If you want to be super productive and have fabulous energy levels for the entire day, then you have to put your best foot forward when getting out of bed in the morning.
We all have super powers, whether we are conscious of them or not, and this formula will enable you to tune into yours and engineer a higher chance of success in all areas of your daily life.You’ll be able to put an end to the chaotic, stimulant-driven mornings when you wake up exhausted and are immediately overwhelmed by the pressure of the daily tasks looming ahead of you. Planning the perfect day starts with a perfect night’s sleep and nothing lets you sleep more deeply than knowing that tomorrow is all planned out.
Falling asleep thinking, “I’ve got tomorrow covered” is a different experience to trying to get some shut eye while tomorrow’s theme song is “Aiyo, so much to do!”.
Here are seven ways you can engineer your energy levels to last you the whole day:
1. Scheduling tomorrow’s events
There is nothing more likely to make you hide under the covers in the morning than waking up without a plan and having to make decisions. It is the all-time energy sapper. Spend 15-20 minutes the night before organising your day so that when you wake up, you hit the ground running.
2. Get seven-plus hours of quality sleep (the hours between 11pm and 6am are sacred)
Sleep is the foundation of health and energy restoration. Following your circadian rhythm, and sleeping by 11pm is very important, as this is the time the liver works on healing and tissue regeneration. If you want to wake up refreshed and full of energy, then turn off all electrical gadgets like phones and iPads at 10pm, and all lights at 10:30pm.
Training yourself to stay up after midnight is like living in another time zone. You wake up dazed, exhausted and disorientated, and stumble around looking for the nearest pot of coffee. When we travel, we call this jet lag, but living in this self-induced state of perpetual jet lag not only affects your performance, it also leads to hormone depletion and rapid ageing.
Sleep is the best meditation
According to the Dalai Lama, “Sleep is the best meditation”, and leads to longer life expectancy; decreased inflammation and lower stress levels; increased memory, creativity, attention span and focus; increase in muscle tone and size; lower body fat levels; better energy levels; decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine; and a more positive outlook on life with lower risks of depression.
So, make sleep a priority: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” said former American president Benjamin Franklin.
3. Don’t check your email, social media or watch the news before 10am
Eighty percent of people between the ages of 18 and 44 check their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up. Checking the news or reading emails puts you in a reactive, as opposed to a proactive, state. Social media and other notifications are databases for other people’s agendas; they’re distractions that get in the way of your own agenda and take up your time. Any external information can affect the delicate development of your mood and energy levels, so be extremely disciplined and filter the sources and information that you are exposed to before 10am.
4. Get moving (20-30 minutes)
Shake off that sleep and boost circulation with some light to mid-intensity exercise. Morning movement spikes your natural cortisol levels and floods your body with oxygen and the nutrients it needs to start your day. Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is the best course of action, but 20 minutes of exercise will clean the brain fog, leaving you feeling fresh and ready to tackle your day.
5. Take a cold shower (3-5 minutes)
If we are looking at habits of highly successful people, then look no further than Tony Robbins. The highly successful motivator starts every morning by jumping into a 57°F (14°C) swimming pool! Cold water immersion is the gold standard of wake-up calls. It floods the body with adrenalin, stimulating the sympathetic nervous system for a fight-or-flight response. Now, we don’t all have an ice pool, but try blaring out your favourite pick-me-up theme song and jump into a cold shower for three minutes, and you’ll feel like the Wolf of Wall Street.
6. Download your mindset by programming it while you exercise
We already talked about building your physical energy levels up; now, it’s time to engineer and anchor your mood. Time is precious, and even more so in the early morning, so use your exercise time to programme your mental approach to the day. It’s up to you to pick the right material to put you in the best mindset for each occasion, but don’t worry because you will have already picked this out the night before.
Personally, I love to laugh in the morning, and so, I watch a comedy series that lasts 20-25 minutes while I work out. (In the evening, I like to relax and be inspired, so I usually listen to spiritual podcasts or audio books while I chill out and focus on breathing and planning tomorrow’s schedule.) Building habits like this is essential to successful living, and in no time at all, you’ll improve mentally and physically, and have benefited from listening to hundreds of books.
7. Fill the body with essential nutrients
There are various schools of thought on what’s the best fuel to start your day, so you’ll have to listen to your body and experiment to see what works best for you. Personally, I prefer high-fat fuels like avocado with poached eggs or protein shakes with soaked nuts and coconut oil. After working out with weights, you might want to add more lean protein to your cooked breakfast. (Tim Ferriss, author ofThe 4-Hour Body, recommends 30 grams of protein 30 minutes after waking up.)
The most important rule to weight and energy management is avoiding all sugars and starches until after 3pm, so no cereals, bagels or toast. In conclusion, this morning routine will take you less than 60 minutes, but will change the way you approach your day, and eventually, your whole life. We have known for many years how incorporating habits like exercise and meditation can improve your health, but scientists are now discovering their ability to actively change the fabric of your very being by switching on and off genes in your DNA!
So, set your alarms an hour early tomorrow, folks, and find out exactly what the best version of you looks and feels like. Send us your before and after photos, and let us know how our advice has helped you personally! We love to hear and share inspiring stories.