Routine, NOT boring
I honestly believe a daily routine is a must to a successful and productive day. It sounds too simple to actually make a difference, but it really does. I have experimented with many different daily routines over the years, some very structured and some not so structured; you probably couldn’t even call it a routine. But after all the experimenting, I have come to realize that a daily routine improves my energy, focus, productivity and lowers my stress.
Why a routine matters
You reside in a very intelligent body that prefers homeostasis. Homeostasis comes from the Greek words for “same” and “steady,” and refers to any process that living things use to actively maintain fairly stable conditions necessary for survival. Your body also desires regular patterns to have a stable circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep/wake cycle or body clock, is a natural, internal system that’s designed to regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period. Your body needs a routine to achieve this homeostasis and an optimal circadian rhythm. In addition, stress levels will decrease when you provide it with a consistent routine.
My daily routine
After many years, I have finally found a daily routine that works for me and my body. The foundation of my routine revolves around following a ketogenic and low carb nutritional plan. This is key for me since I believe nutrition is the center of our health. Since I hardwired this routine, I feel more energetic, productive and just overall really good.
For me, everyday now follows this pattern:
5:30 am – wake up
I drink 2 glasses of water and a large cup of bulletproof coffee. Starting your day with water is essential since it provides an internal cleanse and rehydrates you after sleeping. Then I drink bulletproof coffee (coffee/grass fed butter/MCT oil) and this provides me a tremendous amount of energy for the entire morning (no food necessary and an easy way to diet if you are trying to lose weight)
5:30 am to 7:30 am – work on podcast/blogs/or other important work. Key, important work.
8:00 am to 5:00 pm – work at work
Between noon and 2 pm – Eat meal #1 (high fat, moderate protein, low carbs)
Before 7 pm – eat meal #2 (high fat, moderate protein, low carbs)
10 pm – sleep
I do several things to prepare for sleep. I wear blue blocker glasses from 7 pm on to eliminate blue light and at 9 pm, I usually turn off the TV and do something relaxing like listen to an audiobook or read. Watching zombie movies until bedtime can disrupt your sleep, plus it’s just plain scary.
Benefits from my routine
- My morning energy is awesome. 99% of the time I wake up before my alarm.
- My dreams are definitely more vivid and memorable which I believe means I am going through the proper sleep patterns.
- I am not hungry at all until after noon. I intermittent fast on the 16/8 schedule daily.
- I’m very relaxed at night.
- I am ready for bed at 10 pm because my body is used to this routine.
If you want more tips about better sleep, check out the The Low Carb Leader podcast, episode 16 at thelowcarbleader.com/16. Good quality sleep can contribute to weight loss and overall better health.
It has taken me a while to find this routine but I stick to it 7 days a week. No, I do not sleep in on the weekends. Why would I want to waste the most productive time on the weekend?
A few helpful tips to get you going
- Wake up at your non-negotiable set time.
- Wake up and drink a gallon of water. Just checking to see if you are paying attention. Do drink a glass or two. Your body needs it.
- Use your morning, when your energy is the highest, to do your most important work. This could be time spent on self-improvement, a hobby, or actual work. Don’t spend your most productive time of the day doing something that doesn’t matter.
- Get your heart pumping, at least a little bit each morning. Do four minutes of tabata, walk, or something else. A bit of exercise in the morning helps you sleep better at night and will improve your overall fitness.
- Skip eating until you have accomplished a few important tasks each morning. Did you know Einstein fasted in order to think clearer?
- Cut out external stimulation like blue light, scary movies, cell phone use, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, snapchat, and whatever else is out there to give your mind a chance to wind down before bed. Spend the time with family or a good book.
- Get to bed at your non-negotiable set time.
For me, this routine has become routine and I actually enjoy it each day. I plan to stick to it because I am really starting to see many benefits. Give this a shot and I hope these small changes in how you approach each day pays off for you as well.