Of all the productivity tips and tricks out there, this one might be the simplest—yet one we could all probably improve: Start the day with good habits or rituals, and that will cascade into a more productive day.
Writer, programmer, and avid traveler Scott H Young tells of experimenting with waking up early to get more done but realizing from his trials that the earliness of the habit isn’t what’s most important, but rather the actual ritual itself.
Rituals allow us to navigate our imperfect worlds, and create structure in a reality that is often structureless. So while the repetitive chants of the monk may seem superfluous in a modern age, these rituals have an indirect use in creating a structure for living our lives.
I’m trying to treat my morning routines the same way. Eating healthy isn’t about nutrition. Exercising isn’t about being in shape. Not hitting the snooze button isn’t about getting an extra fifteen minutes about my day. Instead these are morning rituals that I strive to perform because performing them creates a structure. That structure carries throughout the day and makes the habits of getting my work done and not procrastinating a little easier.
With a morning ritual in place—whether you start with exercise, a gratitude session, or writing practice—you’ll have room to relax more in the afternoon while still priming yourself to be productive. Start with one virtuous habit to make the next easier. Conversely, having to drag yourself out of bed in the morning after the seventh snooze primes you for a less productive day.
Build Your Morning Habits First | Scott H Young
Photo by Helga Weber.