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

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

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 October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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