The quote above is from Tim Ferriss, writer, podcaster and morning routine advocate. If you were going to create a new morning routine for yourself to help you ‘win the day’, what would it include?
Tim believes you should have a set of steps that you follow every morning to get your body and mind right so you can have the best day possible. He recommends that the first thing you do when you wake up is make your bed, as it means that you accomplish at least one thing at the beginning of the day; no matter what else happens or goes wrong, you have had some success. He adds that external mess (your bed or your room) can lead to internal mess (your mental state) and that making your bed can help you to be more productive.
After that, he suggests doing some exercise, writing in a journal, and meditating. He explains that the exercise, even just a few push-ups or sun salutations, helps to get your body into a state that allows you to have a more optimistic story, so you are more likely to see solutions than problems. Journaling helps to get your thoughts down on paper – Tim’s writing includes things he is grateful for and what he hopes to achieve in the day. Finally, meditating for about 10 to 20 minutes will train your mind to be less emotionally reactive, so that when bad things happen during the day, you won’t respond in the worst way, he says.
The website 21 Day Hero claims that morning routines like Tim’s are one of the things that many successful people have in common. They looked at the routines of 60 successful and productive people and found that there were similarities in what they all do in the morning: 86% wake up before 7am, and common morning activities include exercise, meditation, practising gratitude, and reading books or newspapers. However, most of them stay away from social media first thing in the morning.
Reaching for your phone when you wake up means that you are letting other people and social media apps dictate what you think and feel at the beginning of the day. Learning expert Jim Kwik says that the first hour of the day is the time that you can have the most influence on, but by checking your phone, you’re giving away your power and training yourself to respond. For example, checking emails means you’re more likely to react to other people’s demands, he says, and the dopamine hit that you get from social media is changing your brain to be more distracted. Jim doesn’t touch his phone for the first hour of the day, but his morning routine does include meditation, making a to-do list with 3 goals he wants to achieve, and even a to-feel list, writing down what he wants to feel that day.
Morning routines may also be playing a part in how productive and focused some of the leaders in the tech world are. Mark Zuckerberg does check social media first thing, but also, to avoid wasting time thinking about what to wear, he apparently wears the same outfit every day: a grey t-shirt and jeans. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5am, meditates and has a workout. But the most interesting morning ritual may have belonged to Steve Jobs. In a 2005 speech, Jobs said that every morning he looked in the mirror and asked himself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ He said that he had been asking that same question since he was 17, and added that whenever the answer to that question was ‘no’ for too many days, he knew that he needed to change something.
Starting the day in the right way has a positive effect on everything you experience. It influences how you interpret and react to things and the decisions you make, and it seems like it helps with productivity. So, is there anything you want to add to your morning?
IELTS Reading Questions for Morning Routines:
Yes / No / Not Given & Sentence Completion.
Sources and links from Morning Routines
– Tim Ferriss YouTube clip about creating a better morning routine.
– 21 Day Hero’s guide to morning routines.
– YouTube clip – interview with Jim Kwik about not using his phone first thing in the morning.
– Jim Kwik’s website with a description of his morning routine.
– YouTube clip of Steve Job’s speech – he talks about his morning ritual at 8:48.
– Image by Thom Holmes on Unsplash