How you utilise the beginning of your day hugely influences what you achieve in the hours that follow.
And according to the internet, there is an unbelievable number of ways in which you can craft the ‘perfect’ morning routine.
Just typing in the term ‘How can I improve my morning routine?’ provides about 137,000,000 results on Google… And after digging through the first few pages, it became abundantly clear that many of these articles were actually sharing contradicting advice to one another.
There were also many different levels on how drastic the advice in each was.
With some saying you need to wake up at a relatively unsociable hour to achieve true morning time bliss, and others claiming that just good sleep and structure would be all it takes.
It was at this stage that I did some maths.
If each of these results contained unique pieces of advice, it would take over 339,000 years to action each and every piece, if you were to do one-a-day. And not to be morbid, but I suspect that by the time those years pass, we would all be well out of mornings.
I recently found myself at the mercy of all this advice.
Personally, I had begun to feel like even the word ‘routine’ was not reflective of my mornings. They tended to consist of whatever I felt like doing and in whatever order, in the time between waking up and starting my workday.
So, armed with an open mind and a good attitude, I went searching for that well needed change and consistency… and I discovered The 5am Club by Robin Sharma.
On the drastic scale, I would say that the title of this book alone measures in at around a 7.5, however I was attracted to it due to the promise in the strap line; ‘Own your morning. Elevate your life’. I’m onboard.
In addition to that, I was also promised that this revolutionary routine would contain benefits that include greater productivity, improve health and a protection of serenity in a world of notifications and alerts. The morning routine of geniuses and titans! I’ll let you decide where I identify at the end.
Key to me becoming a genius and the formula to which The 5am Club was founded is the 20/20/20 formula. This, in essence, is Sharma’s formula to daily excellence, performed in the morning but felt thoroughly throughout the day.
Each 20 within the formula relates to three 20-minute segments within the first hour of your day;
- The first 20 minutes is dedicated to exercise, which must involve working yourself hard enough to produce sweat. Sweating is key as it produces dopamine and serotonin, which means your day starts with chemicals that provide you with motivation and happiness.
- The second 20 minutes is for refection and contemplation. As each day comes jam-packed with different complexities and distractions, this gives you the time to find deeper peace and to let your mind wander into the things that actually matter to you the most.
- The final segment of the hour is for learning. This could be to take 20 minutes to read some of that book you have wanted to start, or to watch that documentary on the life of someone that inspires you, or perhaps to listen to a riveting episode of our very own Learn, Grow, Succeed Podcast. Learning only ever energises the mind.
So, will adopting this formula revolutionise your morning routine, your days as a whole and the rest of your life? Big question that. Let me tell you what I have discovered so far.
Sleep is still crucial
Something I discovered early on was that with the commitments I keep, waking up at 5am would mean I would often fall below the recommended amount of sleep.
You have two options with this formula. Either rearrange your evenings if you can so that you can get your 6-8 hours or push 5am to 6am.
Whilst the latter does go against quite a lot of what the book says, I have found that it still has the potential to give you that hour of productivity, without all your commitments coming piling in straight after.
In addition, if you persist with 5am without the recommended amount of sleep, I discovered that it will catch up with you as the week goes on.
Feeling Fresher and More Energetic For Longer
This morning routine involves waking up earlier than you would typically desire, which at the beginning feels rough… believe me.
However, whilst you sigh in dazed frustration in the morning when your alarm charms signalling the start of your day, it is actually instilling discipline which will serve you well throughout the day.
The 20/20/20 formula proves that waking up early and getting things done feels tremendous. Therefore, you are more likely to complete those tasks you normally mean to do but never actually get to.
Your palpable increased level of energy will also give you that extra gear throughout the day to keep pushing through your to-do list.
Whilst you may be sacrificing time in bed, you will feel like doing much more with your time awake.
Sense Of Achievement
Rolling out from beneath the sheets and slumping to your desk is not recommended by anyone. Perhaps it is because you have not had a chance yet to grab a win from the day. With the 20/20/20 formula, you are getting in exercise, you are finding mental clarity and you are gaining knowledge. Three early wins that have incredible benefits to your body and mind and builds your momentum, clearing your way through the early morning fog that blights the beginning of the days without too much routine.
Fast Health And Fitness Results
It becomes incredibly difficult to miss workout time when it heads the start of each and every day.
This daily commitment to your physical fitness has the capability to provide you with incredibly fast results, the kind which you previously desired but never truly dedicated yourself to achieving.
It is also scientifically proven that keeping fit makes you feel less stressed and more self-confident. Your brain will also feel the benefits, as it increases your thinking skills and ability to remember.
Whilst titling myself as a genius may still come with millions of question marks. I can say without question that the 20/20/20 formula has, so far, fulfilled the three promises set out in the introduction;
- I am more productive.
- I feel healthier.
- I have greater mental clarity.
Time will tell how this develops and whether this is just me reacting to the novelty of a new routine; however, I highly recommend it if you are simply looking to feel better and more accomplished every day. Own your mornings.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this blog, have a look at our video recap:
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges for 2021, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.
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