Take Flight – Play on Offense (Morning Routine)

On today's 189th episode of my MMPT and continuation of Take Flight V4.0, we will continue our deep dive into systems, processes, habits and routines used by ELPs and super achievers. In Take Flight, we call that "The Tail,” the part of the aircraft that creates stability. Today, I will cover one of the most important execution strategies that will have you playing on offense each day - the morning routine.

Since I've started my journey 15 years ago, I can honestly say that my commitment to a Morning Routine is absolutely in the Top 3 things I've discovered that had an immediate, positive impact on my performance. Last week, I laid out the Top 10 Systems, Processes, Habits and Routines used by ELPs and super achievers. Playing on offense, better known to most as a Morning Routine, was first on that list for a reason. I stumbled across this routine in 2008 when I couldn't sleep past 4:00 a.m. because of the effects of stress that would wake me up that early. At the time, I had no idea what a huge impact those early hours would have on my comeback.

The biggest question I get when people find out that I get up at 4:00 a.m. is "I could never do that, I need my sleep. What time do you go to bed?" I understand this sentiment because the whole scenario seems crazy. The answer is: I need 7 hours of sleep, so I am in bed by 9:00 p.m., lights and screens off. I decided that my hours in the morning were more important to me than the hours at night. You do not to get up at 4:00 a.m. to be successful. You just need to give yourself enough time in the morning to get certain things done so you can tackle your day with clarity. I've found that to execute an effective morning routine, you'll need to plan for 1-2 hours depending on the complexity of your life and business. For me, it's a minimum of 2 hours.

Here are the elements of a successful morning routine:

  1. Take on your morning well rested. An effective morning ritual includes enough sleep the night before. How much sleep do you need?
  2. Enter a peaceful space that lends itself to productivity.
  3. Give yourself some time to wake up and freshen up. For me that is preparing my space and making myself that first cup of coffee and a glass of water.
  4. Take 15-20 minutes to "think.” This is when you would conduct the mindfulness, meditation or manifestation ritual that works for you.
  5. Read a chapter of the book you are currently reading. I put on my headphones and hit play because I prefer audiobooks and podcasts.
  6. Start the planning process. Review your schedule for the upcoming day. I like to call it "your dress rehearsal" for the day.
  7. Review the previous day’s texts, emails, schedule and carry over any open items.
  8. Separate your top 3 to dos from the rest so you can put your focus on those items first.
  9. If and only when your day is set with intention and you've planned your day, you can...
  10. Check your email and social feeds. Schedule your email "sends" for right before you enter the "arena.”

As a bonus strategy, at the end of your morning routine, simply take 30-60 seconds and mentally transition to the next part of your day. For me, I transition back to being a husband and father for the next hour plus before the day gets cranked up.

The reason a morning routine is so powerful is that it allows you to get ahead of the day, which translates to "playing on offense.” It helps you to communicate with your clients before they even know to ask the questions. This time of preparation will save you hours throughout the day playing catch up. Honestly, eliminating the stress that comes with playing catch up will simply keep your frequency at a higher level and you'll come off so much more prepared, professional and in control.

For your vision to become a reality, you've got to win the day. 

I’m including links to tools and previous MMPTs that will help you do a deeper dive into creating a morning routine that works for you. Here are a few resources that will help you:

  1. A link to my Daily Time Management Form.
  2. A link to my planner of choice. TUL Daily Planner.
  3. A link to the NINJA quarterly planner. A terrific resource to build your business.
  4. MMPT Episode #137: My Daily Planning Method 

The only way that I've found for most to win the day is by winning the morning. Your 3 Year Vision requires daily, consistent execution. For your 3 Year Vision to become a reality, you've got to win each year and to win each year, you've got to win 4 quarters. To win each quarter, you've got to win the week. To win the week, you've got to win each day and like we've been talking about today, to have any chance to win the day, you need to win the morning.

To play on offense throughout your day, you need to commit to a morning routine.