Delay Your Day and Become More Productive

Morning-Success-Rituals

“Wake up around 7am. Jump out of bed. Make a coffee. Turn on the computer. Read and reply to emails. Check Facebook. Start the work day.”

I really don’t like the sound of that. Yet that’s exactly what I used to do…

You see, up until somewhere about a year and a half ago what you just read above was what most mornings would look like for me. Sure, weekends and holidays were a bit different and I’d take them slow but weekday mornings were complete chaos. They didn’t feel right – something had to change.

Introducing Morning Success Rituals

The change didn’t just hit me, it just sort of evolved and was created over time. You see, I’m a huge reader of books on business, self-development, and success and I had always heard about morning rituals but never really thought about how I could improve my own mornings.

I had read or heard about things I could do like 7 minutes of exercise, skipping the coffee, and that maybe “bitching and moaning on paper for five minutes each morning” can potentially change your life.

These all sounded great but I needed to create a set of rituals that worked for me.

Delaying the Start of the Day

After trying out a bunch of different things at this point my mornings now look like this.

1 Hour Morning Success Ritual

  • Wake up around 7am
  • Get out of bed right away
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Think and stretch for 5 minutes as I brew some coffee
  • Sit down and start journaling and looking at my daily and weekly schedule
  • Around 8am turn on my computer and start my work day usually feeling clear, positive, and ready for a good day

You may have noticed in this first hour of the day I don’t turn on my computer, check emails, or look at my phone. I just focus on the above list.

The real game changer for me is the journaling and scheduling part of this. In the journal I write about short and long term goals, how I’m feeling that day, what I think I can improve on (personally and in business), what I’m grateful for at this time, and I also take notes and jot down ideas about business and my life plans.

I then review my daily and weekly schedule and make sure everything is looking good and that I have lots of time scheduled to work on some of the goals and aspirations I have noted down in my journal.

You may argue and say that this hour is wasted time or that I can start working right away to get more done in a day. The way I look at it is I do start working as soon as I get up but in a calm and controlled fashion. The day is well thought out and strategically planned and then I get way more done even though I “start” one hour or so later than I used to.

Designing Your Morning for Success

This is the current routine that works for me. Yours might be completely different and that’s great.

I do recommend you have some element of writing, planning, and review for the day or week ahead. You also might mix that in with a morning workout, spending some quiet time with a family member, checking in with a mentor or business partner, or reading an inspirational book for 30 minutes. It’s really up to you!

So what do your mornings look like? I’d love to hear about your morning rituals in the comments below; do you have a system you use or any tips that work for you? Or maybe you’ve tried but they don’t work, or anything you want to add to this conversation I’d love to discuss further!

Sam Zipursky is the branding and design director of ConsultingSuccess.com and manages the Professional Consultant Website program.

If you’d like to learn more about getting a new consulting website that will improve your personal and business brand, increase business leads, and also help you stand out as an authority in your marketplace you can book a free call with Sam today.

  • Dario Viegas

    Hi Michael,

    I try to wake up early 6 am and do one hour of exercise to keep mind and body healthy.

    Most of the days i can’t commit to it, beacuse i’m not really a morning person but i do try.

    I like to start the morning with ease, not rushing to do work and start a stressful day. What makes me feel good is having a quiet and peacefull breakfast to relax the mind.

    What makes my day more productive is having breakfast with a friend in the local coffee shop, just chatting about life, family, dreams and future business. After a 30-45 min coffee, I am more productive than I would be if I rushed to work.

    That is my morning ritual.

    • Hi there Dario, Sam here, I actually wrote this article, therefore I’m replying here.

      Sounds like you have a solid ritual set up before you start the day.

      The exercise one definitely is something I want to work into my mornings but haven’t as of yet.

      Keep it up and thank you for taking time to tell us about your ritual!

  • Kate Frank

    Thanks for sharing your ritual Michael.

    Mine is quite different. I wake up around 5am, but let my body wake naturally. Before I get out of bed, I make sure to say thanks for the day and its blessings. When I get up, my dog forces me to go for a walk (10-25 minutes according to weather). Then I make a cup of tea, check my phone for emails, eat a high protein breakfast and settle into reflection time. Around 7-8, I head upstairs to turn on the computer and start my day.

    • Kate, Sam here (Michael’s business partner and cousin) I actually wrote this article as I’m starting to write more here at the blog as well.

      I really like the sound of your routine, especially the fresh air and walk with your dog sounds like it would really get the mental juices flowing!

      Thanks for joining the convo 🙂

  • Elena Tarage?ová Vargová

    Hello Sam 🙂
    thank you really very much for writing this article. I am reading it as a first e-mail of the morning 😀 You probably wrote it for me…
    I am actually in the “transforming” period of time (couple of days) and every morning is a bit more different while I am graving in to new habits.
    Today for example:
    My 1y.o. son woke me up “mamiiiii” showing at his pans…
    At seven we already go to the kitchen. I drink a glass of water and offer to my little one too. Then feeding us both with yogurt and switching on my computer, launch positive but calm music (no e-mails). We finish our yogurt and I exercise my 5 “tibetians”, I feel stronger than yesterday, I feel some positive flow after very very long time… I am thankful…
    I open my e-mails and finding your article 🙂 Then my 3y.o. son comes down I help him with breakfast and now writing this comment 🙂 It is 8am.
    The part of planning a day is very difficult for me as I have good excuses of many destructions even though I know so well I should do it…
    But I am going on that now 🙂 And hope, tomorrow I will be stronger in this.
    Have a nice day, all of you.

    P.S. sorry for not perfect English, I am from Slovakia 🙂

    • Elena, that sounds great and big respect to you for working on your morning habits even though you are very busy with your kids.

      The key thing is to try and find something that works for you even if you have kids and a busy life and it sounds like you’re doing exactly that.

      I love the fact that you’re kids are part of your ritual and they are benefiting from the healthy life you’re setting up!

      Have a good one and thanks for checking out this article!

  • This is so important. The days when I start off checking my phone or opening my laptop — I can tell right away how the rest of the day is going to go (not good).

    My ideal morning routine is actually really long – at least 2-3 hours – consisting of:

    – Prayer/meditation
    – Journaling (by hand)
    – Exercise
    – Free writing
    – Coffee

    I find the earlier I get up and the slower my morning is — the better my day goes.

    • Hi Ahmad, sounds like you really have your morning’s set up for success on many levels emotional, spiritual, physical, and business….I love it, thanks for sharing and keep it up my friend!

  • Rohan Bhatt

    Hey Sam.

    The whole idea of scheduling and planning ahead sounds great to me. I actually don’t have the practice of getting up and directly checking emails but I do opt for some yoga meditation in the morning.

    • Rohan, for me the scheduling, planning and reviewing really helps clarify what I’m going after that day and week too, it keeps me on track.

      The yoga is something I haven’t done yet before my work days but I definitely want to try that as part of the routine as I keep improving and tweaking it to find what is best for me.

      Have a good one and thanks for jumping into this one!