Do you ever wonder why some people are so much more productive than others? How is it that one person can accomplish twice as much in the same 24-hour period as another? I asked Michael Hyatt what simple lifestyle habit has been most important on his path to success. Here’s his answer:
My morning routine.
That’s it. Plain and simple. Some people are more productive than others because they have a routine. They schedule a time to work and they get things done.
How a Morning Routine Can Help You Get More Done
Think about it. If you get up early every morning and work for four hours, you’ll accomplish more. Michael Hyatt suggests that we protect our morning routine by not scheduling anything else during that time. Here are some of the things he accomplishes in about four hours every morning:
- Quiet time
- Write 750 words
- Administrative work
- Design work
- Read books and blogs
- Email to zero
- Plan tomorrow
And when you plan your tomorrow today, you’ll be ready as soon as you wake up. Of course, this is all easier said than done for those of us with jobs and kids. But not so fast with the excuses.
I might not have four hours each morning, but I still have a morning routine. It’s not as extensive as Michael Hyatt’s, but I have to start teaching at 8:00am. Here’s my routine:
- 5:15: Get up, clean up, and walk the dog
- 6:00: Write for 30 minutes
- 6:30: Wake my daughter and do household chores
- 6:45: Make and eat breakfast
- 7:15: Get my daughter off to school
- 7:30: Leave for work
You Can Also Take the Routine out of the Morning
Routine is a discipline. When Annie was younger, I was able to have a longer morning routine. Now I have to compromise. So I have a split routine. I work before Annie gets up and after she goes to bed. It’s a little more hectic and uncertain, but it works. The point is simple: If you want to reach your goals, you need to have a routine.
Note: I personally don’t keep my routines strict. There’s something to be said for flexibility. Some days, I might take a longer walk and do less writing. Other days, I might skip the walk and do more writing. Sometimes, I practice music instead of writing. And occasionally, I skip my routine altogether. When we set perfect expectations for ourselves, we’re more likely to fail. My personal advice: keep your routines loose and adaptable. Accept change.
So how can you start a morning routine? It’s really not so hard. You just have to commit to doing the same thing each morning. Here’s a list of ideas:
- Wake up anywhere from 4:00 to 5:30
- Make your bed
- Get hydrated
- Exercise: run, walk, bike, etc.
- Work on your thing: write, design, practice, etc.
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Plan your day
- Respond to emails
- Do household chores
- Read a book
- Have prayer or quiet time
You won’t be able to do everything on the list. You can choose which items work best for you. Or you can add your own ideas to the list. The key to success is to repeat the same behaviors every morning. That’s when you’ll begin to build a habit that will lead to results.
Now that you know Michael Hyatt’s secret, are you going to take action?
If you’re not familiar with Michael Hyatt, here’s a short video he did last year for his “Best Year Ever” course. Chances are another “Best Year Ever” course is right around the corner.
I hope today’s post has helped you to consider creating or changing your morning routine. I want to help you accomplish more in life. A productive morning routine is a simple habit for success that you can establish today.