraction-less

I remember an article in FastCompany (can’t find it, though) that outlined a number of executives’ daily routines. Each of them were waking up early and taking care of things before the day got hectic:

  • Working out
  • Eating a healthy breakfast
  • Catching up on email
  • Reading and watching the morning news
  • etc…

By waking up at 6, 5, or even 4am they were able to hit the day running without interruption. That’s the key to productivity: removing the distractions. Waking up early does that for you.

You get a head-start on everyone

An obvious benefit to getting up early is the fact you’re up and starting your day before everyone else. By the time they get into the office they’ve already got your email in their inbox, you’ve already had your cup of coffee and are ready start producing results.

You can’t put things off

Waking up early means you’ve accomplished things that may have been scheduled later. For example, I used to budget time in the evening to go to the gym. I realized that things always come up in the evening. It’s too easy to put things off later in the day. If you do them in the morning before distractions and interruptions can occur, you’re bound to always get them done.

My experiences

Now that you understand some of the benefits of getting up early I’ll describe my routine:

  • 6:00am – Wake up and go to gym
  • 7:00am – Return home, make breakfast, read WSJ
  • 7:45am – Shower, get dressed
  • 8:00am – Either go to work (2 days) or read before school (2 days)

It’s a simple schedule but it’s dramatically changed things for me. First, I’m actually going to the gym as often as I’d like to. As soon as I wake up I put on my shoes and head out the door. No excuses, no delay, it just happens. After working out, a few minutes in the jacuzzi mean I can collect my thoughts before the day starts. I already have a mental plan by 7am.

Second, I eat a good breakfast every morning. I rarely ate breakfast in the past but now it’s a simple gesture every morning. While I’m eating I also read the paper and enjoy some silence as the sun comes up.

Third, I’m not rushed in the morning. I always have time to collect my thoughts. I never forget to bring anything to school. I never go out the door without some snack packed for the day. By waking up early and having more time I essentially slow down my morning.

What do you do?

If I haven’t convinced you yet, try getting up early every day for a week. As it becomes a habit it becomes easier. It’s obviously a great way to be productive and start your day right. But, I’m curious, what’s your morning routine?

<font size=-2>Before I started writing this I hadn’t even realized David Seah had begun a similar experiment. Check out David’s (excellent) productivity blog for a detailed look at his morning routine.</font>