The first one hour in the morning is a must for all those who wish to be the best version of themselves. In this essay, you will learn guidelines for how I design an ideal and positive day and be able to conquer anything that may stand in the way. From staying focused and being productive, to tackling your own mental health concerns, this essay has something for everyone.
When you wake up, the first thing you must do is go to the bathroom. After you have relieved yourself of all your morning fluids, make sure to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with water.
The first one hour of your morning is the most important part. If you conquer the first hour with a positive attitude, you will have a great day. If you don’t, then nothing else will matter.
Never start your day by checking email or notifications or even worst, social media. This will only stress you out and give you a feeling of being behind.
Start your day with a stretch. Stretch every muscle in your body. Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds. Make sure to be conscious of your breathing while you are stretching.
Start your morning with positive books that will motivate you. Try to read at least one page in the morning, no matter how early in the day it is. This will set the tone for the rest of your day. Read biographies of people you respect and admire, or inspirational stories about their success in life, if it is written well you can extract some valuable information from it that can be applied to your own life.
For me, I start my day with a morning page (also known as morning pages) and my most important task of the day. Morning page is a mental exercise where you write three pages of anything and everything you want, without stopping for at least 15 minutes. Some people find it helpful to use a timer or alarm to remind them that they shouldn’t stop writing until the time has passed.
I put three things in this exercise: what I plan for the day, things I am grateful for and things that I forgive or I want to let go of. I do this exercise almost every day (sone exception for the day I had crazy deadlines or my sleep pattern went south). I use the time to clear my head, plan for the rest of my day and reflect on what I want to achieve.
I don’t really have a rule for this. But some people that I know do the 5-5-5 rule for this exercise. Every morning, set aside 15 minutes to think about ourselves and what you want to do to accomplish that day.
Mental exercise such as morning pages has been proven by science to improve mental health and relieve stress. Some individuals find it to be addictive. But I don’t think it really matters if you do this a few times a week or every day. What is important is that you do something for yourself and your mind.
The last thing I do in the morning is to meditate for five minutes. This helps me clear my head and relax my muscles especially after a full night of sleep. While I don’t always do this every day but I try to consistently do it almost every morning. If I am on a tight schedule or a full day ahead, I skip this step.
Praying also is a good form of meditation and reflection. Setting up a morning ritual for yourself is a powerful thing. If you have little time to do this in the morning, then try to squeeze this in your lunch break or even during your commute to work (I’ll share this at another time). Also, there are products available like Headspace that help you meditate for 15 minutes.
If you struggle with meditation or don’t have a routine that helps you to relax, then try the following breathing exercises:
Breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds. Hold it for four seconds. Exhale through your mouth slowly for eight seconds. Hold it for eight seconds. Repeat this cycle six times. You can repeat this cycle twice more if needed or do additional cycles to get the desired effect.
Avoid screen time in the first one hour if you can. If you decide to go on social media, do it in the last hour of your day and don’t allow yourself to check-in.
A productive morning begins with a good attitude. If you are consistent with these simple things, you will be able to face any day with confidence and success.
This piece is my commit to the practice of writing without thinking.
Since the past three or so, I’d found one small area that hasn’t been uncovered. It’s called small data or personal knowledge. I have the gut this one is imperative, and it generally appears people is joining into big data hordes. There are misconceptions of how big is big data is. The notion to grasp this is; big data is for machines, while small data is for human. One company is called Digi.me, has been a player year in this area. The company is focusing on archiving all personal user information into your own keeping. It might be similar to what I’m looking into, but the domain is relatively different.
It was an epiphany.
According to Forbes, small data is the genuine revolution. Forget about big data, because the real opportunity is the decentralised data wrangling. This area isn’t about large organisations running parallel software on thousand of thousands of servers, but about more people than ever being to ever collaborate effectively around a distributed system of information, which is a system of small beta.
Pat Flynn and Tim Ferriss is among of my fave productive people out there. They’re smart and productive. It made me think how high achieving individuals like them keeping everything productive and hit their goals every year.
What is actually they do differently from rest of us? What’s the most essential and practical thing they do that keeping their momentum up?
— They journal, daily.
Reflect on the wins
The first thing to keep feel fulfilled is to have a routine to record your little winnings every day. You’d finished summarising that 20 pages long research paper? Record that. You completed 5 miles jog today? Make it into an accomplished list. Small winnings psychologically keep you happy. It is also the act of gratitude. Tony Robbins call this as the magic moments. Journalling helps to capture accomplishments and magic moments.
At the end of the year, you could reflect on what you have done and accomplish from the past, that usually we might be forgotten what we have done in the past. Journal is a practical tool to reconnect to the right track if found yourself lousy and lost. Many high achievers that I knew recommends doing this. It is an efficient system to help them to track accomplishments. This small hack helps to be more appreciative of what you have done.
Keep small winnings recorded also helps you to consistently stick with big goals. Many times, I found keeping to one goal is very hard to do. I regularly change my goal frequently once my priority or schedule change. #IFailed
Why? I easily excited (distracted) whenever I saw bright objects. This bright object syndrome happens all the time because I failed to track my own goal and stick to it. I easily lost focuses on what I should do, rather than I want to do. I also found that I didn’t appreciate little things even though I knew that one way to feel wealthy is enjoy small things around you logically, emotionally and spiritually. This need has daily deposit that means, you need a ritual or time to make this happen and reflect.
Though I’ve been making my list, still failed and undoubtedly unfound. Why? Because I don’t have one particular place that collects all those. It was because the chain is broken. Usually, I excited about one thing, and it won’t last as it should be. Now, I’ve started to record what I have done into a list using an app called iDoneThis as part to help my five minutes daily ritual. It’s still not perfect, but at least this is one channel that helps me to overview by accomplishments.
High achievers keep tracks almost everything to maintain the goal accountable.
High achiever like Jeff Walker told he does this by “reviewing all the wins for the prior year. Too often we don’t recognise all the progress we have made and all the great stuff we have to accomplish”. By focusing on the wins, it puts us in a positive state of mine forward and plans next year.
Schedule the year ahead
Seeing the big picture in advance allow work with more purpose throughout the year. A year worth of plan. Last year, one important lesson that I’ve learnt was that; to counter the fear of imperfection. At this stage, we shouldn’t worry about perfection. At least, I know where I am going/need to do. The plan always changing along the progress making process. That’s normal. Planning ahead will spare me time on the things I should spending/focusing with.
Failed to plan is plan to fail.
I learnt from the past. I’d be on many, many projects before. However, the number of done are lesser than the number of completion. I couldn’t hit my bigger goals as I planned because of the bright light syndrome. I failed to meet my datelines because of endless of new things coming.
Limit only three big goals per year. Break it down into four quarter goals – which are good-sized wins on their own! And break it down into monthly goals. This enables me to focus on the long-term goals, while at the same time enjoying being in the moment of achieving my short term, monthly goals.
Translating goal in reversal is practical. Map out of the entire year and work backwards from the end goal. Let’s be backwards, asks this question: what do the most I want to be thankful for one year from now? Pen that down and it becomes a focus for at the new year.
While reverse-engineering end goals is a very practical and tactical advice; another reasonable goal has to be a specific and measurable goal. The XPrize founder, Peter Diamandis echoed, “you can’t improve anything if unmeasurable”. This will help to begin the year with purpose and clear direction by providing specific outcomes and timeline to achieve it. Outlines those what that means on a quarterly basis, monthly basis and weekly basis.
Trim that fat!
I need to refrain myself from getting into the new project. Starting new projects is fun, but could poisonous to productivity. I need to eliminate the excess, so could focus the things that give the bigger turnaround, and better in beneficial. Maybe shortly, I should start a “no-list” for 2017. I need to block out calendar time for my most important outcomes; e.g. vacations, fun and time of major business and creative projects.
So the game for this year is to record and track. I will start fresh – to journal my progress. This is the way that would help me to have the sense of fulfilling even more in the shorter term, in which, contribute to pushing to longer term goals. This journalling practice brings positivity to what I do and elevates the stamina and momentum to keep going. Journaling allows me to express gratitude and being thankful.
Let’s hope this is not the outcome
The only reason why I’d drill into this book was because of critics of this biography, not because Elon Musk himself. This biography has in-depth self-centered insights and viewfinder by the author, Ashlee Vance. I kept my prejudice move along as I seek what was not right with the subject. I put the little interest of his back stories since I read/watch plenty of number about Musk somewhere else.
Through author’s extensive conversations with Musk himself, his close associates, opponents and others who have personally worked encompassing him, the author constructs a never seen before look at how Musk operates. The theme, however, is lacking authority, it is unlikely to tell what’s genuine and what is merely the author’s opinion.
Elon Musk is a highly dedicated entrepreneur. This biography, however, seems will be a backfired by Pro-Musk. It is latter to know from another perspective. I walked out with lesser respect for Musk. However, I keep that hang for awhile and wait for the autobiography of himself.
Aside than my bread and butter daily routines, now I committed to new e-commerce project. The team I involving with, has restructured it’s plan and operation. Which that mean; putting myself into much active position than before.
The team now is has new face(s), and what matters the most are new insights and fresh eyes. Brush up my skills into good place. Properly, I do think this is the right time to rethink my routine.
Wake up very early.
I used to be in 5AM club and that lasts about a year, until had to deal with personal mental issues. But heck, this has to keep it on. It was super fun.
The idea now is I need to be ready at early 5 and supposed to get enough sleep at night. Relatively, I should gone to the bed at 10-11PM. Get up, get morning shower and get into good cloth.
And fuel the brain with caffeine and MCT.
Break daily tasks into chunks.
One of personal fav, P. Diamandis popular with his, “if it is unmeasurable, it is cannot be improved”.
I am (still) getting good at break goals into micro goals that I can work on in the half awake hours in the morning. Personally, I think I am good enough managing personal routines, however, involving more self requires people skills.
The obvious challenge to my case is, the entire team is located in different cities and timezones. With proper tools taking place – this should brought further problems.
If anything is too big to work on, it may take forever to be completed. Hence, all movement need carefully plan and prioritise.
Planning (a lot)
Set a planning for tomorrow and give feedback of the day (to myself and other people) before crawl to bed.
If fail to plan, means I plan to fail.
I am not always declare any yearly new resolutions. Nonetheless, these are healthy habits I shall put into works and stick.
Why I am telling all these? – As a stake to actually make me do work and move the ass off.
And yes, this would take sometime until I brush up my blogging exercise. #iSoundsFunny.