Getting In Control of Your Days
Day in, day out we stress about our productivity, about procrastination, we have mood swings, we simply fail to be consistent with our performance. What’s more important, we fail to sustain our growth, sometimes we even regress. Why does that happen? Why are people so inconsistent with their days? Why are we uncapable of keeping it all together and making high quality decisions throughout our day?
The reason is the amount of decisions we make. An average person makes about 40 thousand decisions every day, most of them unconsciously. When you make them unconsciously, how can you control them then? Step number one – habit creation, which we’ve already covered in one of our recent posts. Step number two, however builds on the first step. Step number two is your morning and evening routine.
Why are these two routines so important?
As I have mentioned above, the major issue people absolutey fail to cope with is the amount of decisions they have to make every day, which include the morning and the evening as well. How can you focus on what is important for you when you have to think about all the little things like what to eat, when to work out, whether to first take shower or do your reading? These tiny little decisions not only take away your precious time, but also your space for quality decision making. The two routines are crucial, because they allow you to use your time and focus on the things that need it the most.
Your morning routine
Your mornings ultimately determine how your day looks like. Your mornings determine whether you finish everything you plan to finish, whether you’ll be grumpy or positive, whether you will have enough energy or not. Your mornings are the fundamental stones of your success. You will not make the most of your day, if you won’t make the most of your morning.
Every morning has its value that you need to learn to capture and utilise. I would personally suggest early mornings because of the great feeling of being awake and productive while everyone still sleeps. But that is purely my personal preference. I know loads of people who can never make this work. Thus it is necessary for you to set up your day based on your personal preferences. The time after you wake up is the time when you are the brightest and the most capable of productivity. From my personal experience, it is also the best time to finish the hardest task of the day. Whether it is a workout, a reading, or a report for your boss, getting the toughest thing out of the table first thing in the morning is the best thing you can do for your day. It will take off the pressure and motivate you for the rest of the day.
The length of your morning routine can range from 10 minutes to 3 or more hours, it is really up to you. What’s important is that you make it a habit – you repeat it consistently. What this does for you is it helps you save some of the decisions you would have to make in the morning, because you will make them unconsciously, based on your habit. You will be able to fully focus on the tasks ahead of you and you won’t feel stressed or rushed.
Your evening routine
Many, many advisors talk about morning routines. But what they forget about is something that precedes our mornings, our evenings. Your “cool-down” routine or an evening routine, as you may, is a very important part of your day without which your morning routine wouldn’t work properly. Why is that? Let’s speak in terms of your common sense. What happens if you go to sleep late? What happens if you go to sleep and you’re still thinking about that stressful report for tomorrow? Or even worse, what happens if you go to sleep drunk? The short answer is, your next morning will be ruined, which is logically followed by the catastrophic day full of nothing. Your evenings decide how your mornings look like.
It is good to decide when your evening starts, so that you are clear on when your evening routine begins. Evening routines are usually shorter than morning routines. They usually take up to 30 minutes (or more if you’re the kind of person who spends an hour in the washroom). For me personally, it includes washing up, visualizing my goals and writing them down, making a note of what I am grateful for that has happened that day and a short meditation. This createts the needed peace of mind when I go to sleep. I don’t overthink anymore, I rarely have late nights when I can’t fall asleep and most importantly, I am ready to hit it in the morning next day.
When my evening routine begins, I don’t need to think about what to do next. It all hapens automatically, subconsciously. It is a habit of mine that I have created and that allows me to keep my morning routine working precisely and effectively.
Before you start, write it down!
Writing the routines down is at first necessary, because you have not yet programmed your brain in that way. You need the regularity first, which usually takes from 20-30 days to be put in place. After a while (you’ll know when), you won’t have to think about it anymore, you won’t have to read it anymore, it will just happen.
Just a side-note, it is better to go to sleep early and finish your marking in the early morning than to stay up late. Don’t be like Amanda (or whatever you’d like to name her) above 🙂
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