The best way to kick start your day

You know I’m big on processes. And that’s got less to do with my project management background but more to do with my experience of getting the biggest, baddest, and seemingly impossible (at the outset) things done.

Having a project management lens has helped me get a lot of personal projects off the ground. Processes are my daily drivers starting from waking up early to hitting the bed on time. Sure, you do have the option not to get anal about “processes,” but you also run the risk of not getting anything significant done.

Heck, even if you’re hell-bent on not making your life “yet another project,” there’s one process that I would love for you to follow. It’s your morning routine. Yeah, it’s a process. Anything that involves a series of steps or actions is a process, whether you like it or not.

For mornings, I have found the following process to be the most useful:

  1. Wake up
  2. Write
  3. Training (with weights or Yoga on the weekends when I have sports training later in the morning)
  4. Study/Read/Review newsletters (my preferred source of information over Google News or other crappy news sites)
  5. Get started with work

Having practised the above (or a variant thereof) for ages, I can tell you this — my works days are of much higher quality because I follow the process. Of course, there are days when I’m not able to hit the mark, and those are forgettable days as I’m barely able to get anything significant done.

In project management terminology, two terms apply to our daily lives — dependencies and distractions. And I don’t prefer to have either in my routines—especially distractions by way of the phone or the internet or both.

The phone is something I strongly recommend people should avoid using in the morning hours. It’s damn easy to get sucked into the text messages, emails, or worse, searching something on the internet, Amazon or Reddit or news sites. It’s like a rabbit hole, and before you know it, you’ve wasted 2 hours of your precious routine seeking information that doesn’t even matter.

Information is the bane of our existence in the 21st century. The less we consume, the more liberated we feel. And the worst thing we can do to ourselves is exposed ourselves to needless information when we should be focusing on those high-leverage, game-changing activities that help our days head in the right direction.

“But Sunil, what if there’s an emergency.” Don’t worry; you will get to know about it anyway. Don’t believe me? Okay, count the number of times over the past six months you woke up to an emergency. Yeah, me neither. Despite that, we’re in the middle of a pandemic!

So, ditch the phone for good. It’s not going anywhere; focus on getting the highest leverage activities instead of succumbing to distractions.

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