9 Morning routines and rituals to get more things done in a day (2020)

How to set proper morning routines and rituals to get more things done in a day is a thought that crosses our minds very often when we realize that our time is not enough to accomplish everything that we want. Believe it or not, the way you wake up each day and your morning routines affect your productivity throughout the day. So, we have gone through a number of books/ articles and suggestions from famous successful people like Tony Robbins who has advised Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and other achievers, on how they are able to achieve more with their time.

You can customize your morning routines and rituals according to your own personality. Your morning routines can last from 10 minutes (just doing the basics) to 4 hours! We encourage you to practice them for at least one month in order for your body to get used to it and till they become automatic. Feel free to change the timing if it doesn’t seem practical for you.

Step 0 – Wake up earlier than the rest of the world

This is probably the most difficult, but the most important step to make. Even if you consider yourself a “night owl”, you should practice waking up early in order to unleash your full potential and make the most of your day hours. Most people choose mediocrity, accepting whatever life gives them. The truth is no one wants anything less than 10 If we measure success on a scale of 1-10. Everyone is worthy of a 10 but few people put the effort to overcome mediocrity. Don’t want to be average? Do you want to rise above and become someone you’ve never been to? You should do something you’ve never done before! Wake up earlier than most people!

You can use some of Hal Elrod’s Snooze-proof wake-up strategies if you still find it hard to wake up: Set your intentions before bed: Create a positive statement for the next morning. Move your alarm clock across the room. There are also some apps that require you to take pictures in the bathroom or solve math problems! Some of them produce annoying sounds like police sirens and nails on chalkboards if you are a heavy sleeper!  Another strategy is to set a timer for your bedroom lights: As the alarm goes off the lights come on!

Give yourself +15% to your productivity if you are able to wake up at least 1 hour before your usual daily alarm starts. 

Step 1 – Hydrate yourself [5mins]

Drink water, hot lemon water, or matcha tea. The goal is to rehydrate your body.

Nightly sleep (6-8 hours) is a long period for going without water. Drink a full big glass of water just before sleep and right after waking up when your body is the most dehydrated. Tony Robbins, the famous life coach, recommends starting your morning rituals with this and never going without sipping water for more than 20 minutes. Building a diet of 70% water-rich foods like cucumber and spinach while drinking half your body weight water in ounces are the other things that help you stay hydrated. If you weigh 200 pounds you need 100 ounces of water per day.

Give yourself +5% to your daily productivity if you are able to complete this step.

Step 2 – Give it a moment of silence [20mins]

You can use this time for prayers, meditation, or pranayama yoga.

These rituals will lower your stress levels while helping you to keep your focus on your goals and life priorities. You might even experience that your most important questions or daily goals pop up in the middle of your rituals. Many famous people such as Oprah and successful CEOs like Bill Gates and Jeff Weiner (former CEO of LinkedIn) meditate regularly, not even to mention how many people start their day with prayers.

Some people prefer to do this step of their morning rituals in the comfort of their beds, but it’s better to do it somewhere else rather than your bedroom because it is easy to fall back asleep or go into a reactive mode like checking your social media accounts when you are still in your bedroom.

Take a deep breath and sit up straight wherever you feel comfortable. This is a time for serenity, and loosening the constant need of thinking and reacting to something. When you finish your prayer, meditation, or pranayama, your mind is clearer and in a better condition to solve problems or find new ideas.

Give yourself +10% to your daily productivity if you are able to complete this step.

 Step 3 – Start with the most difficult task for the day [1-1.5 hour]

Like writing that long report or preparing the documents that you have been sitting on your table for a while, or researching stuff for your business plan or learning that new skill you wanted to acquire for a long time. As Mark Twain once said: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” 🙂

Make sure that you know what your “frog” is for the next day before going to bed each night. Getting rid of your most important task will activate your brain and you may notice that you start remembering small things that you need to do throughout the day while doing this task. Don’t start doing them right now, but make sure that you take them down in your Tasks List to come back to them later. Keep doing your most difficult/ important task for at least an hour or 2. Do it every day, to get more things done by the end of the month!

Give yourself +15% to your daily productivity if you are able to complete this step.

Step 4 – Organize your task list and plan your day [20-30 minutes]

Open your task list for the day. Key in tasks that you have in your head. Organize it by dragging the most important ones to the top of the list. Remember who you need to send chaser calls or e-mails and do it as first thing in the morning [That way they will remember about your issue for the rest of the day]. Make room for checking your emails and making your phone calls on your schedule.

You need a daily checklist based on priorities and another one to put your important but non-urgent tasks on. There are several apps that help you to manage your to-do list which we discuss in 15 Best Time Management Apps to help you manage your time. By adding this strategy to your morning routines, you are able to get more things done in a day.

Give yourself +10% to your daily productivity if you are able to complete this step.

Step 5 – Exercise! [30-40 min] 

Whatever is your most favorite. Do it at least 30 minutes as your morning ritual. Make sure that you mix exercises well through the week, like doing cardio on Mondays and Thursdays, doing exercises with dumbbells and weights on Tuesdays and Fridays, doing aerobics, and stretching on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Don’t forget to chill on Sundays!

Everyone knows the benefits of exercising regularly. The key is to include it in your morning routines before you are too tired or busy. Eben Pagan, a self-made millionaire, and personal development expert says that even if you prefer to work out in the afternoon, try to do some jumping jacks or any other aerobic exercise for 10 to 20 minutes in the morning. This morning ritual enables you to think better and focus longer on your tasks. Moreover, during your fitness routine, you might remember some tasks that you need to do today. Don’t forget to take them down into your Task List. In other words, “Motion creates emotion”, said Tony Robbins. In other words, exercising keeps your mind active for the rest of the day and sets a great mood.

Give yourself +15% to your daily productivity if you are able to complete this step.

Step 6 – Take your morning shower and nutritious breakfast [1 hour]

The benefits of taking a morning shower-either hot or cold- is so obvious. Taking a hot shower is a reactive mode of stimulating and relaxing your muscles while a cold shower is a way to get rid of lactic acid (cause of fatigue) in your muscles. Try to alternate between them to improve your blood circulation, health, and bring some cheer to your morning rituals!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Have you heard this before? Make sure that your morning diet has a healthy mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Chia seeds, eggs, oatmeal, nuts, and berries are some of the nutritious options you can choose instead of bagels, toast, or cereal that mainly consist of carbs.

Give yourself +10% to your daily productivity if you are able to complete this step.

Step 7 – Set off to work and don’t waste your time on the way

If you are commuting to work, don’t waste the time. There are a lot of self-help books, articles, and podcasts that can teach you the methods you require for achieving more in your life. Modeling successful people in the areas you want to grow, is an immediate way to learn from the experts. If you are not a keen reader, you can start by 5-10 pages a day. Not a podcast listener? Try 10 minutes daily till it becomes a part of your morning routines.

Also, while on the way to work, go through your task list mentally, and see if you have missed something or wish to reorganize priorities. If you have a chance, start your “chaser calls” to parties to get updates on tasks that are delegated to other people or vendors.

Tip: Set some personal rules for this part like what Tim Ferris advises: “Don’t agree to meetings and phone calls with no clear agenda or end time”.

Give yourself +10% to your daily productivity if you are able to do your tasks or something useful on the way.

Step 8 – Start your workday with the blast

When you arrive at your workplace open your task list and start with making “chaser calls and emails” to make sure that your partners remember about you through their day. Then knock the tasks off your list effectively and consistently.

If you are a freelancer, writer, or you are just working from home, it is necessary to set a faux-work routine for yourself to get more things done in a day. You can choose a part of your house as your “office” and work there 3 days a week, and spend the other workdays at the library or cafe during your working hours (Yes, you can set working hours for yourself!). Combine this tip with “eat the frog” morning routine to achieve maximum results.

Give yourself +10% to your daily productivity if you are able to start with “chaser calls and emails”.

Other things that you might want to explore:

Visualization is another trick that helps you to get more things done in a day. One of the most famous techniques is to create a vision board that is mentioned in the book The Secret. You can make a poster of the goals and assets you want to have and work toward them. Jim Carrey wrote himself a check in the amount of 10 million $ in 1987, dated for 1995. He received an actual check one year prior to this date for acting in the film Dumb and Dumber.

Affirmations: Practice positive thinking and self-empowering. You can recite positive affirmations after this time. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali, and Oprah are just some of the famous successful people that use affirmations. Positive thinking leads to a proactive mindset and better performance. You can design your own magical words and include them in your morning routines to remind yourself of your values and goals. Examples:

Use Journaling to be able to reflect. Remember everything that crossed your mind during other activities today. Write them down. Document your ideas, insights, successes, and everything you want to track down like your personal growth. Hal Elrod, the writer of The Miracle Morning recommends journaling as a part of your morning rituals, but we think that it will be a great way to finish the day. It’s you, who chose the recipe.

There is no quick fix for acquiring time management skills. They need discipline, consistency, motivation, and planning. You need to figure out which of these tips can help you but they will definitely pay off in terms of productivity.

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