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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

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 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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