How to establish a kick-ass morning routine to get shit done – Part 2

In the second part of this series, I’m going to share in detail how you can establish a kick-ass morning routine to get shit done.

But before that, if you missed part one, click here.

Now, onto the good stuff.

I’ve tried countless times to build an early morning routine but failed miserably after a number of tries. It felt disgusting after a while to fathom I could make this work.

And that’s because I didn’t have the X, sorry Y factor.

  1. What’s your WHY?

To change my morning routine, I needed a strong reason. Something to fall back on whenever I didn’t feel like following through. Because as much as I desired my morning routine, I was still in love with my late night routine.

Until I got married.

After marriage, the late night calls to my then fiancee stopped

The late night hang-outs with friends talking about life stopped

The networking events I attended at night reduced. Can’t stop that one.

Late night work on projects stopped as well

The reason I made those changes was because I prioritised spending time with my wife after work. For a long time, I’ve seen my father work (as an Accountant) from 9am in the morning till 9pm at night. Even as a child, he only reached home around 10pm – which sucked.

As I grew up, I made that decision to be around for my family. That meant spending time with them without looking at work. While I can’t say I’m able to do this 100% of the time, I feel assured knowing that I am making a conscious decision to do the same.

To top it off, most people I have met don’t have a powerful morning routine. It’s almost as if their day depends on the side of the bed they wake up on. Or the texts they receive in the morning. Nothing actually warms them up, prepares them for the day.

And not many jump out of bed early morning. Unless they have to prepare the children for school, I’ve not seen many people get up at 4am or 5am to start their day.

Hence, a combination of wanting to spend time with family plus not wanting to lose out on getting work done inspired me to embark on a morning routine.

2. Focus on 1 Habit & take it Step by Step

I didn’t immediately build a morning routine. I built it slowly and steadily.

Incremental improvements helped me strengthen my foundation.

Initially when I forced myself to wake up at 7am, I struggled. My eyes felt sore. My head was groggy. My body felt tired. It was screaming for more sleep. But over time, I made minor adjustments.

Like…

I stopped sleeping at 1am. I started sleeping at 1030pm instead.

I stopped eating dinner at 11pm. I rushed to finish dinner by 8pm instead. If I was having non-vegetarian food for dinner, I’d eat it earlier around 7pm.

I stopped browsing Facebook and Instagram late at night. I replaced it with reading a chapter of a book instead.

As my body adjusted with the changes, as I started feeling less of a zombie when I woke up, I started setting the alarm clock for an earlier time.

From 7am to 630am to 6am all the way to 4am now.

I didn’t keep any timeline for this. I just went with my body’s response.

3. Go with the Flow

Initially when I woke up in the morning, I struggled to identify what I really wanted to do while my body was screaming for sleep.

I tried exercising at home. Didn’t work

I tried reading a book. Didn’t work

I tried cleaning my table. Didn’t work

Nothing really stuck. In fact, thinking back, I don’t know how exactly this routine took shape. I just went with the flow. And then it repeated once. Twice. Now it happens every week.

The hard rule was to wake up by 4am. What I felt like doing during that time, since it was “me-time” was up to me.

I explored walking, and it transformed into a morning run

I explored writing, and it transformed into my priority project time (writing a book comes under this)

It came to a point where I started finishing the work for the day by the end of my morning routine. It felt weird at first, but then I began to enjoy that feeling. It felt like I was on top of my game. I didn’t have to rush to do work.

I started working on things that were important, but not urgent.

These were things that have over-stayed their time on my to-do list. Being able to strike some of them off felt so amazing the feeling stayed for days.

That, my friend, is how I managed to build up my morning routine. These are merely guidelines that worked for me. It may or may not work for you. But I’m pretty confident that if

  1. You know your Why
  2. Focus on 1 Habit and take it step by step
  3. and Go with the Flow

You will be able to build a kick-ass morning routine.

In the next part of this series, I will share in specific detail how I started stacking activities one on top of the other to make my mornings more productive and fruitful.

Stay tuned!

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