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The Morning Routine Experts Recommend For Peak Productivity - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Stop Reacting

Don’t check your email or anything else that is going to dictate your behavior.

If you start your day by checking and replying to emails, it means you'll just react as new things come in until the day ends or you are too exhausted to do what was important.

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The Morning Routine Experts Recommend For Peak Productivity - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

The Morning Routine Experts Recommend For Peak Productivity - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/03/morning-routine/

bakadesuyo.com

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Key Ideas

Stop Reacting

Don’t check your email or anything else that is going to dictate your behavior.

If you start your day by checking and replying to emails, it means you'll just react as new things come in until the day ends or you are too exhausted to do what was important.

The Things That Matter Most

Most of us get 80% of results from 20% of the work we do. So focus on that 20%.

Don’t be vague. Specify what you need to get done - research shows that having concrete goals is correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of control.

Use Your “Magic Hours” Wisely

You have 2-2.5 hours of peak productivity every day. You may actually be 30% more effective at that time. For most of us, this happens in the morning.

Those are the hours when you should be working on your main goals. Why would you want to waste that on a conference call or a staff meeting?

Have A Starting Ritual

One way to use habits to fight procrastination is to develop a habitualized response to starting.

Maybe getting that cup of coffee is the signal that you’re getting down to business.

Use “Positive Procrastination”

If you know you can’t do that scary thing right now, do not turn to social media or video games. 

Tell yourself it’s okay to avoid it — as long as you’re doing the #2 thing on your to-do list.

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Mistake Of Every Productivity System
Mistake Of Every Productivity System

Productivity systems rarely take emotions into account. And feelings are a fundamental and unavoidable part of why humans do what they do.

We need to think to plan but we need to feel ...

Rile up those emotions
  • Get Positive. Monitor the progress you’re making and celebrate it.
  • Get Rewarded. Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things.
  • Get Peer Pressure. "When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real."

The Morning Ritual
  • You need to wake up before the insanity starts. Before your goals for the day have competition.
  • The second part of your morning ritual is about mood. That feeling of control is what pr...
Important Work First Thing

Research shows that 2.5 to 4 hours after waking is when your brain is sharpest. Early morning is also when you’re most disciplined.

Do the work of your choice early in the day.

Regroup When You Slow Down

When the afternoon brain fog hits, it's often just because of our natural circadian rhythm.

First, take a break. Get a snack or a power nap if you can. 

What you need next is a mini-version of your morning ritual. Review your goals and the progress you’ve made this morning. Nothing is more motivating than progress.

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When you’re reacting, you’re not in control of your life

Your brain reacts to the bombardment of environmental stimuli coming its way. But while you’re definitely doing something, you’re rarely achieving your goals...

Make distractions harder to reach

When you have fewer things to react to or you make it harder to react to them, you’ll be less reactive.

When faced with distraction, keep your goals in mind
Thinking about your long-term goals when you’re tempted by distraction gives your brain a sense of control and can release dopamine which will make you feel better and more motivated.

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“Positive” Procrastination

At the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren’t) and seem to have deadlines (but really don’t). 

...

Dashes

dash is simply a short burst of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time—perhaps as little as just one minute.

The first thing is to take one minute and just write down the steps you need to do to finish the task - just a rough draft, at first, and that’s it. 

Now there is nothing else to think about, and there is no way to screw this task up. Everything is laid out and you can just start working on it.

Commitment Devices

First, give your friend $100. If you get the task done by 5 PM, you get your $100 back. If it doesn’t, you lose the $100.

Or make it $200 that the friend doesn’t keep — they donate it to some weird organizations, in your name.

Get the picture? That’s a commitment device.

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The importance of motivation
The importance of motivation

Research shows that more than 50% of American workers feel disengaged at their jobs.

Research also shows that motivation is very important to feel engaged. Motivation predic...

Focus On The Meaning

We find motivation when something is meaningful. Meaning is much bigger than the enjoyment of a moment. It can include something we don't like. Soldiers risk being killed every day to serve their country. New parents handle poop daily for years.

Meaningful things give us purpose. This means doing something that serves a larger cause than yourself or, at least, making a contribution in your own world.

Tasks that do not seem meaningful

When a task you have to do doesn't seem meaningful, reframe your experience. You may not always be able to change what you have to do but you can change how you view it. When you look at it in light of how it helps others, you'll often find motivation.

You're not "filling out boring paperwork, you're helping people get the insurance that could save their life. You're not slaving over a hot stove, you're showing your family how much you love them.

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Trim the fat

Multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities will overwhelm and prevent you from being productive.

Focus on your 3 to 5 ...

Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work and ensure that you're taking responsibility for yourself.

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Family, Reflection and Email

Balancing work obligations with meaningful family time is an important part of building a successful evening routine.

An evening routine starts with family time. Tackle some to-do’s la...

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Take steps to make it easier to sleep well.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs for several hours before bed
  • Set a regular bedtime
  • Drink some warm milk or herbal tea, or have a light snack
  • Try a screen-free activity like meditation or reading
  • Eliminate as much noise from your bedroom as possible
  • Keep your bedroom dark
  • Don’t linger too long in bed. It’s better to do your lounging on the couch and head for bed only when it’s time to sleep.
To Sleep Or Not To Sleep
Surviving on a glorified power nap has more to do with genes than motivation. An estimated 5% of the population only needs a few hours to feel refreshed thanks to a rare genetic mutation. Most people need seven to nine hours a night.

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Benefits of an evening routine

Haphazard evening routines can have serious effects on our sleep. 

The right evening routine helps us wind down, relax, and get into a deep, restorative sleep—making us refreshed and ...

The science of sleep

When we close our eyes for the night, our mind cycles through different stages of sleep:

  • Light sleep: Which is most similar to being awake
  • REM (or Rapid-Eye-Movement): Where our minds are asleep but active and where dreams are most likely to happen
  • Deep sleep: Where our mind is in “regeneration” mode

So many things can get in the way of us reaching deep sleep, from stress and burnout to late-night screen usage, eating late, and physical issues. To make sure we reach our deep, restorative sleep, we need a proper evening routine.

Create a “closing ritual”

For most of us it is the mind, rather than the body, that disrupts restorative sleep.

To cleanse our mind of the leftover responsibilities of the day, we need to bring a mental wind down into our evening routine.

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Go from Dreamer to Do-er

Use the WOOP strategy for achieving goals:

  • Wish: What do you dream of achieving in the future?
  • Outcome: What form will that result take?
Wish (But Don’t Stop There)

Everything starts with a wish. But don't transform that into fantasy.

When you fantasize, your brain thinks you’ve actually achieved your goal. So rather than ramping up, motivation dials back.

See A Specific Outcome

Be specific about the form your wish should take.

For example: If a "better work-life balance" is your wish, your outcome  could be “No work on weekends."

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Meaningful productivity

The best work happens in short intensive deep work spurts (1–3 hours, no distractions). 

Your best thinking  will actually happen while you’re away from your work, “recovering.” B...

The first 3 hours of the day

...are your most precious for maximized productivity. 

Your brain is most attuned first thing in the morning, and so are your energy levels. Consequently, the best time to do your best work is during this time.

The “90–90–1” rule

Spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on your #1 priority, nothing else. 

Zero distractions. Just get that work done.

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