Set yourself up for success
I live for mornings.
Mornings are my absolute favorite time of the day. Everything feels infinite in the morning time. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning, a new day.
I used to work a full-time tech job at Yahoo, and I had a solid morning routine. I worked a 9–5 job, I worked out early in the morning, came home in the afternoon, and hustled on my side gigs. I have a food blog I am running, a lifestyle blog I am in the midst of creating, and a book I am currently writing, along with everything else I create for Youtube, Medium, etc.
It sounds like a lot, but you’d be surprised at the number of things you can accomplish if you establish a healthy morning routine.
Wake up early — not 9, not 8, but EARLY
First off, I would like to say that I am a huge advocate for getting your sleep in. It’s crucial to your well-being, your mental health, your physical health, the list goes on. If you don’t get the proper sleep that your body needs, your brain will not function properly, you’ll feel sluggish, and your productivity levels will be extremely low.
Set your alarm early. My alarm is always set to 6:30, excluding the weekends, I naturally wake up at 7 AM. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, I would wake up at 5 AM every morning, go to the gym, and then get ready for work. Now that I don’t have to go to the office, I allow myself some extra time in the morning for myself.
I wake up, I don’t snooze, I don’t lay in bed pondering life and whether or not it’s all worth it, I simply jump out of bed, check my emails, I check my social media because that is how I promote my food blog, and then I make myself a cup of coffee and I knock my workout out of the way.
An hour or so later, I’m showering and getting ready for the day.
Eat a wholesome breakfast — or fast, depending on what you prefer
Some people prefer fasting in the mornings, some people prefer eating right as they wake up. For me, it really depends on how I am feeling. I eat intuitively, and when I fast, I make the decision to do so the night before.
Fasting is extremely beneficial, it helps your cognitive ability and it allows your cells to regenerate. I like to toss in a few fasts into my lifestyle, 1x or 2x a week. I believe it provides me with mental clarity and it helps me stay on track with my fitness goals.
However, if you are someone who wakes up starving the morning your eyes open, then eat.
Just be smart about it. Oftentimes, I wake up starving, but I don’t go off eating bars filled with sugar and cookies, I try to make healthy choices that will benefit me. Lately, my breakfast has been an English muffin, a sunny-side-up egg and a strip of extra crispy bacon. I switch off between that and a bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries.
Just depends if I am feeling sweet, or savory.
Keep a schedule and keep yourself accountable
I am a huge advocate for creating a to-do list the night before. I think if you do it the night before you have a clear view of all of the things you weren’t able to complete that day, and so you won’t forget the following morning. I always have a list of things I need to do, and a list of things I would like to do.
I even include the little things that are no-brainers like my workout, a shower, breakfast, etc. I love outlining my day, and I love being able to check things off as I go. It provides me with clarity and a feeling of accomplishment. It makes me feel like I am on track.
Also, creating a to-do list the night before allows you to prioritize better. You won’t let new issues that arise in your everyday life take precedence over the tasks that should have already been completed.
Split your time up
I like to split my time up between my businesses. Evenly. I assign strict social media times, I assign strict cooking and baking days for my blog, I assign writing hours for my book and other platforms, and my Youtube channel sort of gets a free pass. When I get the urge to film, I do so.
Doing this allows me to have stability and structure in my everyday life, and if you’re someone like me, then you know that structure is what will allow you to thrive.
I love me some spontaneity, but when it comes to my businesses, I need structure, I need stability, I need to stay focused, I need no noise, and I need no distractions.
This is what works for me, what works for you?
Everybody is different when it comes to productivity. Some people can’t wake up before 9. I don’t think I could even sleep past 7:30.
It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, I simply feel like the morning time is when I am most alert, most creative and most productive. I would never sacrifice my work for a few additional hours of sleep.
I also go to bed at a decent hour, I don’t recall the last time I went to bed past 11. Unless it is a very special occasion.
Try my tips out! No tip is ever perfect, these are simply ones that work for me. You never know, you may get surprised in what will end up benefiting you.