Your First 3 Hours: Why They’re Critical

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I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning. – William Faulkner

The mind is a powerful thing. It can do anything from solve math problems to analyze seemingly undetectable facial expressions on another human’s face. The human mind can create masterpieces and write novels with a little help from our hands. The human brain may be the the most complex thing that exists on our planet, which means it can be difficult to figure out, especially when it’s the mind of your significant other (in case my wife is reading, I’m just kidding… lol).

All of this being said, we do know that there are some times that the human mind is more creative and has more willpower than other times of the day. If you read the title of this post, I’m guessing you already know what I’m about to say.  The first 3 hours of your day (after waking up) is your most creative time of the day. Your brain has been able to rest and recuperate from the strains of the previous day. We also know that willpower diminishes as the day progresses so it is important that you make sure to put your most important tasks (most difficult or creative) on your schedule at the beginning of the day.

I recommend doing the following to most use your most creative time most effectively:

  1. Control the start of your day – Don’t let the fact that you have to go to work or the kids woke up be the reason that you woke up. Get yourself up before that so you can schedule the tasks that you want to get done in the most creative time of your day. If you don’t do this, your most creative time of the day will be changing kids’ diapers, commuting to work, or checking emails. These are all important things, but probably isn’t the best use of your most creative time of the day. I typically do homework, write blogs, or get critical tasks for work done before I work out and go to work (I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but I enjoy all of it).
  2. Schedule your morning – This is two-fold, not only do I think you should have a routine for doing important tasks in the morning, but I also think everyone should know what important tasks they want to get done in that time slot. Here’s an example of what I do everyday, and it has worked fairly well for me. Everyday I wake up and put my work out clothes on immediately. I then go eat a banana, protein shake, and pre-workout drink. I then immediately start working on the things I mentioned above (work, homework, blogs, etc.). After that I work out and then I get ready for work and head out. It works well for me, but you probably can do even better with a little effort.
  3. Go to bed at a regular time – I’m not saying you have to set your alarm to be in bed at the exact same time everyday, but it might not be a bad idea if you really don’t have the discipline to stay on a routine.  I notice that I feel much better when I have a regular routine on going to bed and waking up. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to sleep less to squeeze in more work, as it typically diminishes the amount you can get done the next day. Try to go to bed at the same time every day and get enough sleep. You’ll feel a lot better if you can do this.
  4. Don’t hit snooze – Mel Robbins discusses why you should never hit snooze in her book called The 5 Second Rule, but I’ll give you the reasoning in a consolidated format. Essentially when you hit snooze you’re body goes back into a 90 minute sleep cycle. If your body thinks you’re sleeping for 90 minutes and then is jolted awake again, it can take longer to really feel awake. Set your alarm for when you want to wake up and force yourself to get up at that time. It takes discipline but it’s a better method for morning productivity.  Still, if this is an issue for work, please purchase the book using the link above.
  5. Have fun with it – Don’t let your morning routine be a drain on your energy. If you really can’t stand what you do in the morning, maybe it’s time to switch up what you’re working on. Sometimes I do homework in the morning (which I dislike) and other times I write blog posts (which I like to do).  Sometimes I bump some tunes (with headphones of course… can’t wake up the wife and kids). This change up gives me a little motivation and can relieve stress. You may have heard that driving to work in a different route can actually reduce stress. Changing up your routines on a variety of other things can also reduce stress and spice up your life. You know yourself, and you know what you have to do to make your morning a success, so don’t take it too seriously and get what YOU want to accomplish achieved.

I think this is a pretty good list, but if you have something that really works for you in the morning, I’d love to hear all about it. I’m always looking for new things that I can try out in my routines. Your thoughts are what drive me and make me better, so please comment below.

Thanks for reading, friends, and remember to be great this morning!

Robert Krickeberg

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