Early Risers–no, not the breakfast food

Question: How do YOU start a productive day?

No really, I want to know! If I show you mine, will you show me yours? 😉

Here we go.

Here’s what I’ve found with starting the day off right. It starts with the night before. It really starts with getting a good night’s sleep. At the end of my night immediately before I go to sleep, I listen to some soothing classical music (I created a specific playlist on Spotify for this reason) and journal about my day. Then and only then, am I comfortable enough to go to bed. I shut off all the lights, make sure there’s no lights coming from the hallway, and doze off. I try to go to bed anytime between 10:30 and 11PM.

Then the alarm wakes me up. Oh man, do I hate the noise of the “Apex” ringtone on my phone. But it gets the job done. I have several alarms set throughout a 15-minute period to ensure I get out bed (each spread out between 2-3 minutes apart). While it seems like overkill, there’s been times where I’ve been able to hit snooze multiple times and be late for work by half an hour. Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary. So, what makes getting up so difficult? I’ve found that when it’s cold outside and warm inside, it makes it nearly impossible for me to get up; it’s easy to become too comfortable. Enter the Unstoppable Routine.

This is my morning routine from my previous post titled ‘Rituals’. It’s designed to be easy to perform and can be done anywhere where there is a shower with access to cold water. Here’s the steps I take:

  1. Wake up and Make Bed
  2. Visualize the Day
    • What am I excited for? What’s my day going to look like? Any upcoming meetings? What’s due at the end of the day? What’s for lunch?
  3.  Journal
    • Three questions to stimulate my mind:
      1. What am I excited for?
      2. What am I grateful for?
      3. What am I 100% dedicated to completing this week?
      4. Physical activity:
        1. 10 jumping jacks
        2. 10 push-ups
  4. COLD SHOWER
    • The coldest setting on the shower
      1. Lasts between 20 seconds to 1 minute
    • Two reasons for this:
      1. I need to fix my hair in the morning (my hair gets really messy while sleeping)
      2. It wakes me up so well
  5. Change and Make Ready
  6. Eat BREAKFAST
    • This is paramount to a great day. Mom wasn’t kidding—breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
    • 60-70% of my meal consists of veggies. As an Asian, vegetables are super common in my meals, so it’s almost second nature to eat veggies with any meal.
  7. Leave by 7:30 for work/classes
  8. OPTIONAL:
    • During the drive/walk to the destination, listen to some hype music:
      1. When applicable, I’ll listen to country and sing my heart out
      2. Bumping to rap (i.e. Drake, Logic, Big Sean, etc.)
    • If needed, caffeine can ENERGIZE the day
      1. I switch between but NEVER combine GFUEL and coffee
        • Coffee tends to hurt my stomach but makes caffeine consumption much more manageable than a powdered drink like GFUEL.
        • GFUEL contains 150mg of caffeine and can be overwhelming if you’re trying it for the first time.

Once I get to work, I do the following:

  1. Take a notepad and physically write out a To-Do list for the day
  2. List tasks that need to be completed and set a timebound deadline
  3. If needed, allow myself 10-15 minutes of web-surfing on sites like Reddit
    • This has allowed me to ease into work faster and stimulates my mind quickly

I want to know—what do you do in the morning? I’m always interested in seeing another person’s methods. I hope to read your responses in the comments below.

Have an amazing day,

J.