The Unexpected Magic of a Morning Routine

February 19, 2015 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

I have a big thing about “time.”

Some people spend time to buy money. They’re the dealers of the world–always in search for “the deal.” They search the Internet endlessly for the best price, use coupons, shop on Black Fridays, drive miles to Outlet malls to get deals, and return items after it has gone on sale to get a lower price. All this takes time—a lot of it.

Others spend money to buy time. They know what they want and where it is sold. They buy it and go home. I’m one of those. Don’t get me wrong. On big items (cars and houses) I know the right deal, and will only spend time to save a lot.

During the Christmas season, when my son was in HS and we went shopping to buy a gift for his mom, we called our ventures a “MOAM”—Men on a Mission. If it took more than two hours to buy 4 or 5 gifts, we considered it a failure. We knew what we wanted, the stores that carried it, and boom, we made our purchases. Time was what counted. Not price (unless the price was ridiculous).

Time is the only thing in life that we will run out of. Almost everything else is somewhat replaceable. And the older I get the more mortality becomes a looming reality. I’m gonna die. It’s for sure.

I want to take full advantage of my time while I can, while I’m healthy, while I still have it. Travel, service, fun, excitement, helping people, enjoying beauty, relishing replenishing friendships and being an irreplaceable father and husband. That’s where I want to spend my time. And I’ll spend money to get that time. What else is money for?

Your Important Things

What about you? Do you spend a lot of time saving money or do you spend a bit more money to buy time? The focus for today is about TIME—money is a side issue.

We all need time to do the important things in our lives. What are your important things? If you don’t know, maybe these 3 things will help you: (1) take time to simply “ponder,” (2) then reflect on your inner core—your values, things that you must do because you love doing them, actions and behaviors you find most fulfilling, then (3) experiment with these activities and behaviors and evaluate how important they really are in your life.

In doing so, You WILL uncover your “essentials:” Those things you must do in order to maintain your needed sense of authenticity. Now you just need time to do them… uncluttered refreshing time!

Redeeming Time

Where can you find time? After all, we live such busy, busy lives. As I said in my last post, one of the things you can do is create time by deferring decisions. “Don’t decide now what you can put off until later.” The objective is to keep a clear and uncluttered mind each day for as long as possible, until that inevitable tough decision or act of creativity requires your attention RIGHT NOW.

At that point, if you have successfully deferred all non-essential decisions, you find yourself with a huge store of inner energy to deal with the important decisions of the day.

And here’s another idea for you to consider…

Have a Morning Routine

I am currently experimenting with an entirely new methodology of “deferring decisions.” For the last three months I have maintained the following Morning Routine 5-7 days per week. The only changes occur on days when I must leave the house very early in the morning. And even then I still do 80% of my routine.

So here it is for your evaluation. Try it on. Make personal adjustments. And then watch the magical impact on your day and life!

  1. Today Begins Last Night.
    1. Every Sunday evening, I make a projected weekly to-do list. I know it may change daily, but at least my basic week is planned out—INCLUDING TIME FOR MY PASSIONS AND THINGS I ENOY.
    2. Prepare the night before: all my clothes are selected and laid out (even if I have no appointments); if I have meetings, then briefcase or backpack is packed the night before and placed right next to the stairway; breakfast utensils are out (frying pan for eggs and a cup for coffee–including a travel cup if needed). I even have my vitamins already out and ready. NO THINKING INVOLVED AND NO STRESS.
  1. Every morning is practically scripted. I do almost EXACTLY the same thing each morning, in the same order and for the same amount of time:

Immediately upon awakening I begin with Meditation. Since this is new for me I use an app on my iPhone called Headspace. As a beginner I have found this app extremely helpful. It is a guided process, by an engaging chap named Andy who unobtrusively walks me through a twenty-minute meditation process.

I must say that Meditation has perhaps become the most essential aspect of my morning routine. I complete it feeling both calm and energized with a pure focus on my next step.

Spiritual reading. I read one short chapter of the Tao de Ching, a short reading from the Celtic Book of Daily Prayers, and complete it with a bit of translating Hebrew and Greek Scriptures (about a sentence each). This takes perhaps 5-10 minutes at most.

My next step is to contemplate the meditation and readings and use them as grist for my morning prayers. This is another short 5-minute process.

Finally I write all my thoughts quite briefly in a daily journal on my iPad. The total time (depending on my schedule) is about 30-45 minutes. This may (or may not) seem like a lot of time, since I’m trying to save time. But this is time devoted especially for me, and my mental and spiritual health. No decisions. No rushing. Just storing up energy and a huge “readiness” for the day to come.

After spending time on this kind of morning routine, I am ready to create (writing, developing strategies, coaching, etc) and to make necessary decisions when I am full of energy and insight. The most important benefit is all the creative energy I have not wasted by stressing over morning stuff. NOTE: As a habit I usually get up at 6:30-8:00 with minimum of 8 hours sleep.

An exciting extra has been all the energy I still have between 1 and 3 PM when I am normally spent and in need of a nap.

The Morning Routine is Magic. Try it and let us know about your experience.

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