23 Research-Backed Habits to Supercharge Your Morning Routine and Achieve More Focus, Clarity, and Productivity

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to supercharge your morning routine to achieve more motivation, focus, energy, and productivity.

In fact:

Most of the habits I’m about to share with you are backed by a mountain of research and all of them have been successfully used and endorsed by thousands of top-performers in every industry.

Whether you’re looking to increase your income, optimize your health, or simply have more time for the things that matter most to you…

… These 23 habits will give you the energy, focus, and clarity you need to achieve your goals.

To be clear:

Unlike some of the more dogmatic morning routine guides floating around the Internet, I am not suggesting that you need to incorporate all of these habits into your morning.

In fact, I’m hoping you won’t…

My goal with this guide is not to tell you how to spend your mornings.

But to equip you with the knowledge and research you need to supercharge your morning routine for you.

Whether you implement one new habit or all 23 I know you’ll find something to improve your performance so you can get more out of your mornings and your life.

Let’s get to it!

Part I: Supercharge Your Body

supercharge your morning routine

To achieve your big goals and dreams, you’ll need energy… Lots and lots of energy. Here are a few of the fastest and most effective ways to get it:

1. Take Your Coffee Like a Neuroscientist

Newsflash! Early morning is actually the worst time to consume caffeine.

When you first wake up, your body is filled to the brim with the stress hormone ‘cortisol’.

And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Cortisol helps aid in wakefulness and gives you the kick in the bum you need to successfully escape the gravitational pull of your warm fuzzy bed sheets.

But when you add a habitual cup (or five) of your favorite single origin beverage to the mix… you’re setting yourself up for some serious trouble.

Consuming coffee first thing in the morning can inhibit your body’s natural cortisol production, making it difficult for you to wake up naturally.

And, according to dietician Anar Allidina, “The combination of caffeine and high cortisol could make you feel more tired later on, when both the caffeine and the cortisol wear off.”

So what is a coffee addicted high-performer to do?


Push your first cup of Joe back a few hours.

By consuming your coffee between 10 AM and 12 PM you work with your body’s natural biochemistry instead of against it, allowing you to enjoy all of the benefits of your favorite beverage without the dreaded crash.

For bonus points, take the advice of cognitive neuroscientist Chris Chatham and:

  • Consume coffee in small frequent amounts to (20-200 mg/hour)
  • Consume your coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil, eggs, or MCT oil to slow the metabolization of caffeine.
  • Drink a cup of grapefruit juice to prolong the effects of caffeine
  • Take 50-100 mg of L-theanine to kill the jitters
  • Take regular caffeine breaks (or switch to decaf) to prevent building a tolerance and losing the positive benefits associated with caffeine consumption.

2. Remember: The Snooze Button is Bubonic  


You probably know that you “shouldn’t” hit the snooze button.

Just like you shouldn’t eat sugar, or scroll through Instagram at night, or check your email in the morning (more on that later).

You’ve probably heard Bedros’s quote:

But what you might not have heard is that going back to sleep after your alarm rings, even for 5-10 minutes, will actually cause you to feel less rested than you did when you first awoke.

According to experts at Sleep Clinic Services, when you hit snooze you confuse your body and signal your brain to release hormones for another deep sleep cycle.

This causes something known as “Sleep inertia.”

Instead of waking up at the end of a deep sleep cycle, you are waking up right at the beginning of it…

… Causing you to feel more groggy and less rested than you would have by simply waking up on time!

Those “five more minutes” you’re trying to steal from the morning?

They’re actively making it harder for you to wake up and causing you to start your day in a state of mental and physical confusion.

It’s like taking a tab of melatonin and then drinking a double espresso right before bed.

In other words… It just won’t work.

If you struggle waking up in the morning, try setting your alarm in another room or using a light lamp to aid in your body’s natural production of early morning cortisol.

But whatever you do, do not hit the snooze button.

It all but guarantees a terrible morning and an even worse day.

3. Tap Into Your Inner Hippy and Get Grounded

Grounding or ‘earthing’ as it’s commonly called, is simply the practice of standing barefoot in the dirt or grass.

And I know this tip might sound a little out there (I was certainly skeptical when I first heard about it)…

…But bear with me for a minute.

Because there’s a fair amount of research to back this up.

It’s well know that the earth produces a natural magnetic fields and abundance of electrons.

Field and electrons to which most humans–with their rubber soled shoes and lavish hardwood floors–are disconnected.

And earthing gives you a chance to reconnect with those forces.

Not only has the practice of earthing been encouraged by high-performance experts like Ben Greenfield, Aubrey Marcus, and Tim Ferriss, but there is a growing body of research corroborating its benefits.

In fact, according to this study earthing carries a plethora of benefits from decreased anxiety and pain to circadian rhythm regulation, improved sleep, heightened energy levels, and improved athletic recovery.


While you could fork out a few hundred dollars to buy an expensive (and as-of-yet un-researched) earthing mat, I encourage you to keep things simple.

Stand outside barefoot for 15-20 minutes and stack this habit with tips #5 and #6 to enjoy a supercharged morning filled with energy, electrons, and an overwhelming desire to hug a tree.

4. Drink this “Super Water” Morning Cocktail

Everyone knows that it’s important to drink water first thing in the morning.

I mean, after 7-9 hours without food or water, your body is–to use the scientific nomenclature–“really freaking dehydrated.”

But more importantly…

It’s deprived of the minerals and electrolytes that are essential for cognition, performance, and mental focus.

And, if you’re following tip #7, you probably won’t be getting any of those from your diet until your day is already well under way.

Luckily, there’s a simple solution.

Supercharge your water (and your morning) by adding half a lemon and about 1/4 TBSP of Celtic Salt to 12 oz. of water.

Studies have shown that lemon juice can aid in gastrointestinal and immune function, reduce inflammation, and aid in the detoxification of your body.

The sodium from the Celtic Salt, on the other hand, will improve muscle function, strengthen your adrenal system, and provide your body with those much needed minerals and electrolytes mentioned above.

This might not be the tastiest morning cocktail you’ve ever imbibed, but I promise it will leave you feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle your important tasks.

5. Get Outside for Some Photosynthetic Epicness

Sunlight has gotten a bad rap in recent years.

And yes, chronic sun exposure (particularly exposure that leads to burning) has been definitively linked to a host of nasty diseases and health problems.

However, in the right doses, sun exposure is not only acceptable, but necessary.

Especially early morning sunlight.

Specifically, early morning sun exposure has been shown to:

  • Improve sleep quality
  • Stave off depression and boost your mood
  • Improve bone health
  • Improve eye health (this is especially important for us laptop warriors)
  • Boost cognition

And a whole lot of things that will help you conquer your mornings and supercharge your day.

Like earthing, morning sun exposure is one of nature’s most potent performance enhancers and sleep aids…

And it’s completely free.

6. Follow this Perfect Morning Exercise Routine

Since you’re an Early to Rise reader, I doubt I need to convince you of the importance of exercise to supercharge your morning routine.

We all know that a consistent training routine can boost your immunity, increase longevity, improve your mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and make you a more confident (and attractive) Operator.

However, what you might not know is how beneficial early morning exercise is for your health and performance.

Sure, finishing your workout first thing in the morning will give you an early win, lower your anxiety, boost your mood, and release a healthy dose of BDNF (brain-derived nootropic factor)–an essential neurotrophin that increases memory, cognition, mood, and other key factors correlated to high performance.

And a morning exercise routine will help you consume fewer calories, burn more fat, and build more muscle.

But more importantly (for our purposes at least) it’s also one of the most important habits you can adopt to improve the quality of your sleep and ensure high energy and performance levels all day long.

In a recent study conducted by at Appalachian State University, researchers found that individuals who exercised at 7 a.m. experienced faster, deeper, and longer sleep compared to individuals who exercised later in the day.

And the best part?

You only need to exercise for a few minutes to reap the benefits.

In fact, Craig’s friend and client Shawn Stevenson, host of The Model Health Show, and author of Sleep Smarter claims that you can reap all of the aforementioned benefits…

… With only 7-minutes of exercise.

One of personal favorite morning routines is to go through the following exercises for 30-seconds each with a 10-second rest in between.

Courtesy of The New York Times

It’ll hurt like the Dickens and be your least favorite 7-minutes of the entire day.


You’ll enjoy deeper sleep, heightened mental and physical performance, and an overall higher quality of life.

I’d say that’s a fair trade.

7. Forget the “Most Important Meal” of the Day

You’ve been lied to.

Breakfast is verifiably not the most important meal of the day.

In fact intermittent fasting (a.k.a skipping breakfast) is one of the best habits you can adopt to improve your overall health and daily performance.

For our purposes, there is a growing body of evidence showing that Intermittent Fasting is incredibly powerful for increasing your mental performance.

In fact, some research shows that intermittent fasting can:

  • Improved mental clarity and cognition
  • Increase the growth of new nerve cells
  • Increase BDNF (which you just learned about)
  • Improve focus and concentration

And that’s not even counting the physical benefits (which are far too numerous for the purposes of this guide).

The bottom line is this…

Skipping breakfast will allow you to start your day with greater levels of mental energy, focus, and willpower.

You’ll be sharper, clearer, and more productive during your deep work sessions–something I’ll address at the end of this guide–and you’ll have the energy you need to go after your big goals.

So give it a shot and let me know how you feel!

8. Freeze Your Butt Off

There are dozens of peer reviewed studies showing the efficacy of cold therapy for generalized health and longevity.


  • Lowered systemic inflammation
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Pain reduction
  • Improved cell detoxification
  • The strengthening of your CNS (Central Nervous System)

There are a bunch of reasons to add cold therapy to your daily or weekly routine.

However, the most relevant, albeit anecdotal, benefit of cold exposure (for the purpose of this guide at least) is the way it increases your willpower.

Let’s just be blunt… Cold showers suck.

There’s nothing fun about waking up and then subjecting your groggy and bleary-eyed self to an icy blast of water.

Especially when the sweet embrace of a warm shower is only a quarter turn of your faucet away.

But when you force yourself to endure the cold and do something you do not want to do first thing in the morning, you train your brain to delay gratification and take action…

Whether you feel like it or not.

And this is a powerful way to begin your mornings.

In fact, this tactic is so powerful people have reported losing 30+ lbs, beating addictions, and even doubling their income as a direct result of committing to daily cold showers.

Simply put cold showers are one of the most “Operator” habits you can adopt.

If you can force yourself to endure the cold water for 5-10 minutes every morning, the rest of your day will be a breeze.

As miserable as it might be, you’ll step out of the cold feeling more motivated and energized than ever before.

I recommend you start small (60-seconds at the end of your normal showers) and work your way up until you can withstand a full 10-minutes in the cold.

I promise, once you see the benefits, you’ll never go back.

Part II: Supercharge Your Mind

With your body primed, it’s time to get your mindset right and prime your brain for the important tasks you must accomplish throughout the rest of your day. Here are some of the most effective ways to do that:

9. Reading: Embrace Your Inner Librarian

There are countless research-backed reasons to adopt a daily reading habit.

Not only will you gain new knowledge and inspiration that will help you become a better entrepreneur, spouse, parent, and human…

… But the simple act of planting yourself in a chair and reading a few pages each morning has been shown to:

  • Increase fluid intelligence
  • Boost brainpower
  • Reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve memory
  • Increase focus

And a whole lot more.

However, if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have the time or desire to sit down for an hour or more each morning to read.

You’ve got frogs to eat, deep work to complete, and goals to accomplish.

Don’t worry.

Most of the aforementioned studies have shown that you can glean all of the benefits of reading in as little as 10-15 minutes.

Want to know what to read? Check out the video below to learn find out what Craig read (or click here for his 2018 reading list)

And once you’ve finished reading, it’s time to move onto our next habit and start writing a few words of your own.

10. Journalling: Get Out of Your Head  

A daily writing habit has been shown to improve your ability to recall information, boost creativity, and (anecdotally) lead to improved problem-solving abilities and greater levels of self-awareness.

Luckily, you don’t need to spend an hour hunched over your journal to reap the many benefits of a daily writing practice.

I personally recommend that you keep your habit simple and easy to follow.

First, set a timer for 5-minutes and write down anything and everything that comes to your mind.

From tasks that need to be accomplished to people you need to contact to problems weighing on your mind… get it out of your head and onto paper.

Then, when the timer goes off, take a few more minutes to write down 10 new ideas–they can be about anything–and build your “Idea Muscle,” a habit I learned from James Altucher.

This simple practice will help clear your mind and allow you to start your day from a clearer and calmer state.

And speaking of state…

11. Use Music to Prime Your State

Although music is typically thought of as a guilty pleasure or pleasant pastime, it can actually serve as a potent performance enhancer.

Music, specifically music that you enjoy, releases dopamine into your brain and has been shown to:

  • Improve mood
  • Improve exercise performance
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improve memory

Plus a whole lot more.

And, like many of the other habits on this list, it’s incredibly easy to implement.

I recommend that you listen to one of your favorite songs while completing your 7-minute workout or catching some early morning sun.

Then, pick one song (I like Bach’s Cello Suite 1 in G Major) and listen to it on repeat while you do your deep work.

You’ll be amazed by how much this simple habit will increase your productivity.

12. Meditation: Get Your Monk On

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that meditation is one of the most important habits not only for high performance but overall well-being and mental health.

This can have a huge benefit to supercharge your morning routine.

In fact, after interviewing hundreds of the world’s most elite performers, best-selling author, podcaster, and multimillionaire angel investor Tim Ferriss claimed nearly 80% of the high-performers he interviewed practiced some form of daily meditation.

Heck, Arnold “The Governator” Schwarzenegger practiced Transcendental Meditation™ for only one year and claims he has reaped benefits from that practice decades after.

But, for those of you who still need a little bit more convincing, here are just a few of the many scientifically corroborated benefits of meditation…

  • Stress reduction
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Increased attention span
  • Increased empathy
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased pain and blood pressure
  • Improved focus regardless of distractions.

And a whole lot more…

You can check out the whole list of the 76 science-based reasons to meditate (along with their respective studies) here.

But in the meantime, download Calm or Headspace and give it a go for the next 30 days.

13. Get Grateful

Like meditation, gratitude is one of the most commonly cited habits of high-performers.

And (like every habit on this list), it’s completely free.

A regular gratitude practice, whether done in a journal or simply in your mind, has been shown to:

  • Increase overall physical health
  • Enhance empathy and reduce aggression
  • Improve romantic and platonic relationships
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Improve the quality of your sleep
  • Reduce depression
  • Increase overall life satisfaction and happiness

And a whole lot more.

There’s no need to spend 20 minutes writing down everything for which you’re grateful in painstaking detail.

Most studies have shown that even a few minutes of consciously cultivating and expressing gratitude will give you all of the previously mentioned benefits.

If you really want to take this practice to the next level, combine it with habit #18 and directly express gratitude to someone in your life!

I promise you’ll make their day and put yourself in a powerful state for the rest of the day.

14. Visualize Your Day  

Once written off as a “woo woo” practice for hippies and aspiring , there is now evidence to suggest that a regular visualization practice has tangible benefits for performance and productivity.

Specifically, visualizing different activities and scenarios has been shown to:

  • Reduce fear and anxiety around specific events (e.g. an important meeting or sales call)
  • Increased confidence
  • More frequent and longer-lasting flow states
  • Enhanced motivation
  • Improved motor control

And a whole lot more.

So it’s pretty clear that there is more to visualization than meets the (third?) eye.

Whether you incorporate a visualization practice as a part of your daily routine or use it prescriptively–for example, preparing for the launch of a new product or big career transition–it’s a powerful tactic that can give you the slight edge you need to succeed in business and life.

15. Practice Positivity to Increase Your Success

Ever since the publication of The Power of Positive Thinking, positive thinking has been touted as the solution to all of life’s problems…

… And lambasted as an overrated and unrealistic worldview.

So which is it?

Although it might not be the panacea many gurus purport it to be, recent studies have shown that positive thinking and self talk can lead to numerous physical and psychological benefits.

According to Mayo Clinic, positivity can lead to:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

And more.

But how do you actually practice positivity in a non-esoteric sense?

It’s actually pretty simple.

Start by picking a simple daily mantra.

For example.

  • Action beats anxiety. I’m going to dominate my day!
  • I’ve got this!
  • Feeling good, looking good, oughta be in Hollywood (Ex-Navy SEAL Mark Divine’s personal favorite)
  • Or Chris Winfield’s 9 life-changing words “Today will be the best day ever!”

Anything that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling and little jolt of meditation.

Then simply repeat your mantra 3-5 times immediately upon waking up (you can do this while earthing, exercising, or preparing your coffee to save time) and…

That’s it.

No really. That’s all you need to do.

16. Check Your Bank Balance and Hop on a Scale

Peter F. Drucker, the famous business and management guru said that,

“What gets measured gets managed.”

And unfortunately, most people overlook the power of measuring important factors in their life.

Especially their finances and fitness.

Luckily, by hopping on the scale and logging into your bank account each morning, you can better measure, and thus improve, both of these areas…

… In under 30-seconds.

Studies have actually shown that individuals who weigh themselves every day are less prone to obesity and more likely to lose weight over a 24 month period.

And the same applies to your bank balance.

By keeping an eye on the amount of money coming in and going out of your bank account you’ll be less prone to overspending and have higher adherence to your budget.

Simple. Fast. Effective.

17. Phone a Friend

One of the most underrated and least talked about “life hacks” for high performance and happiness is social connection.

Study after study after study has clearly shown a link between social connection and a healthy, fulfilled life.

Inversely, many studies have shown that chronic loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

And while I encourage you to schedule quality time with your closest friends each week, some days you will simply be too busy to make it out of the house or office.

When these days happen (something that is unfortunately all too common), don’t relegate yourself to a day of isolation or being stuck at the office.

Pull out your phone and give a friend a call (especially if you have a commute).

It should only take a few minutes but this simple act will give you an extra dose of motivation, connection, and–assuming you have high quality friends--inspiration you need to dominate your day.

18. Check In With Your Coach, Mentor, or Accountability Partner

One of the most powerful habits you can build, regardless of when you do it, is to regularly check in with a coach, mentor, or accountability partner.

While there aren’t any peer reviewed studies (at least none that I’ve found… if you know of one, please share it in the comments below) confirming the veracity of this particular habit, I can tell you from personal experience… IT WORKS.

When you begin your day by checking in with someone whom you deeply do not want to disappoint and sharing your goals and plan for the day, you’ll be far more committed to executing on your priorities and staying in integrity with your values.

For help finding the right mentor or coach, watch the video below.

If you send a text message to your coach and tell them you’ll write 3,000 words or make 15 sales calls or DM 10 potential clients on Instagram, you’ll be much less likely to succumb to distraction and temptation.

I advise that you keep this simple.

In my own life, I have a quick accountability check in with Craig to help me adhere to my most important habits and make progress on the things that matter most.

I send one text a day and it takes me (maybe) three minutes to write.

But those three minutes are some of the most valuable and productive minutes of my day.

Because they guarantee that I won’t slide on my commitments or slack off on my priorities when the Siren’s song of an afternoon nap or Netflix binge call my name.

If you don’t have a coach or accountability partner, find one. Connect with us at Early to Rise. We’d be happy to discuss our coaching program and show you how we can help. Just send an email to support@earlytorise.com with the subject line “Coaching.”

Join our Perfect Business Formula Facebook Group. Reach out to a successful friend you respect. Pay someone.

Do whatever you need to do to implement this habit into your life.

Because once you do, your life will never be the same.

Part III: Supercharge Your Day

With your brain and body fired up and ready to go, it’s time to discuss the strategy behind supercharging your work day and setting yourself up for as much personal and professional success as possible. Here are seven tips that will help you get more done, work fewer hours, and enjoy your perfect day.

19. Remember: The Perfect Morning Starts the Night Before

Your perfect morning doesn’t start when your alarm rings.

It starts the night before.

To ensure that you have the most productive, fulfilling, and energizing morning routine possible, you’ll want to set aside 60-90 minutes each night to prepare yourself for the day ahead.

Specifically, you’re going to complete two key action steps…

1) Plan the following day

If you’re planning your day in the morning, you are already behind.

Never, and I mean never go to bed without planning and scheduling the following day.

When you wake up, you should know exactly what needs to be accomplished and when it must be completed.

You should have a clear plan of action and know the exact priorities on which you need to execute and in what order they should be done.

Luckily, this doesn’t take much time…

About 30-minutes before bed, pull out a pen and piece of paper and write down the three most important tasks that must be accomplished the following day.

Review your Perfect Week planning grid (if you haven’t don’t so already, check out our guide on perfect week planning), schedule out any non-important but urgent tasks, and clearly identify the “Big frog” you’re going to eat the following morning.

By setting aside a few minutes to plan out the following day, you’ll wake up with clarity and focus instead of wasting your most valuable hours trying to decide what to do.

Be sure to check out this video where Craig shares a few other nightly habits you should adopt for more success in your morning…

2) Streamline Your Morning at Night

The second habit you must develop to supercharge your morning routine and dominate your mornings is the habit of preparation.

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to take a few minutes and prepare yourself to actually do it.

For example, if you plan on working out in the morning, get your gym clothes and running shoes out and set them next to your alarm.

Prepare the “super water” I told you about earlier and put it in the fridge.

Decide which book you’re going to read the following morning and set it out on your coffee table next to your journal.

Schedule a call with one of your friends or mentors. Set your multivitamins on your table or prepare a green smoothie.

Take 30-minutes to do whatever needs to be done so that you can wake up and immediately execute on your most important tasks and activities.

While this might sound simple, these two simple habits will give you the clarity and focus you need to spring out of bed and dominate the day.

20.  Ask Yourself These Two Questions

Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, and Elon Musk have all claimed (on multiple occasions) that one of the keys to success is asking the right questions.

As Musk said, “The tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask […] but once you do that, the rest is really easy.”

And I’ve found that two specific questions will help you supercharge your morning routine and enjoy sustained levels of peak performance all day long.

Question #1: What am I excited about?

What are the tasks, activities, meetings, and interactions you’re excited about today?

What do you have in your calendar that you can actively to which you actively look forward?

The more excited you are, the more energized and productive you will be.

Especially if you have something to look forward to after your work day.

And if you respond with, “nothing.”


It might be time to make a few changes to your lifestyle.

Question #2: Who do I want to serve with my work today?

Almost every negative emotional state that we humans experience is related to one thing…

An internal focus.

When you’re focused only on yourself, on your problems, your challenges, and your life… depression, anxiety, and overwhelm are all but inevitable.

By asking yourself this simple question first thing in the morning, you will change the entire tone of your day.

Your actions are no longer about what you can get but what you can give.

You aren’t just working for yourself. You’re serving a higher purpose and a greater calling.

You aren’t just building a business… you’re building a legacy

And from this frame every challenge and obstacle you face will become easier.

When you have a clear picture of why you are doing the things you are doing and who you are trying to serve, you will tap into levels of performance most people will never experience.

21. Nail Down a Quick Win Before You Start Your Work Day

I encourage you to spend the majority of your morning–once your brain and body are fully primed–engaged in “deep” or legacy work.


I’ve (quite anecdotally) found going for a “quick win” before you dive into your deep work is a powerful way to get into state and build momentum early in the morning.

Let me be clear…  I do mean a quick win.

The tasks and activities to which I am referring should take no more than five minutes (ideally less than two), but provide you with a small sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment.

They can be anything from…

  • Scheduling that dental appointment you keep putting off (seriously, go get those darn cavities filled!)
  • Cleaning the trash out of your car
  • Finally sending that email to your client or colleague
  • Making reservations for date night
  • Finally cancelling that HBO subscription you never use

Or any other small task that has been weighing on your mind.

The goal here is to find a tiny task or activity on which you’ve been procrastinating and take care of it.

It doesn’t need to be big and it doesn’t have to be related to your business.

Just find something that’s been nagging at your subconscious and get it done.

22. Avoid Morning Mayhem with Your ‘Not to Do List’

Although the habits I’ve shared with you throughout this guide are important, they are USELESS

… IF you sabotage yourself with negative habits and activities.

If you start your morning by checking your email or Instagram and putting yourself into a reactive state, no amount of physical or mental priming will allow you to recover the productivity you’ve already lost.

If you hit the snooze button (you better not!) and say, “Not right now,” to your big hopes and dreams, no morning cocktail or circadian rhythm optimized caffeine consumption will help you reclaim that lost energy and focus.

If you wake up without having planned and prepared for your morning, you’ll be starting with a handicap and waste hours of your most valuable time doing things that should have been done the night before.

When you begin your day by doing the wrong things, the right things you do matter less.

But the solution is simple.

It’s called a not-to-do list and, as the name implies, is simply a list of all the things you will not do.

For example, some of the items on my personal not-to-do list are:

  • I do not check email before 11 AM
  • I do not consume more than 4 cups of coffee a day (still working on this one!)
  • I do not check social media before 2 PM
  • I do not start work later than 8:30 AM
  • I do not sleep past 6:30 AM

But what about you?

What are the bad habits and toxic patterns you’ve allowed into your mornings and your life that are holding you back from success?

Take some time right now to write a few answers down.

Because it is ONLY once you clearly identify those habits and activities holding you back from success, you can liberate yourself from their control over your life.

23. Eat That Frog & Engage in Deep Work

After you’ve primed yourself mentally and physically (which, if you know how to multitask should take no more than 30-45 minutes), it’s time to cut the pregame and get to work.

Since willpower, focus, and cognition tend to be at their peak during the morning–specifically within an hour of waking up–you want to invest this time in your most valuable priority.

Don’t waste it on email or social media or administrative work.

Use it to tackle those big tasks and activities that will drive profits in your business and break the needle in your life.

Identify the most challenging or important task of the day and get to work on it immediately.

Your body is energized, your brain is primed, and your priorities are clear…

Now use those resources to build your empire, leave your legacy and supercharge not only your morning… But your entire life.

Here’s the Next Step…

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which of the 23 habits from today’s post are you going to try first?

Are you going to give earthing a try and embrace the suck of a cold shower?

Or maybe you’re going to double down on your nightly planning and spend some time in the sun tomorrow morning?

Either way let me know by leaving a comment below right now!

Austin Gillis

After dropping out of college at 18, Austin set out to travel the world and turn his passion for sharing big ideas through writing into a full time income. Today, he's succeeded at his goal and is the Editor for Early to Rise, Director of Content for Knowledge for Men, and a highly sought after freelance writer whose ghost-written work has been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, Inc.com among other major outlets. When he isn't exploring new cities, writing game-changing content, or devouring his latest stack of books, you'll find him kicked back in a hammock on the beaches of Mexico with his girlfriend and two-year old Pomeranian, Zelda