A key part of growing your influence is increasing your productivity- and a key way to increase your productivity is having a morning routine.
You can find lots of examples of morning routines online, but I find many either a bit new-agey:
‘I gargle chia seeds while listening to Andean shepherd music’
‘I get up at 4am and jump straight into my pilates regime’
I decided to come up with my own, based on two simple truths:
- Like anyone, I can be lazy, so I wanted to find something that would make a real difference to my day without being so much effort/so complicated that I would never do it.
- I am a night owl and do some of my best work in the early hours. If I got up at the crack of dawn every day I would never actually get some sleep.
I may adapt my morning routine model over time and I am not hard on myself during periods when I don’t keep it up.
But so far it has helped me.
It is called the ‘THANKS’ model (which in itself encourages me to start the day being thankful).
T- Thirst- I have a big glass of water as soon as I get out of bed. This one also makes me smile because it is ‘First’ and I tend to have a problem pronouncing ‘Th’- maybe a hangover of having braces as a child.
H- Health- I do some exercise. Normally a simple routine, something getting my heartrate up and some free weights, that perhaps only takes 15 minutes. My weights have recently been a 5L bottle of water, you can use anything to hand that is comfortable.
A-Aware- I meditate for a few minutes. I am no expert at this and don’t get annoyed if my mind wanders. I just try to visualize something fixed and focus on it- I visualize a candle flame.
N- Note- I write down one thing I am thankful for. This could be anything from ‘my wife’ to ‘it is sunny today’ to something I am particularly looking forward to.
K- Keys- I write down the thing or things (usually no more than three) which will make this day a success in my eyes. It could be work-related or personal things, or a mix.
S- Say- I say out loud something that I want, repeating it several times. Unlike ‘Keys’ the thing I say is a longer term goal that I have and I use the same one each day- until I reach that goal, I suppose!
The purpose of all these things is to make me feel refreshed and ready for the day, a little more ‘present’ than I was before I started (something I am trying to get better at) and more focused so that I hopefully bend the day a little to my will rather than passively accepting what it throws at me.
If you have a morning routine or you are thinking of making one, I would love to hear from you!