My Morning Routine | Benjamin Spall

Summary of: My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired
By: Benjamin Spall


Do you struggle to kick off your day on a positive note and stay focused through the chaos of life? ‘My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired’ by Benjamin Spall is the book for you. This summary dives into different morning routines that can help you wake up feeling refreshed, tackle important tasks first, and navigate your days more productively. With real-life examples from various successful individuals, the book highlights the importance of a personalized morning routine. It covers topics such as exercise, meditation, me-time, creating a peaceful evening, getting proper sleep, and adapting to changes in our lifestyles and schedules.

Rise and Shine

Successful early risers explain why having a compelling reason to get out of bed and avoiding the snooze button can help you start the day with energy and purpose.

Mornings are often associated with feelings of exhaustion and dread, especially when that alarm goes off before sunrise. However, there are ways to make those early hours more enjoyable and productive. According to interviews with successful early risers, having a compelling reason to get out of bed is key.

For example, MIT president Leo Rafael Reif wakes up early to check his inbox and stay on top of global developments. Author Caroline Paul uses the quiet hours before dawn to indulge in her love of reading. Street photographer Andre Wagner takes advantage of the early morning light to capture stunning cityscapes.

But it’s not just about having a hobby or important work to attend to. The authors also found that avoiding the snooze button on the alarm is crucial. While it may feel like a few extra minutes of sleep will help, it can actually leave you feeling more tired than if you had just woken up when the alarm first went off.

Of course, what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to experiment and find the habits that help you start the day with energy and purpose. So, next time that alarm starts ringing, think about why you want to get up and hit that button without hesitation.

Seize Your Mornings

Discover the benefits of starting your day right by prioritizing your important tasks and setting your own agenda, as opposed to reacting to external demands like emails.

Do you find yourself constantly struggling to find time for your important work, whether it’s a grand project or a personal goal? Perhaps you’re not harnessing the full potential of your mornings. By dedicating the early hours to meaningful activities, you can set the tone for a productive and fulfilling day.

Sheena Brady, the founder of Tease Tea, and public speaker Todd Henry both attest to the power of morning routine. By reserving their mornings for tasks that matter to them, they set a precedent for the rest of the day. This ensures that they have time for their personal goals and energy to tackle any challenges that come their way later.

One way to make the most of your mornings is to avoid checking your emails first thing. Instead, Ryan Holiday proposes starting with another task, such as writing or exercise. By prioritizing your own needs before reacting to external demands, you take control of your day.

Furthermore, Geoff Colvin suggests creating a to-do list every morning to set your own agenda. This makes sure you have a clear plan for the day and can focus on the most important tasks first.

However, it is essential to remember that everyone’s needs and preferences differ. Chris Guillebeau, for example, prefers to start his day by reading emails. Therefore, it’s important to experiment with different approaches to find the one that suits you best.

In summary, seize your mornings by dedicating time to meaningful work, avoiding reactive tasks like checking emails, and setting your own agenda for the day. By doing so, you can tap into your full potential and achieve your goals.

Exercise for Mind and Body

Exercise is beneficial for both mental and physical health. The book highlights the routines of successful people like Caroline Burckle, Sherry Lansing, Julie Zhuo, and Stanley McChrystal. The authors suggest alternating exercises and planning your workouts around pre-existing routines. Gradually increasing activity levels and avoiding overexertion can lead to long-term success in staying active.

Exercise is often touted as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and for a good reason. The benefits of regular physical activity are numerous, ranging from improved cardiovascular health to better sleep patterns to increased energy levels. However, the authors of this book argue that exercise is essential not only for physical health but also for mental wellbeing.

To support their argument, the authors draw on examples of successful people like Caroline Burckle, American Olympic swimmer and bronze medalist, and Sherry Lansing, former president of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Both of these individuals prioritize exercise in their daily routines and have reported significant benefits in terms of feeling more alert, focused, and energized throughout the day.

The book also stresses the importance of variety in exercise routines. Alternating exercises from one day to the next can prevent injuries, keep workouts interesting, and prevent boredom. The authors highlight the workout routines of retired US Army General Stanley McChrystal and Sherry Lansing, both of whom alternate between running and weight training. According to McChrystal, alternating workouts has helped him avoid injury and notice significant improvements in his physical health.

The authors also emphasize the importance of gradual progression in exercise routines. Setting overly ambitious goals for oneself can be discouraging and lead to feelings of guilt or failure. Instead, starting small and gradually increasing the intensity of workouts over time can lead to long-term success in staying active.

Finally, the book stresses the importance of planning one’s workouts around pre-existing routines and commitments, as demonstrated by successful leaders like Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar & Company. By planning one’s exercise routines in advance and remaining flexible in adapting those plans to daily life’s demands, it becomes easier to stay committed to regular physical activity.

Overall, the takeaway from this book is clear: exercise is essential for both mental and physical health, and there are plenty of strategies for making it a regular part of one’s life. By prioritizing exercise, varying workout routines, gradually increasing activity levels, and planning workouts around daily routines, anyone can reap the benefits of regular physical activity.

Start Your Day with Meditation

Successful people swear by morning meditation as an effective way to confront concerns about the day ahead and focus their minds. It helps to set them up to respond calmly to unexpected events.

Meditation is not a fad. Over half of the interviewed successful people, including the CEO of Calm, Michael Acton Smith, and the founder of the London-based Wild Food Cafe, Aiste Gazdar, swear by it and practice it daily. Early morning meditation sessions help calm their minds and confront their concerns about the day ahead. This energy and focus set them on a calm and relaxed path for the rest of the day.

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios President, Ed Catmull, who meditates for around 30 to 60 minutes every day, hasn’t missed a single session for years. He believes that meditation sets him up to respond calmly to unexpected events and focuses his mind on slowing down.

Similarly, novelist and teacher Ruth Ozeki, a Zen Buddhist priest, always starts her day with meditation. Whether she has a hectic teaching day or a more relaxed writing day ahead of her, she meditates before doing anything else.

If you’re new to the practice of meditation, start by being mindful of your surroundings and being in the moment. Find mundane moments like making yourself coffee or tea, and once you’re fully focused on the task at hand, you’re already meditating. Start your day with this practice and see the benefits for yourself.

Prioritizing Yourself for a Productive Morning

Start your day with me-time to boost productivity and wellbeing. Take inspiration from successful individuals who prioritize their personal interests, hobbies, or passions before diving into work. This creates a peaceful state of mind for the rest of the day and helps you tackle the day’s challenges more efficiently. Take some time to do things that fulfill you, whether it’s jotting down your dreams, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee. Melody McCloskey, CEO of StyleSeat, spends the first hour of her day catching up on personal tasks. Elle Luna records her dreams using a dictaphone to trigger her creative inspiration, while Yuko Shimizu enjoys a brief reading session on a slow train. Slow mornings set the tone for a calm and productive day ahead.

Disconnect for a Better Morning

Learn how successful people disconnect from technology, reflect on their day, and establish routines for better sleep to ensure a productive and refreshed morning.

Have you ever felt groggy in the morning, even after getting seven or eight hours of sleep? According to successful entrepreneurs and authors, how well we prepare ourselves the night before can significantly affect our morning routine. The key to setting ourselves up for a productive and refreshed morning is disconnecting from technology early. Best-selling author and entrepreneur Nir Eyal installed a special router that automatically cuts off his connection to the internet at 10 pm. Public speaker Jenny Blake doesn’t check her inbox after 5 pm, and author and podcast host David Kadavy turns off the screens in his home at 10 pm and sleeps with blue-blocker goggles. Emails, social media, and late-night TV can all prevent us from winding down in the evenings, leading to a poor night’s sleep.

Besides disconnecting from technology early, reflecting on the course of your day can help you unwind and clear your mind. Jenny Blake thinks back on the highlights and low points of her day and focuses on the things she can be proud of or grateful for. Math teacher and author José Luis Vilson enjoys a soothing cup of chamomile tea before bed to help him unwind. Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill health-food company, lays out his clothes the night before. Small details like these can make all the difference when preparing for a productive and refreshed morning.

In conclusion, successful people know that a good morning routine doesn’t start in the morning. Disconnecting from technology, reflecting on your day, and establishing routines for better sleep are all essential ingredients for a better morning routine. So next time, try disconnecting from your phone, reflecting on the day, or laying out your clothes to ensure you’re ready to conquer the world the next day.

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