How to Create An Elite Morning Routine.
“Own your morning, elevate your life.” – Robin Sharma
One of the most impactful practices I’ve developed, is creating and instilling an elite morning routine. My days are so much more positive and productive when I rise early and spend the first couple of hours of my day investing in myself. It’s days like this where I truly feel like I am an unstoppable force.
Even though I am an advocate for waking up at 5am and have for some time now, it didn’t always start this way. I was never an early bird. If I had the option of choosing to wake up early or sleep in, I would have chosen to sleep in every time. It was actually very difficult (and took some time) for me to get to a point where I could get up at 5am, and to do it as a daily practice.
There are so may benefits to waking up early. In fact, in his brilliant book The 5am Club, Robin Sharma says starting your day at 5am is how great geniuses, business titans and the world’s wisest people start their mornings to produce astonishing achievements. To attest to this, Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his mornings at 3:45am. Ellevest CEO and co-founder Sallie Krawcheck wakes at 4am. Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Michelle Obama and Indra Nooyi have been known to rise early.
Here are a few strategies to start waking up early and to create an elite morning routine:
1. RISING EARLY
In a recent blog post, I shared some strategies which I have found helpful in rising early over the years:
Use the ‘bedtime’ function on your iPhone to set a bedtime and wakeup time. I set my bedtime for 9pm and my wakeup time at 5am. By using this tool all calls, emails and notifications are silenced between these hours. I am therefore less tempted to use my phone and other devices past 9pm, and use this time to wind down and get into bed earlier.
MAKE A GRADUAL SHIFT
If you wake up at 8am every day, then waking up at 5am is likely to be a sudden and abrupt change. Try setting your alarm just 5 or 10 minutes earlier every day, until you can reach your ideal wake-up time.
THE 5 SECOND RULE
Mel Robbins has a methodology called ‘The 5 Second Rule.’ When you feel yourself hesitate before you do something that you know you should do (such as waking up when your alarm goes rather than jumping out of bed) count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action. This method is simple yet highly effective.
CATCHING A FLIGHT
Marie Forleo has talked about a strategy she uses for rising early, where she tricks herself into thinking she has a flight to catch. Have you ever wondered why you can wake up at 4:00am to catch a flight, but you can’t bring yourself to do that on any other day? By using this strategy and treating your wake up time like you have a flight to catch, it will encourage you to jump into action.
Another strategy you can use is to sleep with your phone in a different room, or at a minimum, on the other side of your bedroom. If you have to get out of bed to turn your alarm off, you’re already up. And getting out of bed is half the battle.
2. ROBIN SHARMA’S 20/20/20 FORMULA
I recently read Robin Sharma’s book The 5am Club, it was a brilliant read. In this book, Robin shares his 20/20/20 formula as a core way of managing your morning. The framework comprises of three key aspects, and has been designed to optimise the first hour of your day.
POCKET 1: 5:00AM – 5:20AM – MOVE
- Intense exercise
- Sweat hard
- Breathe Deeply
POCKET 2: 5:20AM – 5:40AM – REFLECT
POCKET 3: 5:40AM – 6:00AM – GROW
- Review goals
- Read books
- Consume audiobooks
- Listen to podcasts
- Study online
The 20/20/20 model comprises of three twenty minute pockets to install and then practice to mastery-level. The first twenty minute pocket requires you to move. According to Robin, doing some exercise first thing every morning will revolutionise the quality of your day.
The second pocket requires you to reflect for 20 minutes. This pocket will encourage you to reassess your natural power, boost self-awareness, dissolve your stress, fuel your happiness and restore your inner peace.
The final pocket grow, requires you to invest time time in practices such as reading a book, watching a video or listening to a podcast that will improve your understanding of how the best lives were made, elevate you professionally, improve your relationships and increase your financial success.
Whilst you can choose to spend more time on each of the three key areas, a minimum of 20 minutes should be spent on each pocket.
3. SET A STRUCTURE
Setting a structure of how I want to spend the first couple of hours of my day is incredibly important to me. I have tried and tested a number of methods, and have found one that really works for me. Here is what my current morning routine looks like:
5:00am – Wake up & make the bed
5:05am – Breathing exercise. This is something I have recently added to my morning routine, and have found to be incredibly powerful. I use Wim Hof (aka Ice Man) breathing technique, which you can access via YouTube.
5:15am – 10 minutes of meditation using the headspace app.
5:25am – Gratitude practice – write down at least 3 things I feel grateful for in my journal.
5:30am – Workout or walk.
6:30am – Shower & get ready.
7:00am – Read and / or listen to a podcast while having breakfast.
7:30am – Work on personal projects.
9:00am – Work day officially begins.
I am highly routine-oriented and having a set structure works well for me. My best advice would be to try and test a few things and see what works for you, whether it is Robin Sharma’s 20/20/20 formula or anything else. A good place to start may be to start with 3-4 things which you can commit to, such as:
- Committing to wake up at the same time every day.
- Making your bed.
- Taking a shower & getting dressed out of your pyjamas.
- Doing a workout or going for a walk.
CREATING AN ELITE MORNING ROUTINE
What are some of your practices for creating an elite morning routine? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, please leave your comments below!