What’s going on Walk and Think Audience?
Today, the topic of discussion will be: Morning Routines.
I know most people have a morning routine they do before heading out. A lot of self-improvement gurus and lifestyle coaches preach developing a morning routine.
There are a lot of overlapping themes and information on this topic, and I have previously covered the importance of staying clean, neat and put together in my post on vacations.
Today, I’ll just go over the morning routine that I do, with times adjusted for a day shift worker. I’ve also covered sleep hours in this post.
0400 Wake Up
0400 – 0410 Make Bed (Habit #1)
0410 – 0440 Easy Calisthenics/Mobility/Stretching (Habit #2)
0440 – 0450 Cold shower/Shave Face/Etc (Habit #3)
0455 – 0500 Make a cup of Coffee (Habit #4)
0500 – 0520 Meditation/Quiet Thinking Time (Habit #5)
0520 – 0540 Review to-do list for the day and Journal entries for the week (Habit #6)
0540 – 0545 Put on cycling attire and prep pack for the day
0600 – Leave for work
Waking up: Now, to wake up at 04 I go to sleep at 20 thru 21, to get my 7-8 hours of sleep. That’s important. The main reason it’s difficult to wake up is lack of sleep.
If you sleep well and consistently, waking up early is not a test of willpower. To get sufficient sleep consistently, figure out your needs and adjust accordingly.
To wake up at 07 get to bed by 23
To wake up at 06 get to bed by 22
To wake up at 05 get to bed by 21
How many hours should I sleep?
10? 9? 8? 7? 6? 5?
I sleep between 7 and 8 hours.
Habit #1: First thing I do is make my bed. This may seem like a pointless habit, and most people don’t do it, but it is very clever, behind the scenes.
Every boot camp in the world requires you to make your beds. This is a side-door method for building discipline. It would be incredibly easy to skip this task, or to do it halfheartedly.
Accomplishing one task in the morning, no matter what build confidence and discipline. This video talks about the importance of making your bed.
One reason drill sergeants in boot camp make you do this is to make it difficult to hide contraband in the bed, as it would show, a lump or a crease.
They routinely flip mattresses over and to check for holes as well. I believe that a clean living space means a clear mind.
In an effort to stay creative and focused, I make my bed to perfection.
Habit #2: Morning Cardio: Once the bed is complete, and it gets easier and faster with time, I move on to some easy cardio/calisthenics.
What type of cardio should you do?
Running works if you like running. Swimming works just fine if you like swimming. Pick what you like and do it. Don’t make is difficult to arrange, or you will be likely to skip it.
Usually this means some body weight squats and good mornings. Around 100 of each is good, I am not longer a hugely strict on the numbers, I go by feeling.
Once I feel that there is enough increase in circulations and I am fully awake, I move on to some hollow-body rocks and leg-lift. Lastly, I do some easy push-ups, before doing a bit of stretching. This all takes a very short time, if you do not pause to rest too much.
•Cardio reduces stress and gives you a sense of well being
•Cardio gives you more energy for the day
•Cardio relieves soreness in muscles
•Cardio increases mental clarity
Habit #3: Taking a Cold Shower. Once I am fully warm, I am ready to take a contrast shower. A cold shower is the simplest thing in the world to wake you up.
If you have a hard time jumping into a cold shower you can turn on a warm shower and gradually change the water to cool, then to cold. This usually means getting into warm water, and dialing down to cold, back to warm and back to cold.
However, since I am already warm from the calisthenics, I jump into cold water, and stay in it for around 5 – 10 mins. This might sound like torture, however once you are used to it, it is actually very refreshing.
There are numerous benefits to cold showers, and many cultures practice them to increase health and vitality. Google “contrast shower” for further information on the topic.
•Cold showers improve mood and alertness
•Cold showers are better for skin and hair
•Cold showers improve blood circulation
•Cold showers build willpower
Habit #4: Drinking a Cup of Coffee. Everyone knows coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant and mind cognitive enhancer, as well as mood booster. Coffee is a highly popular tool for boosting productivity.
Most people either like coffee and have been drinking it for years, or they do not, and feel that it makes them jittery. I like coffee and it helps me be more productive.
•Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant
•Caffeine increases wakefulness and alertness
•Caffeine improves athletic performance
•Caffeine increases circulation
Habit #5: Doing Meditation. You can call it meditation, you can call it thinking, you can call it a mental breather or quiet alone time. Doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as you do it.
Especially if you are an introvert, and your job requires you to be around people all day. There is a noticeable difference in focus when I do this and when I skip it.
What I do is sit down on a pad, and set a timed for 20mins, and just sit. It’s a pleasant and relaxing experience in the middle of a fast paced morning routine.
Habit #6: Review your to do list. Write a short to do list the night before, review your to do list in the morning. Keep it short: 3-5 items is prefect. Start with the hardest task and end with the easiest.
Ask “Am I creating tasks just to stay busy?” The more you knock out first thing in the morning the more of your day will be free.
The morning hours are a very focused time, however I do not feel rushed, it’s all a rhythm, and habitual.
My evenings are a lot less structured and more relaxed, important to help unwind after the day and relax into a deep sleep.
That covers my morning routine, thank you for reading, comment below on what your own morning routine is like.
Until Next Time, and
All the Best.
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