Over the past few years, as I have recovered from some personal tragedies, I have read a lot. No I mean a lot. Granted this year was a bit more due to COVID, but according to my Kindle, and with more than two months to go in the now infamous 2020, I am at 120 titles read. This does not include a lot of business books that I bought in paper format to be able to annotate and Audible titles that are 100% non fiction. Other than my paper books, my reading follows the same meandering path as a very drunk partygoer walking home at 3 am. A lot of ADHD, so for a few days I may be immersed in a space opera and then find myself parroting the language of a Scottish crime novel. (I have noted that I think of myself as Ewan McGregor when I do that, which is funny because I am Latin. We will leave why I own a genuine kilt for a later time.)
Inevitably in those reading “walkabouts”, I end up reading “self help” books on discipline, the Stoics, public speaking, Tony Robbins, and life hacks. When it comes to success there really are no shortcuts. So the hacks are more along the lines of helping you prioritize and stay focused to get what you need done without driving yourself mad. Unfortunately the hard work , sleepless nights, and risk are all part of the formation of success. It does not matter where you start with that “self help” journey, inevitably you will end up waking up early, meditating and doing exercise. Those are the “big three” and for good reason.
The one thing I would add to all of the morning routine documentation out there, is that your mornings will absolutely continue to “suck” (that’s a technical term from the 1980s) if you don’t prepare them the night before. If you are doing this regularly, you already know what you’re doing tomorrow, more or less. Take 15 minutes the night before to get your To Do list organized. That To Do List can be on a notepad, your Reminders on your phone, your journal, etc. The important thing is to do it and that it works for you. I personally use Evernote, but have my handy journal ready for notes and idea writing just in case.
That “night before” will help you sleep better not worrying about “it” and you will definitely be incredibly productive. I have found this practice makes your “why” very prominent and I rarely need an alarm to get going (usually right after 4 am).
Hint: email is not on that priority list in the morning, but things like strategic planning, product development, processes, etc are on the top of that list (at least for us). Email (and Slack) can usually wait till 7 am, a good few hours after you start. Since we are a startup, we get ignored anyway, so may as well be ignored AFTER we do our important work.
Found this short article on “things to do in the morning” and it’s a good piece. Enjoy.