First post of 2015!!!!!!
This post is adapted from a post I published at Medium yesterday. I’m a huge fan and follower of Tim Ferriss (follow him on Twitter and his blog to be on the cutting edge of performance and success) Through his blog and podcast Mr. Ferriss has really emphasized the morning routine of the successful and how they vary but can contain striking similarities.
The following words are a synopsis of where I’m at personally adopting a functioning routine into my life.
(Morning) Rituals and Routines—What Might Be the Unifying Factor in Success.
I honestly don’t practice a routine right now. But, I’m developing a system. I am the type of person that can’t have a monotonous life, and routines are monotonous, or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. Completely wrong. In all my studying of success nothing recurs quite as often as having a routine to spark creativity and productivity. Maybe list making, but that is often part of the routine! Chicken and egg aside, I’ve put a great deal of effort into the study of routine and routine building in my life. However, to date, I have yet to actually practice my routine(s). To overcome my fear that having a routine would add too much monotony regardless of its productivity benefits, I’ve decided to create different routines for different styles of days. Wait, hear me out—there are core tenets that form the ultimate simplicity of my routine, but I tailor other aspects and steps outside the core to jumpstart engagement in how I want to direct and create my day. How does that work? Something like this: I broke days down into primary themes and differentiate/adjust the routines accordingly.
Each day should have one major goal/tenet:
Brain Days — learn and absorb at least one truth, skill, or lesson.
Fitness Days — Focus on health and fitness, with a major workout or mission accomplished
Creative Days — Must create one item. Whether that’s a cog to a larger creation or a finalized product.
Money Days — Create Income/Profit. Goals and target numbers set and strived for. Financial Management and Improvement.
Love Days—purposefully free of routine…spontaneity and freedom rule. Days devoted to love, and enjoying the moment.
What makes each day different is the desired outcome and goal. The goal overall is to have systems in place that make each morning an enjoyable and effective way to start my day. Designing the differences in the routines is in accordance with these goals. I wouldn’t say that each day is fully set out yet, in total detail but some things have been established. Each day gets it’s own musical accompaniment to the routine based on how I’m setting the tempo for the day. For instance, fitness days are geared towards higher tempo music to induce a more intense frame of mind before training. I believe certain days don’t need music.
The inclusion of a day free of routine I felt necessary, to avoid negative self talk and criticism. I tend to gravitate towards harsh self-appraisal so this can insulate me. Go on? A day where I can be free and spontaneous built within the greater framework of a structured routine system alleviates me from pressure or need to berate my failure. After all who can be mad at a day spent in freedom, love and pursuing the enjoyment of our limited time in this plane of existence? So I broke routine? End of the world? No. Not unless I can’t look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say that I lived my way and no day is bad. Which is never.
The purpose of this wasn’t to long windedly explain that I’ve got a different way of routinizing life, the purpose was to share what gets results and that’s why if you’re still reading you ultimately clicked this story.
My routine system I’ve discussed is complicated, but it suits me because I’m complicated as well. That being said I do know that a high level of complication can ultimately defeat the real purpose of a routine…to simply do tasks in a manner that doesn’t require the level of conscious thought it would to independently accomplish these tasks: with the overall system leading to higher functioning as a human.
Here is the simple stuff. What have I found to work for me and common among the successful?
COMMONALITIES AMONGST DAYS:
- • Each routine should include the sourcing/planning/preparing of the day’s first meal.
- • Make Bed
- • Hydration—8–20 oz. of water.
- • Some form of affirmative thought/visualization/gratitude/meditative time
- • A baseline minimum physical activity: Yoga/Stretch, 200 pushups, breathing exercises.
Following these activities I would tailor the following steps to the day. Creative days would involve a writing practice with various projects ongoing. Fitness days, a great training session or sessions. Money days, an evaluating my personal and company finances with increasing income and profit taking center stage. Brain days, deeply immersive study of a subject of my choosing. Love days, who knows?
Overall, I think that using these commonalities as a foundation and building off of them can prove very beneficial. The rest of your day already has a sense of purpose and accomplishment. You’ve followed a routine, and that’s a key to reaching a happy and successful life. Ask anybody. Anybody that you consider to be successful, and see if they don’t have some form of routine to become more effective.
Any thoughts or comments? What do you do that is different or similar to my set up? Am I crazy? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me @multitude27 on the side bar.