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Inspiring Morning Routines From Successful People To Help You Achieve More In Life

Inspiring Morning Routines From Successful People To Help You Achieve More In Life
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While most of us want to become high achievers in life, this is far easier said than done. We are often our own worst enemies in the pursuit of such attainment too, as we struggle to create the type of routines and schedules that are conducive to optimising productivity levels.

Having a productive morning routine is particularly important, as this serves as the foundation for a busy, active and successful working day. This is best embodied by people such as UK patent lawyer Tim Powell, who underpins his hectic working day with a highly structured, productive and organised morning routine.

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The Routines of Successful People and what you can learn from them

Tim Powell’s working day starts at 5.20am, when he rises and undertakes 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise at his home gym. He then prepares for work and drives to the office, finding time for a short and mentally relaxing walk around his local park before he starts his day. On some days, he even creates the additional time for a pre-work German lesson, as strive to stimulate his mind as well as his body.

The above video by BBC shows just how Powell accomplishes this routine, placing a heavy emphasis on structure, organisation and the combination of intensive activity with brief, mental breaks. These themes are reflected in the routines of similarly successful and motivated individuals, with American legend Oprah Winfrey also known to spend 20 minutes or so reflecting in silence before starting work. Arianna Huffington also enjoys a pre-work fusion of yoga and reflective meditation, while Square CEO Jack Dorsey is someone who engages in high-intensity exercise prior to 6am on a daily basis.

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The Secrets and Benefits of a Productive Morning Routine

As we can see, there are fundamental components of a successful and productive morning routine. The issue is that some people do not consider themselves to be at their best in the morning, forcing them to create barriers that prevent them from making the most of their time at the beginning of the day. Interestingly, Tim Powell himself is not a morning person, but he has negated this by actively removing many of the obstacles that are created by our outlooks and natural body clocks. Here are some practical steps to help you in your quest:

1. Focus on Creating Healthy and Positive Habits

According to professor Martin Hagger, the creation of a morning routine can be an effective way to cultivate positive lifestyle habits. Focusing on these can help you to self-regulate your behaviour and create patterns of conduct that extend far beyond the morning hours, while this also makes it easier to structure your routine effectively.

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2. Invest in Forward Planning

The example of Tim Powell and other successful people teaches us the importance of organisation (and more specifically forward planning). As an evening person he understands the importance of having a impactful alarm to start his day, for example, so sets this regularly and without fail. You can even amplify the sound and effectiveness of this alarm with tools such as the Amazon Echo Bluetooth speaker, for example, so long as you quickly rise and become sentient.

It is also important to make preparations for the next day the evening before, so take the time to iron and layout your clothes in advance to optimise the efficiency of your morning routine.

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3. Rise and fall at the same times Every Day

On a final note, consistency is crucial to the successful implementation of your daily routine. Most importantly, you will need to maintain consistent sleeping patterns and make sure that you rise and fall at the same times each day, as this will regulate your body clock and gradually make it easier to wake early in the morning. Over time, this will have a cumulative impact on your psyche and enhance the overall impact of your routine.

Hopefully, these tips will enable you to create the type of morning routine that drives successful people on a daily basis, while also establishing lifestyle habits that can drive enhanced levels of physical and mental fitness.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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