I heard an interesting comment the other day made by Debbie Millman, entrepreneur and international fashion designer, who suggested that being ‘busy’ is a choice, and a new form of posturing or a badge we wear to make excuses.
“I haven’t got time for that – I’m so busy”, or, “Sorry we couldn’t catch up, I’ve been so busy.”
Millman argues that being ‘too busy’ actually lets you off the hook from doing the things you need to do. I feel this view links well to my previous blog about maximising our time, and to really consider what we are busy doing. Are we building memories with our friends and family, or doing things we love doing like playing sport, arts and crafts, or maintaining our health? Debatable. I have certainly been guilty of saying these statements and haven’t necessarily been productive.
What Millman recommends is actually reframing these ‘too busy’ statements to: “it isn’t a priority” and see how that sounds when it involves our family or friends.
Like every new parent, I have a greater appreciation of time and tend to value it more since I’ve become a dad. These first few months have been hectic and I know I was falling into the ‘too busy’ trap and sacrificing important elements of my life. So, reviewing the advice from my favourite life coaches, experts and role models I decided to invest more time into my morning routine. And subsequently, I’m feeling the benefits by being fully prepped for my day and being able to fully focus on family time.
Lewis Howes is a well-known personality and a regular on my podcast list. He has developed his morning routine by studying the optimal health approach to include physical activity, nutrition and meditation training. They all serve him, but what he recommends is that we select habits that truly serve you; experiment with your habits until you discover the one habit which works effectively. Lewis Howes wakes at 5.45 AM and he starts his day at 6.30 AM.
The following are examples of morning routines conducted by some of my favourite role models:
Tony Robbins is a popular business and life coach who designed an effective morning routine. His morning routine consists of workouts, sauna-to-cold-plunge combo, meditation and nutritional supplement. The overall morning routine is completed in 30 minutes. Even though the time period is limited, it delivers intense results. Robbins developed a ten minute daily exercise named Priming which is based on a few techniques found in Buddhist and yoga mindfulness meditation. He is not only performing his breathing exercises for one minute but also spends three minutes on three things he is grateful for. After that, he experiences the connection for three minutes.
Gary Vaynerchuk has a three hour long routine for getting prepared for the day. This involves reading many different postings from the news to Twitter. But he also spends time calling his father, mother or sister on his way to the office.
Tim Ferriss is a life hacker who has a unique philosophy. When Ferriss gets up, he immediately meditates, annotates in his journals and makes mushroom tea (I need to explore this tea further…). One of his journals is a freestyle journal named Morning Pages. He spends five minutes laying out his overall feelings and thoughts. The intention of this practice is to get everything out of his head and prevent them distacting him for the rest of the day. He also writes a Five Minute Journal that has many inspirational questions and quotes to ensure he remains focused.
Based on this research, I have adopted a morning routine as follows:
5.00am – Rise
5.05am – Hydrate (500mls of water) and Coffee to go.
5.10am – Set off to work (Listen to a podcast)
6.00am – Workout (Mobility, strength and own body weight)
6.35am – Meditation and Gratitude reflection
6.40am – Shower
6.55am – Write my task list
7.00am – Start work
I’m loving it! I am still in the ‘test and adjust’ phase and feel further work is required on nourishment and maximisng my workout…and without a doubt I need to try that mushroom tea!