The opportunity: Changing your habits can help you maximize your time and energy.
The solution: Get control of your routine and make the most of your days with these 5 powerful tips.
I've been reflecting recently on how I structure my day according to my priorities and what will give me the most benefit (based on Pareto's Principle which states that roughly 20% of actions produce 80% of results). In doing this, I realized that I wasn't optimizing the time of the day when I'm at my most productive so I decided to change my routine.
It's critical to prepare your heart, your mind, and your body first thing in the morning. Will power is a lot like a muscle. Your will power is at its strongest first thing in the morning. The hours from 5 - 8am are the golden hours. This is when you have the most mental power and focus. When you optimize these hours, you will do more in a day than most people do in a month. Winning the battle of the bed gives you more mental confidence and makes you feel more like a leader than a victim.
According to research it takes 66 days of practice to hardwire in a new mental pathway to start a habit until it becomes part of your neural hardwiring. You will literally not be able to get up later after 5am after 66 days.
Here's the 20/20/20 rule for the first hour that I learned from Robin Sharma. He suggests waking up at exactly 5am every morning but I wake up at 4:45am to allow enough time to have a protein shake. Eating a meal within 30 minutes of waking will help increase the rate of your metabolism which has slowed down to conserve the stored energy.
First 20 minutes - Exercise (walk, run, swim, jump rope, etc). That's a complete game changer. This releases dopamine, the motivational neurotransmitter, and makes you feel strong. It will also release serotonin which makes you feel happier. You'll boost your metabolic rate and feel more energized.
Second 20 minutes - Review plan, daily schedule, purpose. It will give you focus, passion, inspiration. The secret of passion is to know your daily, yearly and even lifetime purpose. I spend a few minutes doing this and the rest of the time in prayer/meditation.
Last 20 minutes - Learn. 'Education is inoculation against disruption'. The world belongs to learners. As you know more you can achieve more. Read ebooks, listen to audio books, listen to Ted talks, or read a hard copy of a book.
Here are some tips to help with your routine:
1. Plan rising at 5am on your daily schedule. Write your holy hour on your schedule. When you write things down you literally deepen your commitment. It deepens it in your awareness and gives you the discipline we need. It also increases clarity of thought. The things you get scheduled are the things that get done. Vague goals lead to vague results.
2. Get a great nights rest. Don't use your computer before you go to sleep. Do not bring that into the bedroom. Don't watch TV before you go to sleep in bed. To get the results only 5% of the population gets, you have to be prepared to do the things only 5% of population is willing to do.
3. Put your alarm clock in another room or across the room so you have to get out of bed when it goes off.
4. Rituals work more than will power. Literally jump out of bed, maybe splash your face with water, and say your affirmations. You will become super productive, transform your mindset and become a super achiever.
5. Keep what's motivating you at the forefront of your mind. This could be looking at your vision board, or just mentally focusing on your personal or professional goals and why they're important to you. Having an accountability partner to keep you on track also helps.
Are you ready to join the 5am club with me?
~ Victor Hugo