Morning Routine

I started this blog entry by researching all sorts of laws of occurrence and repeatability and about thirty minutes into it I lost track of what I wanted to say while staring at a page for the Laws of the Mind…

What I wanted to write about today was my new morning routine.

For the past two weeks, I’ve read at least 25 minutes of a book every single morning. One Pomodoro. A Pomodoro, by the way, is a technique where you focus on a single task for 25 minutes at a time, taking short brakes in-between those focus sessions. I have an app on my phone and a Chrome extension installed to track my Pomodoros.

Twenty-five minutes may not be anything special to most of you out there, but focusing for 25 minutes on a book was quite a challenge at first. I’m a YouTube/Netflix/Audible/Podcast kind’a guy and I usually take in my previously selected content on the move. While walking the dog, running, or commuting to work.

I do, however, realize the importance of reading so to read or not to read was not the question. I wanted to read. I just couldn’t figure out when.
At home, time seems to somehow always slip through my fingers and once I get back from work the next thing I know it’s 10 or 11 pm and I’m fighting to keep awake. (This also needs work, but not all at once)

So I challenged myself to wake up at 4:50 am every day to read at least 25 minutes of a book before the world takes over my daily routine. I’ve always been a morning person so a book in the morning is a much wiser choice than a book at night. At night, I often found myself falling asleep after a page or two. Getting up just shy of 5 am means it’s quiet everywhere, I make coffee, have a seat by my desk, and get on with it.

desk

Twenty-five minutes is not a lot. Depending on the book it can be 10, 30, or 50 pages. But it’s ten pages further into the book than I was yesterday.
I drew myself a box chain on my whiteboard and I fill in a box every morning that I read. So far I’ve done fifteen mornings in a row, not one skipped, and I’ve got some pretty good results to show for it.

I’ve finished a book that I started sometime in January, I started and finished a book completely in one week, and I finished a book that I started reading almost a year ago to the day, finally allowing myself to move on to new book titles. Three books in fifteen days is not bad, granted, only one completed cover to cover.

Truth be told those twenty-five minutes are actually a great catalyst for more reading as I found that I never just read for one session. Maybe the first couple Pomodoros were twenty-five on the dot, but then the book would get interesting, or I was close to ending a chapter or close to ending the book itself and I just kept on going.

On Thursday, I read for one hour before work, two Pomodoros, then I read on the tram and on the train, and then I set on the train station for twenty minutes after getting to my destination to finish the book because I was so close to the end I didn’t want to wait an entire day to read how it finished. I’ve never done that before.

Yeah, I know that it’s no secret that consistency is key and that the law of repetition states that the more you do something the better you’ll get at it.

repetition

So going forward with this idea of repetitive greatness I’m going to add one yoga session to my mornings from now on. iPad app kind of yoga that is. Ten to fifteen minutes of stretches guided by a person that shows me what to do. I want/need to start this as I can tell my old joints are not what the used to be and a bit of stretching goes a long way throughout the day for me.

Yoga and reading it is then. Or reading and yoga. Or reading, yoga, and an elliptical machine every so often. And maybe some meditation/mindfulness sessions while I’m at it. I can’t tell which to add first. But one thing is certain, I’m loving having a clear morning plan to wake up to every day.

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