The way you start your day defines what happens to your life. Every day you wake up is an opportunity. The better prepared you are, the better the opportunity.
Here are a few things you can do to take advantage of the greatest opportunity in the world, your life.
1. Wake up on time.
Everyone's schedule is a little bit different. Some people work graveyard shifts, other people are medical professionals or police officers and require unusual schedules. Regardless of whatever time you wake up the important thing to understand is when. You should wake up two hours before you have to go or be anywhere.
For example, if you have a 9:30 a.m. appointment and it's going to take you 15 minutes to drive there you need to wake up at 7:00 a.m. to be properly prepared as a minimum, leaving 15 additional minutes for being early to the appointment. People often overestimate travel time. If you build just an extra 15 minutes beyond what you would usually schedule between each appointment that you have, you will see a dramatic change.
2. Create a routine.
Every morning I wake up and do the exact same things in the same exact order. I've simplified my wardrobe so that virtually everything matches the other items. Like I always say in my 10 Commandments of Selling: #7. Thou shalt ruthlessly eliminate distractions. Eliminate anything that's getting in the way of you making good decisions. One way to do this quickly is with your clothes. Having them prepared a head of time so that the next day when you wake up all you have to do is put them on, instead of trying to look for something that may or may not be clean or ironed. I also make sure to have a glass of orange juice every morning that's one of my little rituals that gives me a little extra boost and makes me realize that when I hit that glass of orange juice everything is on time and on schedule.
I'm a big believer in lists and writing down specific plans. If you will write out what you need to do each day the day before you will find yourself in a get it done mode. The first thing on your list should be the thing you dread doing most. Once that's out of the way the day will get progressively easier and easier. Often times we save the worst for last and our whole day is spent dreading that task.
If you have any habits of your own that make your day awesome, feel free to send me a tweet @nateholzapfel.