The morning shapes your day in mysterious ways.
It shouldn’t as there are 24 hours in a day — but it does. Weird. I’m not one of those 4 A.M. cold shower peeps anymore.
I prefer a realistic start to the day. It’s even more important for me because I have no job or boss to report to. So if I stuff up the morning, over time, I can stuff up my life and end up warming an office chair in a skyscraper of broken dreams, dying to escape (again).
Do these things before 8 A.M. to crush your day.
Check emails when you wake up
Tim Ferriss would squash me like a bug if he found this out. He preaches to NEVER do this. Love ya Timbo but sorry, mate.
When you check emails in the morning the conventional advice says it causes anxiety. Not for me. Email only gives you anxiety if you hate the work you do. I love my work. I want to wake up to an inbox of helpful newsletters, messages from friends, and encouragement from readers and fellow writers.
Emails help to shape your day. They help to decide what goes on a to-do list.
If you ignore emails you ignore life. Face reality in the morning.
Get your body moving to get your day moving
I’ll be honest with you — up until recently I struggled to get started each morning. I’d hit a slump. A return to morning exercise has been the solution.
My skinny arms are back at the gym. The buff dudes in fluro singlets are cringing, no doubt. Since the return my morning is so much better.
The entire day has changed. I get up at 6 A.M., go straight to the gym, and return home. My blood is flowing. There’s sweat down the crack of my back. I feel good. I feel on fire, ready to start the day.
Once your physical body is moving so is your day.
Many people don’t realize that exercise helps your muscles as much as it helps your brain. I find my mind kicks into gear after a few exercises. Flashes of inspiration fly past my consciousness.
The day starts to take shape in my head in-between sets of different exercises. I have to visualize the day in my head before I can start to work towards it.
Exercise makes you feel alive. Get moving to wake up your brain.
Do this one simple thing that’s overlooked by 99% of people
Put an easy win on the board.
Action one email. Make your bed. Feed the dog. Write a to-do list. Tackle the dirty dishes. Vacuum the floor.
The smaller the task the better. You don’t have all day and probably have to get to work or drop the kids off. Rack up a win. Touch a tiny success. Feel progress. Take the progress into the rest of your day.
Post on Twitter
Most social media is useless before 8 A.M. Why?
It takes too long.
Are you really going to record and edit a Youtube video, or write a 5000-word blog post, or record a podcast? Probably not. That’s okay.
Twitter is the best because it requires the least amount of time. It’s a tiny online presence that’s easy to maintain, even if you’re busy and overworked.
A short tweet can be one sentence. It takes 5–10 minutes to write. What the practice does is force your mind to start the day helping others. The best tweets are unselfish. They share wisdom, or a story, or practical advice.
Publish a one-sentence tweet before 8 A.M. each day.
Hug your lover
I just got married. A lot of what I do in life is for her. I want to be the best husband I can be. A hug in the morning reminds me of what I’m trying to win the day for.
Hug your wife/husband/dog/cat/goldfish/neighbor before 8 A.M.
Pour this magic liquid down your throat
After roughly 8 hours of sleep your body is dehydrated. It’s had no water throughout the night.
Many people wake up to a coffee first thing. Coffee dehydrates you while water hydrates you. What I do is drink 1-liter of water before I do anything. Then I drink my coffee or tea afterwards.
Marie Del Russo did a morning hydration experiment back in 2017. This one line changed my mind about water.
I was totally shocked by the amount of energy I had.
Water makes up a large amount of our bodies. Water is life. So it makes sense that when you drink more water your energy levels can change. Nice.
Write a badass list (like this)
It’s easy to wake up pissed off. Life is hard. The world looks like it’s imploding, even on the best of days.
Perspective is everything.
I’m not a yogi and my friend isn’t Selena from a hippie school that teaches breathwork in the middle of an ancient rainforest. But the spiritual warriors that over-post picture quotes on instagram got one thing right:
Write down three things you’re grateful for before 8 A.M.
Not so you can become a born again Jesus, or to show off to your friends about how “woke” you’ve become.
Do it because it works. When you’re forced to see the good in life it helps rewire your brain. The practice makes you see all the things going right for you already.
Being thankful is extremely helpful.
Took me years to realize the one thing you must do before 8 A.M.
The morning starts the night before.
Think about what you want to do before 8 A.M. the night before. Right now that’s exercise at the gym for me. I’m lazy AF and will do anything to get out of dragging my ass to the gym to say hi to the club manager Wendy, who’s waiting to see if I show up or give up.
I once read about a jogger who had the same problem. He went to bed in his running outfit so when he got up he’d be ready to run.
I’m not that nuts, but what’s worked for me is to put my gym clothes right next to my bedroom the night before. As soon as I wake up I put them on. At first it was hard. Now it’s a ritual.
It’s an automatic habit.
Go to bed tonight with an idea of what you’ll do in the morning. Remember your brain will be sleepy when you wake up, so try to add automatic habits to ease the mental load.
That’s what you can realistically do to crush your day.
The morning is powerful. Use it to your advantage — don’t go overboard.