How to Develop a Killer Morning Routine

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Are mornings mayhem for you?  Do you have a rough time getting organized and going in the AM?  If so, I’ve got good news for you.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  You can have a better morning and day by building a killer morning routine.

Since the 3am Experiment, I’ve made it a habit of waking up between 3 and 3:30am about 4 to 5 times a week.  These extremely early sessions come in handy when I need to get a lot of work done without interruption.  Although there are some mornings when I “sleep in” until 5am, I like to keep my morning routine pretty much the same.

 

My Morning Routine 

My morning routine varies a bit but when I’m up early this is what a typical morning looks like for me.

Wake up

I’m up between 3 and 330am on most mornings.  I like to wake up with purpose, so I plant my feet on the floor as soon as I get up.  No rolling out of bed for me when there is work to be done!

Brew Tea

I’m not sure if you are all aware, but I love tea.  I typically drink a decaffeinated green tea but, lately, I’ve fallen in love with an orange blossom blend, goji berry and green tea.  I will sometimes add pomegranate juice just for extra flavor.

Check My Plan

While sipping and enjoying my hot tea, I spend a few moments to review my morning plan that I prepared the previous evening (more about that below).

Complete Tasks

My tasks will change from week to week depending on what I am involved in.  The last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time writing.  Last month’s webinar Talking to Strangers.went so well I’ve been getting request for copies of one of the recorded sessions.  I’ve been working to get that done and as well as other ventures that I am involved in.   I usually spend about 2 or 3 hours on morning tasks.

Run Through

My run through consists of my rundown of what my day is going to look like. I look at any meetings, deadlines or anything else that will happen on a particular day.  I can better gauge how prepared I am for whatever is going to happen if I run through it in my mind in the morning.

Workout

I will sometimes run in the mornings if I am running shorter distances (between 2 to 3 miles).  Afterwards I will usually go to the gym for about a half hour.

Pray/meditate

My spiritual life is important to me so I will spend at least 30 minutes praying and meditating after my workout.  This gives me clarity and allows me to give thanks for my blessings.  I usually come out of these sessions energized and more focused.

Blend Fruit

I love to drink blended fruit in the morning.  I get a good dose of vitamins from fresh sources.  Just in case you’re curious, my juice blend consists of pineapple slices, apples, strawberries, blueberries, peach slices, grapes, baby carrots, pears, and I might pour some cranberry juice in there too.

Off to Conquer the Day

Now that I am full of vitamins – and I’ve gotten so much done while most people are still trying to get their eyes open – it’s time to go and conquer my day.  I leave my home more confident and excited about what is going to happen to me that day because I have already accomplished so much.  I also have an advantage because I am well prepared.

 

Developing The Routine

Plan Your Work BEFORE You Sleep

The one thing that you don’t want to do when you wake up is to create a plan of what you are going to do to prepare for your day: You’re going to have enough trouble trying to get out of bed.  The last thing you want is to formulate and organize an effective plan.

This is why developing your plan BEFORE you go to bed is so crucial.  Write out what you would like to do in the morning when you wake up.  Have that list and a time frame for everything you’d like to do.  I can tell you that having this plan will make your morning easier as you are developing you’re routine.

 

Automate Your Plan

In the morning, one thing you want to avoid is complications.  That’s why automating some of your easier morning tasks is a great way to buy yourself some free time and less worries.  Once you have your plan mapped out, do everything you can to make it easier for you to execute.

One of the things I do to automate my juice making is to cut my fruit for the week so all I have to do is drop it into the blender or juicer.  No cutting or slicing in the mornings for me.

This type of automation works well for two reasons.  Firstly, it saves time in the mornings so that I can smoothly transition from one thing to another.  Secondly, it prevents procrastination.  I am more likely to quickly do a morning task if it’s already set up for me to do.

You can do things with any of your morning task that you don’t necessarily like doing.  Find a way to automate some of your morning tasks.  Even if it saves you a few extra minutes, it will be worth it.

 

Setting Aside Time For You

One thing that we all need is a time for regeneration.  If you’ve ever had a much needed vacation you understand how good it feels to have some time to recharge your battery.  You can have a similar experience every morning by setting some time for yourself.

We all recharge in different ways.  I like to pray and meditate in the mornings.  It’s a therapeutic time for me.  I leave my sessions much more focused and clear as to what I have to do with my day.  I also come out more courageous and determined to boldly step forward with plans.

So, even if you are a busy mother of 3, or a student who has early morning classes, take some time for you to reboot your system.

Staying Focused

During my morning routine I do not turn on the television and I do not visit my personal email inboxes until the end of the morning.  I do this so I do not get distracted from my set plan.  Television, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and Google + all have the potential to throw you off track if you let them.  Taking a second to visit them and the next thing you know you’re late for work.

If you are the type of person that likes to have background noise in the mornings, try creating a playlist on your computer that you can play while you are doing your morning activities.  The playlist can be music that energizes you or just makes you feel good.

I will sometimes download speeches, interviews and lectures on motivational topics.  I like to have them playing in the background as I am going through my routine.  That way, I am not only staying focused, I am also learning something that I may be able to use to have a great day.

One Day At a Time

Developing your morning routine may take more than a day to perfect, but you have to start with one day.  One of the mistakes that we make is that we try to make lifestyle changes without thinking about the little details that will make those changes permanent.  Taking one day at a time will help you see the things that work and the things that don’t work in your morning routine.

Once you’ve outlined what you would like your morning routine to be, pick a day to start.  It may be tomorrow; it may be a week from now but, whenever you decide, focus on that day and that day alone.  Once your day is done, go back and review how you feel and how effective it was.

Did you get more done?  How was your energy level throughout the day?  Did your mood improve?  Some of these questions will be good indicators of the effectiveness of your morning routine.  If things didn’t work out for you, identify what could have been done differently so that the next morning will be better.  After a few days you will be able to put together a killer routine that will work for you.

 

Tell me how your perfect morning routine would look like in the comment section.

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  • sujanian2057

    Thank you sir for such a beautiful article. Please also tell me, to wake up at 3 am in the morning, when do you sleep in the night? How much hour of sleep is necessary and enough?

  • PrimeProjectManagement

    yes, I would like to know what time you go to bed too.  I find I cant get by with less than 8 hours of sleep – or I either cant wake up in the morning or I am tired all day.

  • ralphjp

    Thanks for the kind words.  I can usually get away with going to bed at 8 or 830.  I have learned that I can operate pretty well on 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep.  

    On the days when I go to sleep a bit later, say 9-930, I will sometimes still wake up at 3 but if I have a super productive morning, I will go back to sleep for about an hour and half to catch up on the lost sleep.  Seems to work for me.

  • ralphjp

    You know the funny thing is I used to think that I needed 9 hours to be ok.  Turns out I can do fine with 61/2 to 7.  I do think, however, everyone is different.  If 8 is what you body needs then you should get 8 hours.

    I think the important part is that you are making the most of the time you have in the morning so that you can kick start your day.  For me, having 3-4 hours of uninterrupted time to finish projects, exercise, or whatever, is very important for me.  I think thats way waking up at 3 is so ideal for me.

    Thanks for much for your comment!!

  • MELISASource

    Absolutely love your morning routine!!  I’ve always believed that the key to a productive day and positive mindset throughout the day is to have a stone-set routine in the mornings.  It really does set the tone for the day and enables you to be mentally prepared for whatever may come your way.  Kudos to you!   

  • ralphjp

    Thanks!  I absolutely believe that too.  Whenever I fall off of my routine days seem longer and harder for me.  Thanks for stopping by!

  • Quintin Evans

    Ralph….I love your posts….I got off of getting up earlier because I didnt have much that could get done in the wee hours of the morning.  That has now changed so I think I might be getting back to waking up early.  This was a good article!  Keep it up!

  • http://twitter.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

    From one Ralph to another….good post. Killer image, man. What a hook.

  • rjp1979

    Thanks Q!

  • ralphjp

    Thanks Ralph!!  Really glad you like it :)

  • http://embracelifemore.com/ Henri

    Just found your blog. 
    Like it. 

  • ralphjp

    Thanks a lot for the feedback! I’ve got some new stuff coming up very soon so I hope you’ll stop by again :)