The Single Most Effective Productivity Secret of the Top 1%

Win your morning; win your day!

I know that this topic has been covered by dozens of thought leaders and success gurus around the world, on hundreds of occasions.  It might even be such old news to you that you skip over this short article with a dismissive “Yeah, yeah…I get it!”  But how many times do you follow that thought with “But you don’t understand the craziness of my life!  Being a (fill in the blank) is different!  It’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to own my morning without constantly being interrupted by my phone or an urgent text that completely undermines my plans for the day.  My livelihood is DEPENDENT on me being the quickest to respond to a potential customer or sale.”

This is where I will challenge you a bit.  If you intend to consistently perform above standard norms for the long term, and count yourself among the world’s highest performers, then it really is essential that you win your morning. Create a habit of whatever that daily mindful practice looks like for you BEFORE you find yourself in a reactive mode first thing in the morning.  The most important rule is to not look at your e-mail, texts, or social media for at least an hour after getting up. This one rule alone will dramatically reduce the chances of letting other people’s emergencies rule your agenda for the day.  Plan YOUR day first.  If you need to make a few adjustments after you check your emails and voice mail, at least you will be in a position to make an informed decision as to whether or not somebody else’s priorities are truly more important than yours.

Each morning, you own the power of intention. And having a solid morning routine sets the tone for the day. I like to look at the first hour of the day as the “Golden Hour”.  If you don’t already have a set routine, a good starting point is to break it into 20 minute segments.  For example, immediately upon waking, spend the first 20 minutes enriching your body by drinking 20 oz. of water, doing a short yoga practice, and meditating.  Spend the next 20 minutes enriching your mind by reading inspiring non-fiction and/or journaling. And spend the last 20 minutes enriching your life and business by planning and setting your intentions for the day. My favorite tool for that is the High Performance Planner  because it is laid out with trigger questions each day to help you achieve a positive morning mindset that will fuel you for the rest of the day. 

  • What is your message to yourself for the day?
  • What are your top 3 goals/priorities for the day?
  • Which tasks absolutely MUST be done today?
  • Who are the people you need to lead or connect with that day?

If you need to set your alarm an hour earlier each morning so that you aren’t tempted to look at your phone before your 20-20-20 morning routine, then so be it.  Within a few short weeks (or even DAYS), you’ll be amazed at how much more productive and focused you are after you have nailed your morning routine. You might even find that you no longer need to get up an hour earlier because you are accomplishing twice as much in less time.

Ultimately, you need to determine the feeling you are seeking, and then intentionally lean into and live that feeling.  Don’t just HOPE that the feeling will land on you.  An intentional morning routine will help this happen.

“The journey to greatness begins the moment that our deepest desires for comfort and ease are overpowered by our desires to connect and contribute.”    - - - Brendon Burchard

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