Extreme morning routine for extraordinary results ·
Morning routines have been a hot topic for the past years, and every successful high-performer seems to have one. Hype or not, it is not a coincidence that so many people swear by them. I am currently also in the group of having quite extreme morning routine to start my days, and I feel that it is absolutely essential for my performance, productivity, health and life quality in general. I have had different morning routines for years, and the boost that I get for my working days, starting from the first minute at the workplace, is just undeniable: I am in full speed when I reach the office, as my mind and body are completely awake and ready for action. I also feel very confident, as I know I have pushed myself harder already in the morning than most of the people do on the whole day. My morning routine also includes a moment for studying, and I quite often find something inspiring from my books to try out at work. Executing the routine also trains my discipline extremely well, and keeps me fit, healthy and reduces my stress levels.
So, here is my complete morning routine. It takes 2 hours to complete, and I have to admit, it is pretty tough. If you want to start something similar, and aren’t used to challenging yourself straight from the bed every morning, it might be good to pick up one or two things, and start building up from those.
- Wake up 2.5 hours before I have to be ready for work
- 45min high intensity workout (weights, cardio, or yoga)
- 30min studying (reading or listening to audio books)
- 30min breathing exercises & meditation
- 5min (minimum) ice-cold shower or bath.
I like to rehydrate well in the morning, so I usually have around 1l of mineral water with a bit of added mineral salt during my workout session. I also regularly do part of my workout sessions outside, even at wintertime and minus degrees, to give myself a bit of added challenge and to wake up with a bang. T-shirt and shorts only, no matter how cold it gets! I have a set of weights at home, so I can train there and get into it right after I wake up. I keep the workout sessions intensive to challenge myself and to get as much as possible done during those 45 minutes: A full body workout with weights is my go-to training program.
About the benefits & timing of this morning routine
- Just waking up early is a good way to build up your discipline.
- Physical exercise is pretty much a no-brainer: It is absolutely good for your body and mind, there is no doubting or denying the evidence that is out there. Doing it in the morning takes away all the excuses of being too tired or busy to do it after work, and also prepares your body and mind very well for high performance.
- Studying in the morning gives me good ideas and inspiration for the work. It also reminds me to keep an open mind and try to learn something new every day.
- Breathing exercises (I do Wim Hof Method) and meditation seem to give me additional mental clarity and calmness and help me to deal with any possible stressful situations at work or home. I also seem to get good new ideas or breakthroughs on the problems I am solving, both during and after the sessions.
- Cold showers and cold training in general has been linked to quite a few health benefits lately: Improved immune system and reduced overall inflammation to mention a few. Cold training is also very good mental discipline exercise. I schedule the cold shower last in my morning routine, as your body needs to have a bit of time to increase the inflammatory state of the muscles after the training for recovery and repair, and cold shower tends to end that process too quickly. 1 hour is the recommended minimum break between exercise and cold treatments.
- Running this kind of routine in the morning seems to be a great confidence booster for the rest of the day: When you can push yourself this hard in the morning, most of the problems and challenges during the day don’t seem to feel so hard anymore.
It is surprising that once you get used to this kind of regime, it will not tire you, but fill you with energy and motivation. Of course you have to get to bed a bit earlier to be able to wake up early enough, but it is worth it. I also usually listen to audiobooks on my way to work and reach about one full hour of studying before the work starts. If I stay at home, like lately when I have been working on my book, I take my additional studying session at lunch time to get my mind of the writing for a while and to get some new ideas and inspiration from the books I read. During the last months, while working on my book, this routine has been absolutely essential to keep me going, and stay disciplined during the long and lonely days of research and writing. Those few days that I have for some reason missed my routine (or part of it) are clearly less productive, and it is clear that my brains aren’t working on the same level than they do when I complete the whole morning routine.
- So, do you have a morning routine, and do you think it has a significant benefit for you? If you don’t have one yet, would you be willing to try?
- For those who don’t fear the challenge, take up my morning routine for a week or two and see if you can make it, and what changes it would make in your life!
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