I’ll try to do more before 8am than you do all day.
I used to anyway.
Nowadays, that doesn’t work for me so much. My morning routine has changed a lot over the years, but, right now, I’ve found a comfortable one that works. I’m sure it’ll change at some point as my life evolves, but I enjoy it now. It works. I was prompted to think about it after reading a recent blog on Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits site. HERE’s the link if you’d like to read it too.
(I actually met him a few years ago at the World Domination Summit. He’s as cool in real life as he is on the blog.)
Here’s my morning routine, but I’m not telling you so you’ll think I’m The Man. I’m telling you because I want you to be purposeful in thinking about your own morning routine. Examine each and every part of it and make sure it’s wanted or necessary instead of just letting life and all those little things happen to you. Many of my little morning rituals were developed through constant experimentation from examining the rituals of other successful people. I’ll give them credit when I remember where I got the idea.
I get up around 8. I kind of just pop awake between 0730 and 0810 most mornings. I use alarms when I absolutely have to be awake by a set time. Otherwise I let my body’s natural alarm clock do the waking. I used to try to get up early because I saw that as a virtue, but it’s not. Don’t let early risers make you feel bad if it doesn’t work for you. Here’s a tip…MOST people get up early and develop that habit for one of two reasons…
- They’re stuck in a job or lifestyle that they can’t escape from that demands early rising.
- They have a job they enjoy that requires early rising and they make that sacrifice for the job.
Taking a cue from Tony Robbins I splash cold water all over my face and head to wake up my central nervous system and get my mind active right away. My kids call this my “It’s game time!” activity because that’s what I scream when I do this.
My nutrition day starts as soon as I get up because I have certain supplements that need to be taken 30 minutes before breakfast. I’m hooked on Advocare products, so most of my non-food stuff comes from there. I drink a Spark mix and take stage 1 of my MNS (Metabolic Nutrition System) first thing. This gets my metabolism going (game time for my innards). In half an hour I’ll drink a protein shake for my breakfast. For my breakfast I kind of follow Tim Ferriss’ 30-30-30 rule from his book 4-Hour Body.
During breakfast is also when I start my first mental activities. First thing I do is read a chapter of my Bible. One portion of my spiritual studies is to read through the Bible from start to finish. I’ve gone from 10 chapters a day to 1 and everywhere in between. Right now, I read one chapter a day and try to really digest it through quality rather than quantity. It’s a slow process, but I’ve read the entire Bible through four times in my life. Right now, I’m in the book of 1 Kings and the stories of Elijah. My personal Bible is a Classic Note Bible in the King James Version. It’s a huge Bible because every other page is blank. I enjoy taking notes, pasting pictures, etc right in the pages.
After my Bible reading I read from a book about the Bible. I do this to gain further insight and understanding from others. I’m not so vain to think that God only speaks through me. Right now, I’m reading from The Sure Word of Prophecy by Dr. Peter Ruckman. Ruckman is a really interesting guy. Check out his Wikipedia entry and you’ll get an idea why. I don’t agree with everything he says, but the guy is a true innovator in religious thought.
After I read a few pages in my Bible book, I delve into my prayer journal. I pray often at different times of the day and for different reasons, but this small time of prayer is when I pray for those closest to me. This is what I call a written prayer. I actually write the prayer down in my journal as I speak to God. This is adapted from a practice I learned during a class from Dr. Doug Dorman at Your Next Step Institute.
By this point, one of several of my kids have woken up. I have 4, so they usually make enough noise to wake up the others as well. They all have their own little jobs so they get started on breakfast prep. Because we homeschool, the kids wake up on their own schedule, so usually sometime between 0730 and 0930.
Once breakfast for them is over, they split up and start their own homeschool studies or chores. Each one has their own list of stuff that’s supposed to get done each day. Really, all I do in the morning is help them get started and guide them a little. From my 3-year-old on up, they work independently very well.
While their school is getting started, I switch from prayer journal to my first work of the day. There are only two work items I try to accomplish at the house before heading into the office.
Number one, I work on research. There’s always a project going on, so I’m usually doing some research in a book I have or online. This part doesn’t involve any writing. It’s just the research portion, mainly taking notes. Number two, I open up one of my current projects and write approximately a thousand words. It’s all writing right now. No editing or proof-reading. I just want the process of putting words on paper. Because of the way my mind works, I keep several projects going at any given time so I can switch back and forth to keep from getting bored or bogged down. The 1000 words thing I picked up from Chris Guillebeau, best-selling author of The Art of Non-Conformity and other books.
After this, I get ready for the day, paying special attention to primping my fiercely massive red beard. I ride my bike in to the office anytime between 9 and 10, depending on how the morning has gone.
One habit I had to break some time ago and really stick to is to stay away from e-mail and social media. It made my morning so much smoother and happier once I made this switch.
That’s me. How do you spend your mornings? What would you like to change?
This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!