Ernest Hemingway was productive. He work up at dawn each morning and began writing straight away. He described his daily routine by, “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
Along with Hemingway’s famous routine, there are many other legends that adhere to a set time to do their work. When you have a specific time set aside every single day to do work, you are more productive. There are many other prolific writers, artists and scientists who do this – a good book that expounds on this is: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.
He shares the daily routines of the most successful artists that have ever lived. So what is the main takeaway from his book?
It’s doing the most important thing first each day.
Do This And Change Your Life
Popular belief dictates that the most creative people are filled with spontaneity that results from their sporadic work schedules that have no form of consistency. Now this may be true for a small minority – but the most inventive creators in life are those who work on their craft at the same time day in and day out. They fully understand the power of consistency.
Consistency is the secret ingredient of successful individuals; those who remain consistent for long periods of time do not need to use their will-power anymore because by being consistent, that action has become a habit.
The First Step
The first step is asking yourself, what is the activity that I can do every morning that will jump-start me into success? Once you have found that, the next time is figuring out the time and place to do it. Both of the variables here are subjective, but many people at the top recognize that their most productive time to be in the mornings. Mornings are the quintessential time to do your most productive activity for that day.
There are hardly any distractions in the morning and your mind is clear. It’s a time where creativity seeps through our minds, and if we are smart, we will put it to good use.
As soon as you wake up, get to work. That work could be almost anything, such as working on your business, writing your book, marketing your product – just make sure it is productive and important (often what we want to do the least is actually the thing we need to do the most).
The preceding paradox is nevertheless true, which is why we must do what is hard to start off our day. This will set a precedent for ourselves and be a precursor on how the rest of the day will play out.
Don’t Waste Your Best Hours
Instead of waking up and aimlessly browsing the internet and social media, or even worse, watching TV – do something that will benefit you. A few years ago, the first thing I would do when I woke up was surf social media – a terrible waste of time.
Now, the first thing I do when I wake up is start my morning routine. I do the same exact routine each morning so that my body becomes robotic towards its tasks. I leave very little up to chance by having a daily checklist that I make sure I complete before starting any work. Since implementing my morning routine, my mind and body have become more powerful than I thought I possible.
My most important objective is written out the night before so I do not waste time with coming up with tasks in the present. This ensures I will get the RIGHT thing done and not just what is presently on my mind that morning.
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock
It just so happens that social media is apart of my businesses, which is why, in my case, I would go on it in the morning – but productively and without extraneous scrolling through the newsfeed. Habits are made by will power, and will power is temporary, while habits, once built, last forever. I know this from trial and error – to achieve anything in life, you must be consistent. You must do it every single day whether you feel like it or not.
Your Productive Action Plan
The night before you go to bed, plan out at least three things you will get done tomorrow and then focus on the most important one as soon as you wake up. This will ensure that you will have a productive day because you are getting the most important thing done first without distractions.
A lot of people may be wondering, what is something so important that I should be doing first thing in the morning? If you have nothing important to do, READ. But instead of reading any old book, read one that will change your mindset for the better. Somedays I will read a book in the morning – one that motivates me to be a better person.
After I finish reading for about an hour, I will have an abundance of energy to tackle my day and the insurmountable attitude to destroy problems as they arise. This is the power of immersing yourself with powerful information and not crap like many people do on a daily basis.
Whether you know it or not, your mind is programmed by what you feed it and too many of us neglect giving our mind the proper nutrients that is craves. The first hour starts the course of your day. If you start with something unproductive then that is most likely how your day will go.
“Your daily routine is a profoundly accurate testament of your future; be productive and be consistent.” – Nicholas Xifaras
That is why it is so important to understand that you cause your destiny. Outside events do not dictate who you will become. Change your life by changing your first hour of the day. Great lives where made by conscious thought, not by happenstance.
Not A Morning Person?
Throughout the book, he writes about the lives of many prolific writers, artists and scientists and each has their ‘best time to work’. “Do the most important thing first” can also be translated as “do the most important thing at a set time everyday”.
Some of the most successful people are night owls. They cherish the quiet hours of the night and feel more creative and ingenious in their work. And there is nothing wrong with this. It’s just important that you know how you work and who you are as a person.
A simple rule to follow is: if you do your most creative work at night, work at night. If it’s in the morning , work in the morning. We are all given gifts when we are born and tendencies that, if followed, will produce better work than if we were to follow the conventional rules of society.
Nevertheless, whatever time you choose, just know that the beginning stages will be tough. Your will-power will be tested and will only give so much. You must be prepared to battle it out with your emotions until you are situated in a habit that is as strong as steel, and then it will become easy.