Those Eight-Letter Dirty Words: Routines and Schedules

Well, it is Friday again and it has been a long, busy,  yet successful week.

I am sure most of y’all think I have been primarily busy with the Grand opening.  While it is true I have been busy with the Grand Opening, I also have been busy approving television advertisements, preparing for an interview on Wednesday the March 8th which will air on Fox 21 Morning News Friday, March 17th.  Then there have been my classes, my coaching sessions, writing for the website, recording meditation scripts … My list of to-dos goes on and on and on …

So, how do I manage to get everything done in a timely manner? ROUTINES!  SCHEDULES!

I know – both of those are ugly 8 letter words but they are so necessary for a smooth running business, home, and family.  All the successful people I have heard speak all mention having a morning and night routine to help them through their day.

My morning routine goes something like this:

4:30 am         Wakeup and drink coffee

5:00 am         Meditation

5:30 am          Yoga

6:00 am          Free-flow writing for at least 15 minutes

6:30 am          Go through my daily schedule and prioritize the to-dos.

7:00 am          Work on the most difficult item on my to-do list. And my day has started …

I used to feel guilty that I spent two hours every morning doing nothing but ‘self-care’ tasks. However, after reading about the scientific research that has been done on the subject I decided to let that guilt go.  If I do not allow myself the time to perform those self-care in the morning while my willpower is strong, I will not do it!

Science says: Willpower is highest in the morning, so start strong

You’ve maybe heard the advice that your first work of the day should be something meaningful and significant, a task that might take a lot of focus, will, and determination to accomplish. The reason: Our self-control becomes more limited as the day progresses.

That’s the idea purported by the strength model. Self-control draws from a common resource that gets depleted over time.

You can think of self-control as a muscle—fatigue sets in after exertion.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Education in Singapore reviewed 83 studies on self-control to come to the following conclusion:

Results revealed a significant effect of ego depletion on self-control task performance. Significant effect sizes were found for ego depletion on effort, perceived difficulty, negative affect, subjective fatigue, and blood glucose levels.

For those keeping score at home, that’s both psychological and physiological effects on your ability to get work done.

The longer the day goes on, the more fatigue your self-control experiences, and the more important it is to make those early morning hours count.

Here are six tips to help you structure a morning routine:

Eat a good breakfast (it can be fast and easy).

Listen to your body clock. Do creative work when it feels best.

Set an alarm to wake up and an alarm to go to sleep.

Disengage:  Zero notifications from apps and phones at night.

Develop a morning routine that works on weekends, too.

Track your habits to better understand yourself.

Your Thoughts? What Does Your Morning Routine Look Like: 

What does your unique morning ritual entail?  Do you slate time for self-care? Do you immediately turn to your phone and start looking at social media?

I’d love to hear about your routine. Feel free to share your morning schedule here in the comments.

Wishing you a happy weekend!

Arizona Lowe

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