I have philosophy I live by and all of my friends know it well. We all find time to do the things we really want to do in life. It doesn’t matter if we work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. If there is something that we are really motivated to do, we all will find time to do it.
Before I into any of this, I understand that there are people out there that have small children, demanding spouses or stressful jobs that require most of their attention while they are awake, but maybe there is some time in a 24 hour day that you are not utilizing effectively. I personally do not think anyone is ever as busy as they think or say they are.
Have you ever lost contact with someone for a period of months, maybe years, then you hear from them or run into them on the street and the usual inquiry ensues: “So, what have you been up to. I haven’t heard from you in a while.”
It doesn’t really matter who asks it first, what matters is the answer to avoid. Don’t ever say, “Well, you know, I’ve been busy.”
Whenever someone says that to me, I want to punch them in the face. Think about that for a minute. You mean to tell me that in six months you haven’t had 15 free minutes to pick the phone up or shoot someone a quick email? Are you the CEO of a Fortune 100 company?
I am the same way about keeping in touch with people, I just make a point of never giving that excuse. In fact, it is rather insulting when someone says that to you. They are lying to your face.
Obviously it’s just a way not to be rude because the reality is, you just haven’t thought of that person much, but you can’t come out and say that. Instead, I usually remind people of the fact that I hate to talk on the phone. I am pretty good about keeping up with people via email or text. My friends know me well enough not to even ask that question.
So without going any further off track than I already am, the reason I am pointing this out is that no matter how busy you think you are, there is time in your day to take care of yourself first, and the best time to do that is early in the day so that you can get it over with and mark it off your list.
So here are a few things I like to do to get the day started right. There is nothing ground breaking here, just a list of healthy habits.
Get Up Early
I mean really early. This is especially true if you have a house full of people. That early morning time is your quiet time.
Several years ago, I started getting up at 5:30, even on my days off. I considered that early. Then I upped the ante last year and started getting up at 5 AM. However, I went further.
Last year, I was working a contract that required me to be in the office at 6 AM. It took me 30 minutes to drive in, so I didn’t just want to roll out of bed, jump in the shower and head out, so I started getting up at 4 AM. It stuck. I am no longer working that position, but I still get up every morning at 4. I feel like I get a head start on everyone else.
I also find that my brain functions better in the early hours. I think people are more creative during this time so it is not uncommon for me to churn out an article on InfoBarrel before 6 AM every day.
Look, you can lay there in bed hitting the snooze button over and over again like you are still in high school, or you can get up and get something done. Make your choice.
Drink Coffee Early
I know some people do not like the taste of coffee but you can fix that with some Stevia or cream.
Or, if you want a healthier version of coffee, try adding a little butter rather than sugar or milk. It may sound strange but it is part of a recipe that Dave Asprey calls bulletproof coffee. It helps to curb cravings later.
The reason you want to drink coffee is because it really wakes you up and gets you going. It enhances your creativity.
Some people do not like the jittery buzz they get, but I have never had that problem. In fact, study after study has shown that drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day is actually healthy for you.
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Drink Green Tea Early
While the coffee is brewing, warm a cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes then steep some green tea for about a minute. Everyone knows that green tea is good for you, so the best habit to start is to down a cup first thing in the morning.
In fact, if you take any vitamin supplements each day, this is also a good time to take those. I take Biotin and D3 every day and I use the green tea to down those. I’m not really a tea sipper. I just down it like a shot of tequila. However, if you are going to do that, let it cool for at least 20 minutes.
Do Brain Activity Early
While your brain is functioning at its peak, try to do something creative. For me it is either writing articles for Infobarrel or doing some type of work on a blog.
As I said, I usually have an article ready to go by 6 AM. If I really push through it, I can get two published by 9 AM, and that’s with taking a few breaks during that time.
A lot of people say they are not morning people. Forgive me, but I think that is an excuse. You may be tired in the morning, but that is because you went to bed too late. Just adjust your schedule.
Even if you stay up as late as 10 PM, you are still going to get 6 hours of sleep before waking at 4 AM. If you need more, go to bed earlier. Or get up at 5 AM.
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Make a Healthy Smoothie
The best time to drink a healthy smoothie is in the morning. It gives you a nutritional boost for the rest of the day and you get it out of the way. Sometimes if I am practicing intermittent fasting, I will skip this step and plan on making it later in the day. However, more often than not, I end up forgetting to make it because I am out of my routine.
If you are like me, you probably find it hard to work veggies into your diet. I find that drinking my vegetables is much easier, and making a delicious morning smoothie is one of the easiest ways to get the nutrients your body needs.
If your job requires you to be creative or you would just like to be more alert, do not underestimate the connection between the mind and the body.
When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals that stimulate creativity. Some of my best articles ideas have come within the middle of one of my workout sessions.
If you are pressed for time, exercise does not have to be a complicated thing. Nor does it require that you go to the gym for hours. There are many body weight exercises that you can do that allows you to exercise for short periods of time and still get the same benefits as exercising for an hour or more doing other types of cardio.
And it doesn’t even have to be strenuous exercise. Again, I have thought of many subjects to write about here on IB when I was out cutting the grass. Ideas seem to flow when your body is active.
Some of you are probably reading this thinking, man, when I wake up, I've got kids to feed and clothes to wash and iron, then I have a 45 minute commute. All excuses.
Either you want to be more productive or you don't and I imagine that if you just read this article, you are probably looking for some kind of change.
If you start your day off with those six things, you will feel much better the rest of the day. Not only have you gotten your daily nutrition needs out of the way early on, but you have also exercised your mind and body allowing you to function better in whatever tasks you do on your job or in your personal life.
Don’t underestimate the power of exercising. Just the act will make you feel better and that feeling carries over into other areas of your life like brain power.
If you need to start out slowly and the 4 AM wakeup call is too much for you, pick out one or two to start off with and work your way up. I think you will find that once you get into a routine, some of the other ideas will follow much easier.
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