Most of us hate Mondays. They mark the end of usually epics weekends and worse, that we must return to the dread of our day jobs.
However, if you want to optimize your week, how you start it is of utmost importance. Furthermore, the way in which you kick off your day sets the tone for what you’ll achieve over the next several hours. How you start is how you finish.
If you hate Mondays that much or you aren’t getting the results you want out of life, you have to start by a firm assessment of your daily habits and routines first.
Below are my tips to building the perfect daily launch sequence to truly conquer your tasks and your days. By building the energy and momentum to tackle your day as soon as you jump out of bed nothing will limit you.
Stop Hitting that Snooze Button
Many articles have been written about the muscle we all take for granted, willpower.
The basic premise is that your self-control/will power is a finite resource that gets depleted each day and has to be replenish over night. This is where we pull the ability to achieve our goals, make the bed, not grab that extra cookie, finish tasks we hate, stick to our exercise plans and not kill our work colleagues!
It is, therefore, a muscle that we have to exercise and work out in order to strengthen it.
If you hit the snooze button the moment you start your day, what does that say to your willpower? What does that say to your spirit of success? That instead of getting up and facing the day, the very first thing you want to do is delay it, hide, go back to bed.
The key to willpower is actively building up a routine, practicing self control, minimizing temptations and testing yourself.
Don’t start each morning killing your self control for the day by hitting that stupid snooze button. Just get up and get started.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gets up at 4AM every single day. As the highest paid actor in world, we could learn a thing or 2 about his success. He attributes his amazing career growth simply to waking up early each morning. That’s got him $64.5 million in 2016 so far. He believes in waking up early so much that he’s even launched an app, The Rock Clock, to motivate you to get up too.
“No magic formula or secret to success. I’m up at 4am daily and puttin’ in the hard work that I already know my competition is not willin’ to do. If they’re willin’ to get up at 4, then you bet your ass I’m gettin’ up at 3. And if they’re willin’ to get up at 3am, then well… I’ll be gettin’ up at 2:59 cause that’s just bullshit. I don’t pretend to do it. I do it. Daily. It’s my anchor and will always be my edge over my competition. You don’t have to wake up at the ass crack of 4am dawn to find your anchor. Whatever it is that gives you “your edge” over everyone around you — then that’s what you do. You find it, you apply it and you protect it. Whether it’s your co-workers, teammates, classmates or business associates.. the#AnchorPhilosophy applies to every facet of our lives. #FindYourAnchor #CreateYourEdge #ProtectThemBoth #AndPlsDontGetUpAt4amCauseItAintPretty;)” — The Rock
Why do I get up at 5am?
It’s not to brag or post about it online. It’s because I have 3 uninterrupted hours of work at my desk when everyone else is still sleeping. It’s because getting the early jump on my 1 year old lets me actually prepare for the chaos of her day.
5am just gives me that early start. I’m not distracted and I can focus on getting what matters to me done. As the busy entrepreneurs know, once everyone else is up, you can spend the entire remainder of your day answering calls, emails and twedets. Your productivity can go out the down.
But it’s not just about waking up early. It’s also about how you wake up. We already talked about not hitting to snooze button but what else drains your day before you even start? How about checking your email, your Instagram and SnapChat? Or just lying in bed pretty much comatose until guilt sets in?
There’s nothing worse than starting your day off with no productivity. Surfing the web or playing around on social media has no value no matter how you try to slice it.
Anything that puts you in a reactive state isn’t productive and thus isn’t important.
#Before5am is also about waking up ready to hit the ground running at 5am… Not still fumbling around in the dark. As the old adage goes, “To be early is to be on time.” To wake up before 5am is to be ready to face the world at 5am.
Please also don’t confuse #Before5am with the misconception that entrepreneurs are robots who don’t need to sleep.
You can’t work productively without it no matter how Elon Musk you are. I need at least 6 hours so I lock it down by 11pm.
We all have the same 24 hours a day to achieve. If the difference maker is getting up 2–3 hours earlier why wouldn’t you?
The next step to establishing your Daily Launch Sequence is establishing focus.
After your turn off your alarm after waking up before 5am, resist the urge to check your email and social media. Just as the snooze button sets you up for a day of procrastination, a day that starts glued your phone sets you up for a day of being enslaved to technology.
Turn off your cell phone. Turn off your email.
Your morning is your most valuable time, use it for you!
Focus on gratitude. Introduce silence to your thoughts.
Visualize your day and what a successful day will look like. This is less about your todos and calendar but more on what you need to achieve, your mental goals. Spend that time looking forward to when you are back in your bed again that evening. What did a good day look and feel like? What is going to set you up to feel accomplished later today?
Giving your brain the time and peace to warm up will bring you positivity and optimism through the day. Your subconscious will start the day on its own pace, not with a bright flashing screen full of unnecessary content and todo’s! Give your brain some clarity as your approach your day.
Benjamin Franklin began each day with the same question, “What good shall I do this day?”
What’s your daily question? Your daily goal? Your reason for rising?
In order to make the most of your Daily Launch Sequence you need to align your day and activities to your goals. This could be in running a marathon, spending more time with family, closing more sales leads, whatever it is. Focus on those goals, on the “good” that you want to set out to achieve.
Evaluate what you want to improve upon in life. Evaluate yourself against your personal expectations of hard work and success.
If your goal is money, it’s not enough to make some magic number the goal. You need to figure out the steps, skills, opportunities and milestones you need to get there. That big goal, the money, will only be the outcome of your development and efforts.
Once you clarify which goals are the most important to you today, you can then design your day with the best habits and tasks it will take to achieve them.
At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address Steve Jobs said,
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Assess today as if it’s the last day of your life.
Get Started the Night Before
The secret sauce to any morning routine is in how your prepare the night before. Planning for success before you even go to bed will truly set apart how and what you achieve the next morning.
Preparing for success before you go to bed will make it that much easier to establish your morning habits.
Pack your lunch.
Lay out your clothes.
Declutter your work space.
Pack your bag.
Decide on the 6 things that will contribute to success tomorrow. What are the 6 simple things that would contribute to you feeling good about your work achieved? Is that more reading, more writing, learning to code, learning a new language, finishing that proposal?
Use the night before to set out and get clarity on what you need to accomplish tomorrow and the next week. When you wake up your mind will already be in tune to the steps you need to take.
Habits are formed over time.
If you only do it once in a while don’t get mad when you get once in a while results.
Habits are not immediate.
However, if you do it right, your morning ritual will eventually become your evening ritual. Results will eventually come.
The final step to your Launch Sequence? As yourself if your routine is ready. Ask yourself, *“if I repeated this every day for the next 365 days, would I be where I wanted to be? or closer?”*
I hope these tips help you prepare your own simple but effective morning routine.
Do you have a morning routine? What the one thing you do every day to launch your day the right way? Leave a comment below and share your experience!