If your mornings begin with the thought "I don't want to get up,” then I’ve got a perfect recipe for you to get rid of this feeling and finally start to love your mornings.
You may have noticed that how your morning is affects how your entire day goes.
There are two things that have the greatest effect on your mornings: first, what you do before bed, and second, what you do right after hearing the alarm.
“Your future depends on what you do today.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Here’s the recipe for a perfect end to your day and preparation for the next day:
- 60 minutes before bed, put your phone on airplane mode.
- Avoid TV, monitors, and other screens for 60 minutes before bed.
- Stop thinking about work—one of the best ways to do this is to spend quality time with your loved ones.
- Reflect on your day—notice what worked and what didn’t.
- Write down your thoughts, insights, and worries in a physical journal. (Remember, no screens before bed.)
- Ask yourself questions to find the answers to the next day.
- Before you close your eyes, tell yourself: “I will wake up at ____ and will get ____ hours of sleep. This is plenty of sleep and exactly what I need to feel great and perform at peak level tomorrow.”
Let’s face it—we programmers spend an enormous amount of time in front of monitors.
The blue light that's emitted from screens delays the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increases alertness, and resets the body's internal clock—all making it harder to fall asleep.
A lack of 7+ quality hours of sleep will lower your ability to learn the next day. Learning is crucial for programmers because we are required to learn new things almost on a daily basis.
The time before bed is best for reflecting on what's happened during the day. By putting your thoughts on paper, you are detaching yourself from them, which will prevent the thoughts from churning in your head when you go to bed.
Writing down ideas will also ensure that you won’t lose them. I reread all my writings at the end of the week or month, and often I’ll run across an interesting idea and wonder why I haven’t tried to implement it yet.
“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious”
― Thomas Edison
There is something within you that can work even when you sleep, relax, or take a shower. It is your subconscious mind.
Use your subconscious mind to find the answers to your most important questions. Each night, you have this opportunity.
Take time to write down questions just before going to bed. Again, you can use your journal for this. Questions must be as specific as possible and related to a single thing that you want your subconscious to work on. This is important because it directly affects the quality of the answers that you will get the next day.
Once I asked my subconscious to recall the password for an account that I rarely used. I had tried some passwords that I thought would work but without any luck. I was on a trip and didn’t have any of the tools that I usually use to recover my passwords. So I gave my subconscious the task to recall that password. The first thing the next morning, I took a moment to think about the forgotten password, and boom! I immediately knew the answer, and the password worked.
"Your eyes can only see and your ears can only hear what your brain is looking for."
– Dan Sullivan
Here is the recipe for the perfect beginning to each morning:
- Avoid checking your phone. You put it on airplane mode yesterday, right?
- Avoid social media and news. They put you in reactive mode.
- Write down the ideas that your subconscious mind developed during sleep.
- Speak out loud or write down the affirmation of what life you want or what person you want to become. Do it in the present tense, as if it had already happened.
- Visualize in detail what you do and feel in your ideal life.
- Read or listen to a great book.
Don’t snooze your alarm. This habit will make the above points impossible to do. You will lose time, you will feel guilty, and will put yourself in procrastination mode.
Instead, get straight out of bed, go to the kitchen, and drink a big glass of water. You will change your environment and give your body what it needs the most—a lot of water.
“How you do anything is how you do everything”
– Multiple successful people
Morning is a precious time because it’s the most creative time. Write down your thoughts and ideas.
If you love to meditate or pray, then combine these activities with writing down your thoughts. Another option is to just sit and enjoy the silence for 5-10 minutes, waiting for ideas to come.
After you are done putting your output onto paper, speak out loud or write down your ultimate desire. It can be a goal, outcome, aim, or affirmation describing the life you want.
Do it in the present tense like it already happened. Then visualize what you will do and feel when your desire comes true. This will deeply anchor in your subconscious what you truly want.
It’s rare to find things on social media and in the news that are inspiring, uplifting, useful for your mind, and that help you crush your day. So the best thing is to avoid these completely.
Also, taking a cold shower is an amazing way to put you in an “unstoppable” mode. I am far from considering myself a superhero or a person who enjoys the cold. I am always asking myself “Ready?” before turning the cold water faucet, and the answer is always “No!” But right after I spend 15-30 seconds in the freezing cold, I feel the heat of the body and the fact that nothing can stop me.
While you commute to work, listen to or read a good book that helps you level up. If you are a remote worker, then you’ve already saved your commute time and can invest in valuable information by consuming books often.
“A well spent day brings happy sleep.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
I began to love mornings because it is the most creative time for me. The time when I am charged and full of enthusiasm. Everyone can achieve that by following the process.
Before bed, summarize and wrap up your day:
- Reflect on what worked well and what didn’t.
- Put your thoughts and problems on paper.
Then prepare your springboard for the next day:
- Avoid screens before bed.
- Detach from your work.
- Put your phone in airplane mode.
- Ask questions to your subconscious mind.
- Make an affirmation that you will wake up tomorrow with plenty of energy.
Finally, start your day right first thing in morning:
- Don’t snooze the alarm and start the day with procrastination—get out of bed right away.
- Avoid checking your phone, social media, and news that put you in reactive mode—you want to be proactive.
- Write down answers and ideas from your subconscious mind—you are the most creative in the morning.
- Write down desirable outcomes and visualize in detail how they’ll happen, acting as if they already happened.
- Read or listen to a great book.
Then repeat this process! A great morning leads to a great day, a great day leads to good sleep, and this becomes a springboard to jumpstart the next day.
I’ve created a productivity framework for eliminating unproductive activities, reducing decision fatigue, and planning weeks for effortless execution.