I’m writing this at 6:00AM – and I’m loving it.
For many years now I have been ranting about getting up early to jump start your morning. Sometimes I see my audience nod in agreement, sometimes they give me that yeah-right-skinny-guy look, and sometimes they just laugh.
But I know if they also joined the Morning Club they would be hooked.
The idea is pretty simple. Get up early (maybe even really early) and get work done work. It could be reading, writing, meditation, or exercise. I like to do the things I know I won’t get done any other time of day.
How to join the Morning Club
The best way to join the Morning Club is with a routine. It took me a while to perfect mine, but now I count on it every day that I’m at home. Here is my Morning Club routine:
5:00 roll out of bed. Drink tall glass of water and stretch while water boils. Make a big mug of D.F. Culver tea (a wicked concoction my Dad created some 40 years ago that I order from the same tea house he used).
5:10 open up the project I’m going to work on. This might be a mind map for a new blog post or keynote presentation I am working on, a draft proposal, or show notes to a podcast. I prefer to work on projects that are already started.
7:00 stand up (see below, this is very important).
7:05 Out the door with my dog, Riley for a fast walk
7:45 Feed Riley, head to basement for 15 minute strength training workout
8:00 Eat, shave, shower and all that stuff. Breakfast with family.
8:45 Out the door to drop one daughter off at school
9:10 In my office. 10 minutes to check email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
9:20 – 10:30 This is when I do all the hard work for the day. No email, no social media, just client calls, proposals, and work that makes me money.
But, maybe I’m just insane
By now you are either thinking I grew up on a military base, or I’m just insane (or both). But, there is method to my madness. My Morning Club (you can join anytime) is designed to do three very important things:
1) get work done (mostly creative writing) that I literally cannot get done any other time of day
2) provide for consistent exercise (not just when I feel like it)
3) put me in control
I am convinced that the most successful people (however you want to measure “success”) continually make decisions to help them regain control over their day. They say “No” to opportunities that don’t meet their goals, they constantly review their goals and measure their success, they choose who they associate with (and who they don’t), and they are disciplined about their time. Successful people know time is their ultimate commodity and they are not about to waste it. [Tweet this out!]
Best of all, I get control
My Morning Club (you are ready to join, aren’t you?) puts me in control. Sure, it’s regimented, and bit crazy, but it works. When I arrive at my office I feel fantastic. I have finished a big piece of work that will add value to my followers and clients and I have kept a series of small promises with myself. That’s huge.
A couple of tips for creating your own Morning Club
- create a routine. It will take a few weeks to perfect this, but a routine you repeat is much, much better than some ad hoc bunch of activities you make up each day. Avoid decision-making fatigue and create a routine.
- keep your promises. If your plan is to switch from writing, or reading, or whatever at 7:00AM, like I do, DO IT. Don’t wait even another minute. Procrastination loves to find a crack in your armour and expand it. When the time you planned to stop rolls around stand up, don’t wait, and go to the next activity.
- notice the results. If you are a fan of the science of habits, like I am, then you know how important rewards are. The biggest reward I get from my Morning Club routine is the satisfaction of sticking to my plan. It’s no different than going to the gym, making that sales call, or doing your taxes on time, when we stick to our plan we teach our sub-conscious that we are promise-keepers. And that’s huge.