Give Your Morning Routine a Boost of Productivity

August 22 2016

Some say it's not how you start the race but how you finish that matters. When it comes to jump-starting your day, though, a solid start never hurts. Here are a few tips for developing a morning routine geared toward long-term success.

Learning From the Best
How does Tony Robbins, one of the world's most successful performance coaches, start his day? By submerging himself in 57-degree water for a full minute. If an ice-cold plunge or cryotherapy tank isn't your speed, a chilly shower may do the trick to increase alertness. From there, Robbins takes a few minutes to do an ancient yoga breathing exercise, and then he turns his focus to expressing gratitude and praying before fueling up at the breakfast table.

Ex-Navy SEAL Mark Divine also takes the time to breathe and reflect, but not before enjoying some quiet time and drinking a fresh glass of filtered water. Divine also supplements his routine with some light yoga, particularly sun salutations, or a brisk walk before mentally planning and visualizing the successful day ahead.

Making the Routine Stick
How do you put some of these ideas into practice and develop a long-lasting routine? One option is Rob Norback's Habit Starter Checklist, which consists of the five Rs:

  • Reminder: Want to run in the morning? Lay out your running shoes the night before.
  • Routine: Make changes in small, easily achievable increments.
  • Reward: When you succeed, reward yourself.
  • Rehearse: Stick to the new routine no matter what.
  • Record: Track your progress.

Travis McAshan provides an alternative with his Bruce Lee Challenge. The five-step plan includes the following:

  • Create a general goal, such as running first thing every morning.
  • Identify a measurable objective, such as adding two minutes to your run each day.
  • Get started immediately.
  • Practice this new routine for 21 days.
  • After 21 days, review your routine and adjust as needed.