In our last couple +1s, we talked about snoozing our snooze buttons and then throwing away our alarm clocks entirely. (Dare to dream, eh? Hah. 🤓)
Today I want to talk about how to spend those first few hours after you wake up feeling all bright and shiny.
Let’s go back to Mel Robbins’s great book The 5 Second Rule. (btw: Although I haven’t made it explicit yet, this is another one of those “WOW. I HIGHLY (!) recommend it!!” life-changing kinda books so if you’re feeling it, get a copy here.)
In a chapter on how to use her 5 Second Rule to boost your productivity, Mel has a section called “Own Your Mornings.”
She tells us: “I owe my morning routine to Duke University professor Dan Ariely. According to Ariely, the first two to three hours of the day are the best hours for your brain, once you fully wake up. So, if you pop out of bed at 6 a.m., your peak thinking and productivity window is 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. And so on.”
Let’s reflect on that for a moment longer.
Leading researcher Dan Ariely tells us that the first TWO to THREE hours of the day are the best hours for our brain, once we’re fully awake (which usually takes about 30 minutes).
Note: This is one of the reasons why I make SUCH A BIG DEAL out of NEVER allowing inputs that will force you to be “reactive” (aka email / smartphones / social / news / etc.) before you’re “creative.”
We don’t want to squander our best energy reacting when we could be creating. May not sound like a big deal, but I can’t think of ANYTHING more powerful for super-high levels of productivity than consistently hammering out a solid Deep Work Time Block pre-inputs every day.
btw: Leadership guru John Maxwell comes to mind here. He realized he did his BEST work in the morning. And he never scheduled another early-morning meeting again. And, of course, the creator of Dilbert is all about matching his best energy to his most important tasks. (You?)
Let’s do the math on your mornings.
What’s your current morning look like?
What’s your ideal morning look like?
What’s the #1 thing you can do to close the gap between your ideal and your current reality?
As you ponder that, know that you’re not alone in needing to figure out your ideal in the midst of chaos!
Mel says: “If your household is anything like ours, it’s chaos most mornings. Feeding the dog, getting breakfast ready, and guiding three school-ready kids out the door can chew up more than an hour and cut into your peak productivity window. That’s why I had to get serious about my mornings if I planned to be the boss of my day—and it started with getting up earlier so that I had time to focus on my big picture goals before the day hijacked me.”