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This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week

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.

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This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week

This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week

https://medium.com/thrive-global/this-morning-routine-will-save-you-20-hours-per-week-353861ddca74

medium.com

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Key Ideas

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.” By taking your mind off work and actually recovering, you’ll get creative breakthroughs related to your work.

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.

Protect your mornings

It means you are literally unreachable during certain hours. 

Don’t check your social media or email until after your 3 hours of deep work. And schedule all of your meetings for the afternoon, after lunch.

Your morning time should be spent on output, not input. 

Integrating keystone habits

By integrating one “keystone habit,” like exercise or eating healthy, the positivity of that habit ripples into all other areas of your life, improving it.

Because are a system. When you change a part of any system, you simultaneously change the whole. 

Implementation intentions

Create a planned “if-then”response every time you’re either triggered or tempted to do something you don’t want to do.  

This can lead to better goal attainment, as well as help in habit and behavior modification.

“Recovering" from work

Recovery is the process of reducing or eliminating physical and psychological strain/stress caused by work. 

It is necessity for staying energetic, engaged, and healthy when facing job demands. Detach completely from work-related activites (including emails) and thoughts during non-work time.

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Design trumps willpower

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10-minute night routine
  • Decide the time you’re going to wake up and set the alarm for that time (put your alarm clock in a different room so you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off).
  • Have a few key objectives for your morning.
  • Set up literally everything that needs to be set up so that you don’t have to waste mental energy during your morning.
Essential skills for filtering information
Essential skills for filtering information
  • Mindfulness: the awareness of context and of changes within that context.
  • Discernment: the ability to recognize and anticipate the consequences of the patterns around you...
Expectancy Theory of Motivation

3 things must occur for a person to have high motivation for achieving their goals: 

  • You must believe you can do what it takes to achieve your goal. 
  • You must believe that you know how to achieve it (you have the proper methods). 
  • You must believe that the rewards of a particular goal are personally meaningful. 
Keystone skills

Those half dozen skills which facilitate the development of other skills. They are foundational to living a life in alignment, to having confidence and clarity, and to becoming a powerful learner and leader.

Keystone habits

These are the habits that, once implemented, have a positive impact on many other facets of your life.

Their effect is similar to a domino: all you need to do is perform th...

Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg
“The power of a keystone habit draws from its ability to change your self-image. Basically anything can become a keystone habit if it has this power to make you see yourself in a different way.”
More exercise

Exercising regularly is perhaps the most impactful keystone habit you can implement.

When you take up exercising on a regular basis, you start eating healthy. And you start feeling good about your body. You procrastinate less and you get good sleep.

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We are creative in the morning and analytical at night

Your brain is more creative in the morning and more analytical at night.

Use your analytical evening strength to provide a simple plan and starting-point so your cr...

Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” 

Become very good at living each day

Momentum is created or destroyed every day with the first few decisions you make.

If you learn to master your day, you’ll learn how to master your weeks, months, years, and life.

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Negotiable job requirements

Apart from jobs in academic professions, like medicine or law, job requirements are largely negotiable — you just have to prove that you can bring value to the table.

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Impostor syndrome as a good thing

Embrace that feeling of inadequacy.

The combination of believing that you can get to almost wherever you want to be, having discipline, and having insecurity about where you are is the formula for a successful, impactful career.

What’s “realistic” for you
... is entirely predicated on what you’ve been exposed to. There are so many things in life you take for granted that someone else would think is crazy and unrealistic.

Work alongside the best in your field, read their books, listen to their interviews, study what they did to get where they are — and eventually, those crazy unrealistic dreams will become realistic for you.

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Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation

Willpower, memory, judgement, and attention all suffer when you are sleep deprived.

You drop things, crave junk food sugar, overeat, gain weight. You’re more irritable, negative, emotio...

Get through sleep deprivation:
  • Stabilize your blood sugar, by eating hearty food (protein and fat) more often.
  • Reduce refined carbs and increase fats and proteins.
  • B-complex vitamin supplements can give you an immediate boost in alertness and mental clarity.
  • Soak in an Epsom salt bath - might even help you get enough energy to exercise the next day.
  • Drink more water than you usually do to help compensate.
  • Exercise is the single best way to “take out the trash” in your body, and after staying up more hours than you should.
Keystone habits
Keystone habits

They lock all of your other habits in place.

A person might start exercising once per week, and unknowing begins eating better and being more productive at work. All because she starte...

Stephen R. Covey
Stephen R. Covey

"Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them."

Benefits of Journaling
  • Increases focus;
  • Deeper level of learning, order, action, and release;
  • Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated;
  • Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions;
  • Empowerment;
  • Bridging inner thinking with outer events;
  • Detaching and letting go of the past;
  • Allowing you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind.
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 ...

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?

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Routines reduce mental fatigue

They tell your brain what’s expected of it:

  • They reduce decision fatigue and that fight-or-flight stress that can get in the way of taking act...
Building routines for the non-work parts of the day

When you have a pre-existing routine, it’s easier to fit work into it when it arises.

If you’re working from home on a regular basis, it’s good to get into a habit of showering and getting dressed, because it provides some parameters that say, ‘Work day has begun!’

Work structure

Develop a reserve of cues that tell your brain it’s time for work and outline a structure you can tap into whenever you need to get down to business.

For example, work from the same place (and do nothing but work there) or listen to the same music or background noise.

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Getting Things Done: the basics
  • Capture. Write down everything you need to do.
  • Clarify. Break down each task into an actionable next step. 
  • Organize. Move each of those actionable ta...
The 2-minute rule
If a task takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.

If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.

Fixing small tasks
  • Fixing things is empowering. Our confidence increases or decreases based on our ability to make progress. 
  • Any progress builds momentum (and your mood): No matter how small the task is, crossing it off your to-do list gives you a boost of momentum and enhances your mood.
  • Small steps turn into habits: When a task is easy to do and quickly completed, it’s much easier to turn it into a habit.

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