The podcast host was not buying it. I could sense his skepticism on the other end of the Zoom call. We were talking about morning methodologies that build great leaders, and the routine I created based off of the amazing people I had listened to and studied over the last few years. There was minimal enthusiasm from him, and it seemed like he was definitely just doing the interview as a favor to a friend of a friend. It felt more like an interrogation than an interview, like he was trying to beat me.
He listened to my recommendations, thought for a moment, and then slid his queen across the virtual chessboard right next to my king.
“That all sounds well and good, but I don’t get much sleep as it is, and I already wake up at 5am and immediately rush to my first calls of the day. This routine sounds like it takes at least an hour to complete.
How does this work for extraordinarily busy people?”
There is a myriad of reasons that highlight the importance of a morning routine. I like to keep it to 3 main components.
The last one is the kicker for me. It does not matter if you are the most selfless person in the entire world, you cannot help other people to the best of your ability if you are not constantly working on yourself. The morning is a great time to do this, so that the rest of the day is dedicated to improving others.
This self-focus does not need to be all-encompassing, and it is not only for people who have the time to do it. It does not impede your sleeping patterns, and it does not deter you from making it to your daily obligations. My response to this podcast host reflects this.
Me: “I am so glad you asked that question. Do you have 9 minutes throughout your day that you can spare, so that you can wake up 9 minutes earlier and practice a full morning routine?”
Him: “9 minutes? Of course.”
Me: “So, allow me to walk you through a 9-minute morning routine that will minimize your stress and anxiety, maximize your energy and productivity, and ensure a happy and positive day. You are going to focus on becoming the following 5 things every morning, and I guarantee it will change your entire life.
After you shut your alarm clock, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, all that good stuff, you are going to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth 10 times. This should take you no more than 1 minute.
Being calm in the morning is essential to overcoming the startled feeling we get when that alarm clock starts to ring. Taking a few deep breaths allows you to become more present and remind yourself that you are living in the now.
Write down 1 thing you are grateful for.
Write down 1 thing you are afraid of.
Wish somebody a happy birthday.
The more vulnerable and open we are, the more courageous we become.
When keeping thoughts and feelings bottled up in our minds, the misalignment between our thoughts and our actions creates an anxiety that builds and builds until it is one day too powerful to overcome. That is, unless we start putting ourselves out there and accepting the fact that we have flaws just like everybody else. Make a connection, make a reflection, and open up to yourself or somebody else every morning.
25 jumping jacks.
Jog in place for 30 seconds.
25 mountain climbers.
Jog in place for 30 seconds.
It takes 2 minutes to get your mind and body moving in the morning. This simple action will give you the burst of energy you need to approach the rest of the day with enthusiasm and allow you to be as productive as possible.
Watch this video or any other 2-minute video that you know will make you laugh and smile (I emailed him the link).
We must start our day off smiling, it is that simple. So many of us consume ourselves with stories of tragedy, horror, and devastation when we wake up, it’s no wonder the rest of our days are filled with pessimism and self-doubt. Turn that CNN into a PNN, a Positive News Network and consume material that you know will put a smile on your face.
This is the entire basis of a morning routine. You have to end your morning routine by becoming more You, by becoming more of who you truly are and wish to be. You do this by focusing on a passion, a skill, a hobby, anything that allows you to be focused on something you genuinely love to do.
If you do not yet know what that is, then reading for 3 minutes in order to find out that passion each morning is a great way to focus on yourself and become the best version of you for those around you.
Once you have completed this 9-minute routine, you will be more focused, more energized, and more excited to have a productive rest of the day. And the more you do this, the more you turn this into a habit, the more productive overall person you will become.”
Him: “Um, wow. That doesn’t sound too hard, I’m gonna try it!”
Last Wednesday, I received an email from this podcast host telling me he was on his 43rd day in a row implementing this 9-minute strategy into his everyday calendar. No matter how busy his day was ahead, the 9 minutes earlier that he woke up made all the difference.
The people around him have noticed an uptick in his energy levels and his positivity. His business has thanked him for his commitment to bettering himself. And most importantly, he is finally aware of the importance of the time, no matter how much or how little, that must be used each day for leading a better, happier, more fulfilling life.