Do I Really Need a Morning Routine?
Summer of 2007, Kanye West released an album called, “Graduation.” My favorite track from the album opens up with a mellow beat as Kanye repeats the phrase “Good morning.” My college self loved this song. I loved it so much that I decided wake up to this song every morning… for the next eleven years.
My college self never gave thought to developing a morning routine. I would stay up late hanging out with friends or watching TV into the early hours of the morning. I would sleep until the last possible second, rush to get ready for the day, and arrive at my destination barely on time (sometimes even a few minutes late).
These habits stuck with me as I entered the workforce—except I was working late. I would stay up late at night until 2 or 3 AM studying up on the international financial happenings or the inner workings of my company. Although I came to work full of knowledge, I would still sleep until the last moment and arrive to work as late as possible.
How a Morning Routine Kick Starts the Day
As I entered my early 30s, I realized I couldn’t live like this anymore. Staying up late at night was hindering my productivity during the work hours. I needed some consistency and something to help me set the pace for my day. I worked to establish a routine that would help prepare me for the day ahead.
Now, every morning at 5:45 AM, Kanye gently greets me with a mellow beat and familiar, “Good morning,”—oh no, that part hasn’t changed. I begin by checking my email, my LinkedIn feed, and CNBC (in that order). After I’m all caught up on current events, I get myself ready.
Staying up late at night was hindering my productivity during the work hours. I needed some consistency and something to help me set the pace for my day.
Next, I spend the 20 minutes during my morning commute thinking about my “big rocks.” These are the 3-4 large tasks I have to conquer throughout my day. I arrive to the office around 7 AM, grab my cup of coffee, and get to work. Crafting a morning routine has helped me center myself around what I need to accomplish in order to be my most productive self.
Establishing a morning routine provides you with a daily constant. No matter how awful yesterday was or how long your to-do list is today, your morning routine helps to cleanse your mind and provide a fresh start to the day ahead. But, a morning routine is not one-size-fits-all, it should be tailored to each person to meet specific needs. This is something I learned as I was interviewing influential leaders in Northeast Indiana.
Originally, our digital strategists at Reusser Design asked me to write a blog post on leadership to share on internal social media networks. At the time I did not feel as though I knew enough about leadership to write an entire blog post about it, so I decided to turn to the experts. I contacted some of the most influential people within the area and asked for some insight on their leadership style. I prepared a list of questions to guide our conversation, and it began with asking about their morning routine.
No matter how awful yesterday was or how long your to-do list is today, your morning routine helps to cleanse your mind and provide a fresh start to the day ahead.
Each leader’s morning began differently. Some wake up at 5 AM. while others wake up after 8 AM. Some begin by spending time in prayer or reflection, as others begin working the moment they woke up. This was interesting because it was relative to their leadership style. Everyone’s leadership style is different, using different strategies and tactics to achieve success.
As I continued to meet with local leadership experts, I realized that I had gathered more than one blog post of information. At first, I set out to interview a few people to gain insight, but my list grew longer than I had initially anticipated. Enter “Insider Influence”—a blog series featuring an influential leader in Northeast Indiana written by yours truly. Each week, I’ll highlight one of these leaders by detailing the personal and intimate conversations we had and share from their perspective what it means to be a leader.
Next week’s post will feature Karl LaPan—President and CEO of The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. Be sure to follow our social channels to see each Insider Influence post!
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