If you spend any time around highly accomplished individuals, you've likely heard many of them swear by their early morning wake-up times as a direct catalyst behind their triumphs. Many of these high achievers also claim to have discovered the best possible practices for the early morning hours to reach optimal productivity throughout the day.
During my time in the startup space, however, what I've found to be more directly linked to the productivity of my ventures is the power of morning routine. By developing an orderly plan of set activity for your morning, honing your routine, and implementing it day after day, you induce all kinds of auspicious consequences.
Routine stands out to me far more than mere wake-up times or specific morning pursuits because, at the end of the day, everyone is unique, so there's no one-size-fits-all strategy. Rather, the practices that people establish for themselves and how much they stick to them are far more telling.
Why such an obsession with the morning? Those early hours are the most important time of the day. Need proof? Below are the four reasons why you should create a killer morning routine and never deviate from it.
1. Create more time
Spend less time planning and more time actually doing. Too many people waste precious minutes overthinking mundane decisions that in reality could be the same every day. While it's true that you can't anticipate everything that might happen tomorrow, reducing the number of variables will help you eliminate much of the "in-between" time that rapidly aggregates.
Cut back on excessive decision making by planning in advance what you'll do under typical circumstances and knowing the results those decisions will drive. It will save you time and stress.
2. Generate momentum
Your habits can be manipulated to produce real advantages in your life. It's rather simple: Consistently make the lifestyle choices you believe will lead to desirable outcomes, and through practice, you'll reap the benefits you knew were coming. The morning is your perfect outlet to capitalize on this and set yourself up for productivity throughout the day.
Many entrepreneurs have mastered their morning routines and use them as vehicles for business success and generating daily momentum. Take Laura Allswang, for example, owner of custom furniture and vintage design company Dstressed. "Consistency in the early hours allows both me and my business to thrive," she says. "That's why I start every morning at 5 with various cardio and strength workouts to help clear my mind and prepare me for whatever challenges the day presents."
3. Become better at what you do
By doing the same things every day, you become an expert in those tasks. This is often overlooked, but 'practice makes perfect' accurately depicts the strong correlation between the amount of times you do something and how well you do it. And once you know you can do something well, be it planting, coding, or anything else, you'll find comfort during adverse times knowing that you can excel in the things you've mastered.
4. Boost your work
Applying this routine-based ideology will help you in your business endeavors. Beyond the timesaving mechanism that habitualness is, you'll be able to focus better on your work when you're more organized from the get-go every morning. Far too many people's external affairs negatively impact their work because they fail to set their days up well, ultimately increasing stress, decreasing productivity in their craft, and allowing themselves only to scratch the surface of what they could do if they reoriented their approach.
CEO Debbie Morgenstein and her women's athletic-leisure wear company Attractive Nuisance are a prime example of how this approach yields favorable results. "Routine establishes control, from the beginning of the day to end," she says. "I've watched my brand increase its numbers and experience strong organic growth as a direct result of the set approach we take to ensure its development every day. The constant dedication to consistency in operation is a major part of its creative success and upward trajectory."
Your next move
So how do you create the perfect morning routine? Figure yours out by thinking of:
- What you know you spend too much time on during a typical day
- What you would like to spend more time on
- How you could reorganize your schedule to accommodate the desired adjustments
You won't regret it!
Nathan Feifel contributed to this article.