Morning Magic

January 21, 2018

In the morning you can set the mood for the whole day. There is a rule which says that the first hour of your day determines the rest of your day. I personally think that this is pretty on point! Just think about it. Either hitting snooze a million times or kickstart the day, smashing your to-do list going into the day with the feelin' of a super saiyajin. It's your choice. And today I want to talk about how I've found some very simple hacks, to get the most out of the morning. So, let's grab the reading glasses and start exploring!

The Magic of Productive Mornings

As I've mentioned earlier, you have the power decide what kind of morning you want. To have a productive and successful start in the dark is no dumb thing. It is known and proven that you are most productive in the morning. Actually, that's pretty logic, because, with the start of the day, your brain and mind are fresh and don't have to work through all these impressions and thoughts of the day. You can use your morning for a lot of things that will improve your start in the day. Going through a new online course, writing a page for your book, learning a new language, build a little part of your side project or doing a workout. It doesn't matter what. But do something that you're proud of. Something that gets you in your productivity mode for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, a lot of people just don't feel that energetic in the morning. Including me. Additionally, bad habits over the years can make this feeling even worse. It isn't easy to establish new habits or a new routine, but hey... you need to start somewhere.

My Mornings Before

Personally, I’ve struggled a long time to get something out of my morning. Typically I got out of bed, took a shower, ate for breakfast and then went to work where I fall asleep right away on the train again. But not anymore! I’ve finally established a perfect morning routine (for me). The main inspiration here came from Developer Tea, one of my favorite podcasts (you should definitely check it out!). Side note here: This is not a magic recipe for everyone! Every person is different, so maybe you have to tweak some of these things. But let's come to the key now and explore 5 steps of a perfect morning.

1. Start the day with an accomplished task.

Okay, first of all, you have to wake up. I've hated my old alarm because I've had the feeling that my sleep is interrupted abruptly and I'm getting a hammer in my face. Now I'm using the app SleepCycle, which checks your phases of sleep and tries to wake you up in a very light phase. The result: You feel more lightweight and energetic and eventually find your way out of bed a bit more easily. But let's come back to the point. Start your day with an accomplished task. This will give you immediately a good feeling and will keep you motivated. Take the barrier really, I mean reeeaally low here! This should not be a challenge at all! Just get wheels rolling. For example, I'm doing my bed right away and doing 10 simple push-ups to get the body awake. Step 1 check. You're on a good way now!

2. Water and Coffee

A big glass of water helps to get the metabolism started. Additionally, the smell of fresh and warm coffee makes me awake automatically! Pro Tip: Prepare everything in the evening before, so you just have to push a button in the morning for some extra time bonus. Now, let's get to the interesting stuff.

3. Focus of the day

The next thing is very important for the rest of the day. I'm always keeping a nice and structured to do list of the things that need to be done. To kick this, even more, I'm now setting a focus for the day! Just ask yourself: What do I want to accomplish today? What is today's purpose? Actually, I'm doing this inside a 5-minute gratitude journal, where I'm answering each day the following questions: 1. I'm thankful for: 2. What would make today awesome? 3. Main focus for today 4. I am... 5. 3 awesome things that happened today (in the evening) 6. What could I have done better today? (in the evening)

I'm actually no big fan of diaries, but this one is really amazing! Short and effective! There are a ton of articles about that technique and the benefits, in case you are more interested.

4. Being Mindful

The next thing is a very new but also amazing morning ritual for me. A 10 minute morning meditation session. This helps you to get the mind free and focus more. And trust me, with a regular meditation practice, you will notice the benefits for sure!

5. Overview

Afterwards, I'm blocking 10 minutes for news checking and social media. Here I'm just scanning the most important stuff and save things for my commute to work later. Sticking to some kind of time limit is important here. Otherwise, you will get lost, trust me...

6. Get Shit Done!

What you're doing now is totally up to you. Work out, learn something, build a project, read something, or simply work through your to-do list. You should be pretty awake right now and even more important: You have a great fundament for the rest of the day. Kickin' it!

What's in for me?

Well, actually I have to admit that I did not look actively to change my morning routine. My morning was just a normal thing for me. The push really came from the outside here. But after some weeks of fighting the inner master of snooze hitting, I'm finally into it. Now I’m getting out of bed between 4:45 and 5:15. Yes. 4 fucking 45. And I’m feeling great in the morning and get a lot of shit done!

I hope I can give you that push to establish a nice morning routine, too. Remember: Feel free to change things up according to your needs! And let me know how it's going. Credits and a huge thank go out to Jonathan Cutrell, for pushing me into this morning routine. Here is the link to the episode of his amazing podcast.

Keep creating. Peace

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