We all try to copy the habits of the ultra-successful people, hoping for magic to happen. On its own, it’s not a bad idea. On the contrary – it actually makes a lot of sense… until it doesn’t.
Every day, I see a new blog post about this habit that helped someone rich and famous become, well, rich and famous. And you know what’s the one thing that all of these posts share?
The most annoying piece of advice ever given for implementing a new daily habit:
“Do this first thing in the morning, so that you don’t dread from it all day and so you start the day with a win”.
The Problem With Your Daily Habits
I use to follow this advice. Garry Halbert says I should take a 60 minutes walk every day? No problem!
“Derek Johanson and Dane Maxwell say I should spend one hour every morning copying by hand sales letter to learn copywriting? Great, I’ll add that too.
“Oh, I also want to learn Russian, and that’s out of my comfort zone, so I better add that to the morning routine so I can get it over and done with before I start my day!
“Joel Runyon says I should do cold showers? Let me add that to the morning routine too! This way I will start my day like a superman!
Farnoosh Brock said I should stretch every morning for at least 10-15 minutes. Better do that first!”
I can easily give you 7 more daily habits that I’ve tried to adopt over the last few years.
The Result (AKA shit hitting the fan)
The result of all this “do it first thing in the morning” movement, is having morning routines that take a good few frickn hours to complete!!!
By adding things to be done “first thing in the morning”, you guarantee that one of three things will happen:
- Option 1: You get all those things done, and by the time you finish with your new habits you have no time left to actually do the stuff you need to be doing
- Option 2: (as happens in most cases) you stop doing your new habits (At least until a new and exciting one comes around).
- Option 3: Your new morning routine is so heavy with stuff that’s out of your comfort zone, that you wake up and then procrastinate all day trying to avoid it.You don’t do anything meaningful with your time, because “you haven’t started your day”, and finally, you get your morning routine (or parts of it) done, and call it a day… saying that, “at least I completed my daily habits!”
And this goes on for while, until your business breaks down, your ass is on fire, and you drop this “morning routine” concept altogether.
(BTW, This is the worse option – as it’s a combination of option 1 and option 2 in one big time-wasting fiasco).
Here’s How You Do It Right:
The key with habits is not in doing it with the same timing like other people. The key is doing it consistently, at the same time every day that works for Y-O-U!
Want to try a new habit? Here’s what you should do:
- Estimate how long it will take
- Lock a recurring time block for it in your calendar – wherever it fits.
- Stick to your calendar.
If’s, But’s and Coconuts
“But I can’t find a time in my calendar for this!”
Then it won’t happen. Either give up something else to make room, or give up wasting your time on acquiring a habit you don’t have time for.
“But if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, it doesn’t happen!”
This answer might hurt. Get ready for some tough love: Learn how to use a calendar, and take responsibility for your life. Seriously.
What’s Your Take On Daily Habits?
How do you introduce new habits into your life? What’s been working (or not working) for you? Share in the comments below. I’ll see you there!
10 thoughts on “Why You Must STOP Doing Things “First Thing In The Morning”!”
Can I give you an “Amen”, three “Hallelujahs!” and a half dozen “Finally! Someone who sees it my way!!”?
This is what I am implementing:
Use my calendar for everything. Schedule everything. Follow the schedule. If something is to be added, something else will probably get deleted. Which is more important?
Haha I’ll accept those! LOL! Thanks, Trevor 🙂
You’re spot on. We just pretend that we have time for everything, and even worse – that the morning is the best time to stuff with all those new ideas! We avoid reality. We avoid making choices about our time, and about what works for us and what doesn’t. We avoid the responsibility of customizing things to fit what we need, instead of emulating other people.
Thanks for the virtual high-five. I was a bit worried that I’d be misunderstood, so I’m happy my message got through and resonated! 🙂
Love this post…
I will say, though, that there are some morning routines that need to be done at that time. Mine? The things that are most important. Why? I’m usually freshest and ready to go in the morning. I hit the gym first to get the energy going, then I do things that are of HUGE importance for my day. I don’t schedule ANYTHING in until after noon because morning is my GET SH** DONE time.
Hey bro, great to see you here! And thanks 🙂
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not opposed to morning routines! Not at all.
The point I was trying to make is that people just add more and more and more (and more) habits to their morning routines, because “it’s best to do this first thing in the morning” – when what’s best is figuring out the one or two things that start the day right for you and put you on fire – and then repeat those every morning, followed by getting epic shit done! (like what you’re doing!)
For you that’s the gym. Oddly enough, for me – any morning that starts with a workout ends up being a totally unproductive day (weird, huh?) I usually get stuff done in the morning and then use the time that used to be my “energy slump time” – around noon – to go out for a run and get all systems fired up again for a productive afternoon.
I just find it funny (read: a bit sad) when I see people around me ending up with 4-hour long morning routines, that are so full of stuff they dread (but someone said it will change their lives), so they procrastinate all morning, and end up doing neither those new habits, nor the meaningful stuff that should follow the habits.
Instead of having habits that set the frame for success, the habits become the main pursuit. And that’s a bad idea IMO.
Hope I managed to explain myself! 🙂
Great to see you addressing this Meron. All the advice can definitely, and easily, get out of control.
I have my morning routine written down and now it’s natural and on auto-pilot – all designed to get me going for the day in the best way possible — so that I have the “rest of the day” to do what makes the morning routine so important – live!
I’m still mastering the calendaring of some things and realize that yes, it’s essential. So … I’ve added calendaring to my evening routine 🙂
Thanks, Leah! Care to share with us your morning routine?
P.S. I’d be devastated if it doesn’t include a good cuppa!
Personally, I think you should do what works for you. everyone is different. I am already getting up everyday at 5:30 and not getting home until 6:00 for my family obligations and my 8 to 5 job that has me on call 24/7/365. i want to do a photography business, what i have little of is time. my free time is an hour or two in the evening. but that is sketchy. right now i am looking at next sunday before i have any free time. I am going to be doing blocks of time during the coming weeks to work on my portfolio and website.
Hey Stephen, thanks for joining in on the conversation! That’s a rough schedule you have there! Have you tried something like Time Hacking? I’m biased, but I think this podcast by Julie Sheranosher might help you find some creative ways to get more out of the 24 hours we all have… and hopefully reduce some stress, too!
She’s been my time coach for years! There’s a wealth of helpful stuff on that site 🙂
I have and I am trying to streamline things. but i need to blocks of time for my photo projects. so I am going to set aside blocks of time as time allows.
2 Quick tips to help with time:
1. Create a list of what you need to do for your photography business. What are the tasks you are looking at? Now divide this list into “Boulders”, “Gravel”, “Sand” & “water” tasks (you can listen to the episode where I explain it here: http://imjulie.com/how-to-get-things-done/) – sand and water you can do during your 9-5 job and home errands, no reason to wait for a big bulk of time, gravel is something you can absolutely do with 30 minutes a day (I urge you not to invest your entire free time every day in hustling, you’ll burn out quicker), and the boulder tasks – them we need to break into gravel and space them during weekends and other bigger chunks of time.
2. Try to determine which hours work best for you for the type of tasks that your side business requires; Working in sync with your internal clock will help you achieve more in less time.
Finally, if you have ANY questions, more specific details or just want to make sure you’re doing things right – please do not hesitate contacting me using this email: [email protected]
Best of luck!