We all have those days. The ones where we get to the end and think, “Well, I accomplished nothing of value today!”
Our head hits the pillow discouraged, which only makes us feel more defeated the next morning when we get up — if we even want to get up.
Everybody has those days from time to time, but you don’t have to let them become the norm. In fact, there are proven ways you can nearly eliminate those mornings from your life.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not developing an excellent morning routine that gets their day off to a good start. Starting off on the wrong foot means you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle to have a great day.
When you don’t start your day right, every interaction you have afterwards feels off. You lose business, fail to close sales, miss opportunities — and all of it costs you real money and real time in real life.
But what if I told you this could all be avoided by changing how you start your day?
Knowing you had a largely unproductive day is one of the worst feelings. But I’ve learned some simple things that you can do every morning to break that nasty cycle.
Let’s be honest— not everyone is a morning person. But even if you’re not part of the “morning people” crowd, there are things YOU can do to get yourself ready for a productive day.
If you never want to feel useless and defeated again, do these 4 simple things in your mornings.
1. Develop a No-Think Routine.
Elite athletes are well-known for their morning routines. They get up early, eat the same things every day, and go straight to their workouts. Their routines fascinate us because the routine is an important key to their success. They know ahead of time exactly what they will do to achieve their goals.
If it’s important for Olympic athletes, it’s important for you to achieve Olympic-style aspirations in business.
When you wake up in the morning, you should already have a plan of how you’re going to start the day. Before you get out of bed, review the first 3–5 actions you will take.
The mental energy you save will astound you because you free up “working memory” you can use for more positive things. On the days that you wake up groggy, this will be an absolute life-saver. Trust me, your day will be full of things that are more worth your mental energy and more demanding of it.
Do the simple thinking before you fall asleep so you don’t have to use your freshest thoughts in the morning to figure out what you’re going to wear or what you should eat.
Save that energy for the big things.
2. Charge Yourself Up Before Heading Out.
When you get out of bed, your phone has probably been on the charger all night. Similarly, your body has been charged up with sleep— now it’s time to charge your mind.
I need to start my day out with an energy boost. Usually I’ll do some type of exercise, whether I’m at home or on the road. It doesn’t take much to get the blood flowing.
Next is a good cup of coffee and a great breakfast. There are all sorts of studies showing that what you eat in the morning will set you up for success in your health, so even if you’re not a “breakfast person,” at least give it a try.
It’s crucial to figure out what suits you the best in the morning. What gets your blood pumping? Do you need exercise, caffeine, some good calories?
Figure out what works for you, and get going.
3. Plan Your Work. Work Your Plan.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” — Paul J. Meyer
After I’m charged up, I get myself organized for the day. Every morning starts with a survey of the projects I’m working on, and I return any emails I need to catch up on.
You might need some quiet time in mental contemplation to get your mind ready for the day. The same as above— find out how you’re wired and do what gets you the best results.
Write down your top priorities for the day. Choose the one thing on the list that, if it all goes well, will charge you up for everything else on the list. Think of it as the one thing that really needs to go right, and if it goes wrong, everything else will likely take a hit. Focus on that and make sure you hit a homerun.
Give yourself some margin for the unexpected, too. You don’t know what is coming your way today, but you know something is — don’t let it blindside you. Over-scheduling leaves you disappointed and drained, no matter how much you actually got done.
4. Fill Your Head with Positive Thoughts
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — Thomas Jefferson
You simply can never do well if you don’t get yourself in the right mental space to succeed. I’m incredibly fortunate to do what I love. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I wake up excited for the day. I know I’m working with some great businesses, and I’m always looking forward to the new opportunities I’ll learn about each day.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to wake up every morning excited about their business. If that’s the case, start working towards making a change. It all starts with your attitude.
Wake up and decide that today I’m going to do excellent work. Today I’m going to look for opportunities to improve. Today I’m going to choose to see the positive in every interaction. Don’t make the same mistakes so many do, and fall into a poor attitude habit.
If you consistently put out solid work, you’ll eventually earn the opportunity to do what truly excites and interests you.
When you’re gearing up in the morning, don’t let any negative thoughts through. Worries and doubts may show up, but let them pass right through — don’t give them permission to move in.
After practicing these four things, you will be guaranteed ready to crush whatever tasks are before you that day.
When to Start? Tomorrow
Normally I would say “start today; start right now!” but chances are, you’re already in the middle of your day! So start tomorrow, by starting tonight.
Make a plan before you go to bed. Write it down to help solidify it in your brain. Then go to bed confident that tomorrow is going to be a great day.
Then wake up and work the plan! See what a difference it makes in your energy, attitude, and productivity.
The next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, fight back. Center yourself and do a mental review of your goals and ambitions.
Never give in to a defeated morning. Get back to your routine ASAP and your chances for having a great day increase 100X!
Where To Next?
So, what are you going to do with all of this new energy and drive? You’ve fueled up the Lamborghini. Don’t leave it in the garage. I’ve created a simple road-map — the same one I’ve used — for helping you become the best at what you do.
Originally published at medium.com