What Can You Achieve Before 9am?
That dreaded alarm clock is sometimes all we need to create the negative impact immediately after waking up. Where would be without it though? Probably all still asleep. I used to be an advocate of hitting the snooze button 3 or 4 times before eventually dragging myself out of bed 20 minutes before work and rushing around to get things sorted before setting off. Take it from someone who has lived it - it's not worth it.
In recent months, I've transformed my morning into a hyper productive couple of hours. You may have heard the saying 'if you win the morning, you win the day'? I can 100% back this up. Once a routine has set in, productivity increases, morale increases, and I'm pretty sure overall health improves (although I've never actually done any health experiments to back this up - I just feel better). With that in mind, I decided I'd share my thoughts on what I managed regularly before 9am. Just so you know, I wake up at 5:30am.
This idea actually came from my partner's father. He mentioned that we're the only animal that don't stretch after waking up. Look at dogs and cats for example - as soon as they wake, they stretch. This gets the body moving and decreases stiffness. It also improves posture and reduces stress. I'm not sure of the science really, but definitely worth it.
Like millions of others, I'm a member of a gym. 4 or 5 times a week, I'll head there in the morning with the idea to have various workouts. In fact, one reason I didn't really use the gym before was due to lack of knowledge on what to actually do there. Hiring a personal trainer has been incredibly valuable for knowledge gaining, and fitness. Some form of exercise should be an essential for all - get the body moving early.
People say 'you can't out-exercise a bad diet' and breakfast is 'the most important meal of the day' - I don't know if I agree with the latter here, but it certainly is important to me. I decided to regulate my breakfast by having the same meal each day for a week at a time. Sure, it may get boring, but it's one less decision to make in the morning. My meal of choice - porridge. That decision was made purely by suggestion from my personal trainer, nothing else. I quite like it actually. Tip - try the meal prepping thing - it's a cost and time saver.
Tidying and Organising
Making your bed in the morning is a great example of this. It sets a general tone for the room, the home, and your day. It's clean, it's tidy, is aligned with how you want the day to go. Not only that, coming home to a clean and tidy house after a long day immediately relaxes me, knowing my space is as it should be. I urge you to try and make this a habit - the resulting peace is incredible.
If I'm honest, I didn't think much of this before I started. I genuinely regarding meditation as religious nonsense. In short, it wasn't for me. It has proven to me just how close-minded I was being. I gave it a go reluctantly, and after my first session of only 3 minutes, I felt great. I felt lighter, clearer and more energetic. Now, it's something I try and do everyday for at least 15 minutes. As it turns out, it's not just for religion - it's for everyone, everyday.
A common thing I've found with friends is that by the time they get home from work, they generally want to relax in front of the tv, or something similar, and unwind until they go to bed. Although it's not every night this happens, it does occur more often than they'd care to admit. This mentality doesn't leave too much time for things they may be passionate about. To combat this, I started a hobby in the morning, so I can still unwind at night. Every morning, I like to squeeze in 20 minutes to progress with a hobby (painting, writing, piano etc). It gets the brain going, and generally makes me happier in the early hours.
As a quick summary, here's what I achieve (almost) every morning before 9am -
Stretch (2-3 minutes)
Breakfast (10-15 minutes)
Exercise (90 minutes)
Tidying & Organising (10-15 minutes)
Meditation (15 minutes)
Hobbies (30 minutes)
For you math guys, you'll notice I still have quite a bit of time left - I haven't included the mundane tasks such as travelling.
What can you achieve? Let me know - I'm super excited to find out what you can do!