I remember one Saturday morning, scrolling mindlessly through instagram, passing all these different posts and pages about millionaires and how to be successful in your ventures, whilst also spilling a pretty generous amount of bullshit. I stopped and read one of these posts and surprisingly, it made a great deal of sense.
It was something similar to the effect of what all successful CEO’s had in common? They listed off big names like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs. Those kinds of people. The really, REALLY rich people. But still, they obviously found success somewhere. Somewhere along the line, they encountered something that helped to set them apart from everyone else.
So, what was that something?
This post, on a bullshit instagram page, seemed to capture the gist of the idea. All of these guys had routines. Whether it was a morning routine or an evening routine, or something they did when they were at work, there was a routine in place. A guideline that they followed on a strict, day to day basis and never strayed from.
I found this rather interesting. I had a routine to, wake up, make coffee, ride my bike, shower, go to school. As far as I was concerned, that was my successful morning routine. I had a routine and so did Steve Jobs, even before he started Apple. So, what’s the difference here?
What’s the key difference?
It took a bit of retrospect but here’s what I think. My routine was consistent sure, I biked every day, I had coffee every day and I woke up every morning (obviously) but what was my routine doing for me? Other than demonstrating commitment and determination in biking, this routine is almost the same as everyone else’s morning routine. Most people don’t bike fifty kilometers before they go to their morning class, but all things aside, everyone’s morning routine follows a similar pattern. They wake up, there’s stimulant to kick start their day, coffee, tea, breakfast…whatever floats their boat. Then they’ll put themselves together, get ready for the day and out the door they go, off into the big, wide world.
When I first thought of these successful routines that these CEO’s had, where they so different than to what I was doing?
They have millions, billions of dollars and I’m sitting here at an iPad writing this with a negative balance in my checking account.
What I realized was that my morning routine wasn’t fulfilling my potential and enforcing freedom upon myself. My current routine was average and nearly identical to everyone else.
My current routine was average.
A morning routine should help enforce consistency and when it comes to keeping something going, consistency is key. It’s easy to fall off and forget why you started a routine in the first place.
Your own routine should provide you with the freedom and balance in your life to enhance aspects of your life, allowing you to be more mindful of what’s important.
Steve Jobs probably woke up in the morning, had a cup of coffee and didn’t waste time on social media or browsing his email or checking his notifications. A) that kind of technology wasn’t around. B) would surfing social media, checking email or wasting time help him create Apple? No.
Focus on a routine.
A routine, whether it be in the morning or the night or middle of the day should enhance what you’re doing and what you want to do. You should be able to exploit your routine to focus and concentrate on what you’re creating. I then went back to my morning routine and began to reevaluate what my priorities where. My routine now informs what I want to do. Once I wake up, I have almost two full hours of uninterrupted, distraction free work time without being barraged by text messages, emails or notifications. This focused time ultimately helps inform the other aspects of my life to. If I need to, I can work on school work if I’ve fallen behind, touch up final notes for a presentation, finish up those sketches for a studio presentation.
Then from there, once I’ve done a decent time of meaningful work, I can go about getting my day started, having a shower, making coffee, getting dressed and getting a head start on the day. Just like that, it’s done.
Consistency is key.
And if you keep that up, continuously focus on your routine, ensuring that it informs the productive aspects of your life, the consistency will follow naturally. You’ll wake up, excited to get things done. You’ll be able to go too bed, craving when the morning comes because you know that that time is yours to be productive and focused. It’s your own time and it’s special.
It gives you the space to grow your passion, cultivate your ideas and elevate your capabilities. And this is all possible thanks to this wonderfully simple, yet incredibly powerful thing we call a routine.