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What is your morning routine?

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

What is your morning routine?

Scott Miker

Everyone has a routine for how we start our days.  It could be that we wake up early, grab coffee and rush out the door.  It could be that we have a list of things to do before we even head to work.

But I feel that the morning is a very important time in our lives.  It sets the tone for the day.  On days when I wake up with something on my mind at work, I tend to have a more difficult time getting going and staying positive throughout the day but when I wake up excited for something the morning routine seems to float by with me getting everything done and feeling optimistic about the day.

When I was younger I hated the morning.  I was a night person.  I worked a job that kept me up until the early morning.  I stayed out late with friends.  This caused me to want to sleep in and not get up early. 

But as I got older I started to change.  I had a job that started a little earlier than normal but still not very early.  This allowed me to set a standard time that I woke up.  Then I started to create my morning routine around goals that I had at the time.

I would exercise, I would listen to upbeat music, I would read motivational books etc.  As I did this I started to realize a drastic shift in my overall mood and well-being.

I stopped being so quick to get upset.  I stopped being crabby and irritable all the time.  I started to be able to handle obstacles and setbacks.

There are things that we all know would help us in some way if we could just do them.  Exercising is one of those things.  By doing it every day I was gaining so much value from that activity that it spread throughout my day.

And since I formed this into my morning routine I was doing this every day, often without even thinking about it.  It formed habits that I still maintain to this day.

But a few times I took on a new opportunity that conflicted with my morning routine.  I started a job downtown and had to wake up early and leave early just to get there on time. 

Initially I stopped my routine and started a different one that didn’t include the exercise, music or reading.  But I quickly felt myself getting more irritable and less able to tackle life’s challenges.

So I started to adjust my new morning routines to include the positive habits that I spent years creating but that seemed to disappear as soon as there was a change in the time I started work. 

Whatever times you have to wake up throughout the week, make sure you are diligent about your morning routine.  That sets the tone for the day and holds great value. 

If you just go through the motions you won’t be able to maximize this important time.  But if you can consciously focus on building the right habits in your morning routine you can build the right systems that can provide value day after day.