I've been on a productivity kick, and it's not going very well. I'm an avid reader, and I'm forever reading about the best productivity tricks, how to be organized and why waking up early is the key to success. I set my two alarms and still hit snooze. The result? I feel guilty the entire day and feel rushed to complete everything that I need to.
I’m a huge fan of Damon Zahariades and have read his books Fast Focus and To-Do List Formula. Also, I love reading his blog every chance that I get. What I enjoy about Damon's writing is his conversational style. His books are engaging, and it's like sitting down with a close friend to hear his advice. Real friends give it to us straight and know where we might get hung up in life. Damon not only educates us in an amusing and engaging manner, but jumps in to catch us when we fall to get us on track with ingenious tips and advice.
Damon’s latest book Morning Makeover is one of those books that you may consume in one reading. His writing flows from chapter to chapter, and every page will speak to you and perhaps even convince you to change your morning routine even though it may be a little painful at first. One of my key motivations for getting up earlier is to exercise and meditate. I find the day gets away from me if I don’t jump on this first thing. Damon is quick to point out that "getting up early is 90% attitude and 10% showing up". You are in control, and any changes start with you.
Damon shares his personal experiences and challenges which remind us that we are human and hate change. He offers ten reasons that a morning routine impacts your life but warns us not to go nuts and make too many changes at once. A few of these include giving your day structure, having more energy, and just feeling better throughout the day. Exactly what I need.
You need a “why” to start a new routine. Damon spends valuable time explaining how intentions can be powerful because they entice you to act with purpose. Intentions push us and “exhilarate” us to take action. Moreover, it is your intentions that are a platform from which you will begin to build a new morning routine. I suggest listing 3 of your key intentions to give you some guidance on where to start and to justify to your "why."
Morning Makeover is divided into four parts, and each one builds upon the others. Damon eases us into accepting change and building ourselves up for morning success. Like a friend, he also spells out the challenges and roadblocks that we will probably face. Ready to start making your routine?
Part I is the basis for success throughout your day. Sleep. Research has been coming out daily about how critical sleep is and how our bodies and minds shut down without sound sleep. Damon shares some quick and dirty sleep information and tips to have a restful sleep. If you aren’t rested, you won’t easily pop up and your morning routine is out the window. You will be back to ground zero. Rising early will enable you to be more creative, have increased productivity, and you will be less likely to procrastinate.
Part II shares a ten step plan to create your personal morning routine. No one can do this for you, and you need some skin in the game. These actions complement your intentions; the one’s you set above, which in turn form your morning routine. Some of these include identifying your "why," determine how much time you need each morning to get ready, and choosing activities that will maximize your energy throughout the day.
Part III is where Damon motivates to keep going when we are ready to throw our hands up. Damon reminds us that there will be challenges and shares some common issues we all face when trying something new. Like a good friend, he gently reminds us that we all fall and need to start again.
Part IV is very fascinating. Damon shares the routines of ten very successful people. They aren't all that different than you or I, however; they have an intention and stay within a routine every day. We learn the habits of Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Howard Schultz, and Cheryl Bachelder to name a few. Some of the frequent early morning acts that they share include exercise, meditation or deep breathing, reading, playing with pets, journaling, and music. I bet most of these sound familiar to you. It's all a matter of what habits align with your intentions and carrying them out to fruition.
If you feel unorganized, restless, and tend to procrastinate, perhaps now is the time to pick up Morning Makeover and discover your intentions so that you can start a new morning routine. It will give you a daily personal purpose, and you will be amazed at how much better you feel, you will be more connected to your work throughout the day, and it may be the change that you have been searching for to become better connected to your life. This book won't disappoint.