Following a morning routine is one of the most written, studied, preached practice when comes to productivity. Every time you visit the internet, there are high chances you might stumble onto one of the following headlines:
- 10 Things millionaires follow soon after the wake up
- The 5-minute morning routine that will make you a successful entrepreneur
- 17 Things you should do soon after you wake up
- How following a morning routine will make you a billionaire
All such articles talk about a morning routine, but hardly talk about how to become a millionaire. That’s for you to figure out.
Everyone who wakes up and follows a morning routine doesn’t become a millionaire. If that is the case, I would’ve become a millionaire by the time I graduated college. But, following a morning routine has one exceptional benefit. It slowly brings discipline into your life. And, on top of that it gives you the one thing that is hard to get these days – Time.
Rather than talking about how to make you a millionaire (which I haven’t figured out myself), let’s talk about some practical ways in which a morning routine can help you.
You’re Free from Social Chatter
Mornings are distraction-free as people hardly post anything on social media. Unless you have so many friends across different time zones, you hardly reach for your phone to check updates from your friends.
One good practice is to turn off the cellular data or put your mobile on silent until you’re ready for work. You can also use your phone’s Do Not Disturb (DND) mode by scheduling it from 11 PM to 8 AM.
Trust me, you’ll hardly notice the difference.
This gives you the time focus on other things like learn something new, work or plan something that you’ve been meaning to do for a long time. One practice I personally follow is put my smartphone on charge as soon as I wake up. I won’t grab it until I am ready for work. I get two benefits out of this: One, I don’t reach for my phone in the morning hours. Two, I don’t have to charge my phone until the next morning.
Lifehack #1: You may ask “What if something important comes up? What if someone calls me for an emergency and I miss it?”
Technology offers a really simple way to solve this.
If you’re using the DND feature on an Android phone, you can configure it in such a way that when people you’ve marked as favorite call you more than once, or ring you within a 15 min window, the silent mode gets turned off and you hear the ringtone.
Getting Your Focus Is Easy
Over the last few years, we’re constantly being bombarded with so much content. We’re constantly exposed to listicles, infographics, images, blogs, videos, music, podcast, etc. If you think when was the last time you sat with a blank state of mind, you’ll be surprised to see that it was a long time ago.
There is a famous study that says that our average attention span is 8 seconds, which is more or less equal to the attention span of a goldfish. But, I disagree. Our attention span is fine. We can still focus for longer period of time. But, we’re constantly bombarded with clickbaits and catchy content that makes us want to shift between them. It’s basically our greediness to consume everything interesting.
But, there’s a downside to all of this. If you can’t focus, then you can’t be on the path to achieve your goals.
If you’re thinking “How to get your focus?”, the answer is “meditation”.
And, the meaning of meditation doesn’t mean you’ll have to sit in the same place listening to your own breathing. (if you could do that, it’d be great!)
Meditation is doing something you love and paying absolute attention. It calms your mind, brings focus and makes your brain work better.
I read in a zen book that even washing plates with complete involvement has the benefit of meditating.
It can be anything from making tea, going for a run, to doing a hundred pushups everyday. If you pay complete attention while doing it, you’re on your way to having more focus in everything else you do throughout your day.
You Get All the Time You Wanted
I write short stories, novels, blogposts; I sketch and draw; I read books; I practice photography; and I take online courses and listen to podcasts. Whenever people see the end result, they always ask “Where do you find the time to do all this?”
And, always my answer is “I have so much time in the morning”.
If you’re passionate about learning a new skill, or an artform, the best way to do it is as soon as you wake up. The world around you will be asleep, and you will have all the time in the world to focus on what is important to you.
I usually write during the morning hours. Recently, I also started sketching in the morning, and the experience was delightful. When you’re in a calm, distraction-free atmosphere, the value you get out of it is abundant.
Mornings offer so much time for you to read, write, learn something new, workout (for which we always don’t find time) and even cook yourself a healthy meal (which no one does these days).
Try a morning routine to feel better, and not to become a millionaire. You’ll become one if you’re meant to become one.
Don’t Stick to a Template
If you’re planning to follow a morning routine, what is your next step?
Buy all the books related to morning routines, read up all the articles, and make a plan? Nope.
Putting something in action is several hundred times better than reading up. So, don’t follow a template right out of the internet. If the template doesn’t fit you, you’ll be disappointed and lose all hope in following a morning routine.
Plan your routine based on trial and error. Wake up at 6 AM and see how much you can do before getting to work. If you think you need more time, try waking up at 5. Shuffle the order of tasks you’ve planned to do and see how it works. After a couple of iterations, you’ll land on to a perfect morning routine which you love and can follow.
I’ve been partially following a morning routine and the experience is very good. I’m able to accomplish more and my mood is better throughout the day. There is a saying – “time is money”. In that case, I am already a millionaire.
So, set your alarms, make up a plan, and see if you can follow it. And, always keep in mind that the best morning routine is the one that you design on your own. Because, no one else know you better.