“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.” – William Blake
It’s no secret that the greatest minds in any field rely heavily on routine. Because routines can make us do the right things at the right time.
Think in the Morning
When we examine the great thinkers and achievers of our field, it’s easy to think, “Wow! They must have so much willpower to be constantly working!” But this just isn’t true. The difference is that the great leaders have learned how to manage their will power.
All of us (even the geniuses) wake up each morning with a certain amount of will power. You can imagine that your will power is a battery. Every decision you make, no matter how small, drains a bit of your battery. Have you ever wonder why Steve Jobs only wore black t-shirts? Well, he eliminated that decision from his daily routine, so he could focus his will power somewhere else.
Creating, thinking, and planning are all activities that require decisions to be made over and over. They drain some of our will-power battery. That’s why they should all be done in the morning, when you still have the power to do them.
In this study, all 17 CEO’s interviews said they’re more productive when they started earlier. The quiet of the morning is the best time to plan your day and knock out the tasks that require the most thought – before anyone is up to bother you.
Act in the Noon
If you do all your thinking and planning in the morning, then you can do all your “acting” in the afternoon. This time should be saved for routine and habitual acts that you know you’re going to do one way or the other.
Is your email box crammed full? You know you’re going to read those emails today no matter what. It’s just a habit at this point! So you might as well save it for the afternoon, when your energy is lower and your will-power is becoming depleted.
The afternoon is the best time to “manage” your tasks, rather than focus on the bigger picture. You don’t need all the willpower you used in the morning to work on systems that are already in place. Plus, you’ve already planned your day (in the morning). Those decisions are already made, leaving you free to simply do them.
Eat in the Evening
A lot of people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Experts think a lot of these people are wrong. In fact, dinner may be the most important meal of the day. Obviously, you want to eat something before dinner. You need to fuel throughout the day, but dinner may help your body functions more than any other meal.
First, dinner is part of being a happy human. Social relationships are so important, and much of socializing is based around dinner. Not only that, but families who eat dinner together on a regular basis have happier, healthier, and safer kids. So, we know that dinner is important to our happiness, but is it also important to our health?
According to Mental Healthy, it helps with sleep. In order to sleep properly, we need steady supplies of glucose throughout the night for body functions. If we aren’t eating healthy foods, the body has to use glucose reserve systems, which can cause us to wake up and have trouble falling asleep again. Which brings us to our final point on the power of daily routine…
Sleep at Night
Sleep is so important because our body performs crucial functions of recovery while asleep. We all know the feeling of waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day. We also know the feeling of waking up groggy because we didn’t sleep well. That’s because our bodies only perform regenerative functions while sleeping.
Specifically, the body uses sleep to:
- Heal damaged cells
- Boost immune system
- Recover from the day’s activities
- Recharge your heart and cardiovascular system.
And most importantly for your daily routine, sleep recharges your decision making power (also known as willpower). Good sleep is the difference between great work and poor productivity the next day.