Early to bed, and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
~ Benjamin Franklin.
In the previous post on our SJ series, we defined success as “the gradual realisation of worthwhile goals and objectives” and set out two things to achieve during the week.
- Set goals for the year and write them down!
- Develop a routine. Draw a Time Table and divide hours into tasks. Prioritise the Most Important Tasks MITs because they are the ones you should do in the mornings.
The benefit of writing down your goals is that you keep them in view. I suggest the first page of your diary — that’s where I write mine — or a sticky note on your desk/desktop, or anywhere you look at daily. (I don’t know if I will outgrow the print diary, digitisation hasn’t caught up with me on that habit, at least not yet).
A routine serves many purposes. From prioritising to time management and most importantly for me, discipline. As a matter of fact, I believe that if you maintain a routine there is nothing you cant achieve. Your success is directly proportional to this habit. Of course, we are engaged in different endeavours and will not have a similar pattern but whatever pattern yours takes, just have one.
Like I said earlier and will keep saying. There is no groundbreaking process for achieving success in sight but the basic principles remain eternal. We just have to inculcate the essential habits along the journey. A key habit to form is rising early. You must have heard or read about this that it is now boring. But the real question is do you rise early?
Rise Early And Pray.
For me, today started yesterday. Each dawn actually started the previous dusk. And the morning is usually golden when I‘ve had a good rest. I try to wake up @ 4:50 am every morning. Well, let’s say every weekday because my missus will fling away my phone if the alarm rings that early on a Saturday morning.
Your day should start by going to bed early so that you can rise early. It is usually the best time to use your brain. Because your thoughts are fresh and decluttered. You are not yet bogged down by the worries of the day. You can think, plan and project.
Check out some benefits of rising early here.
I start with prayers. But while I listen to Our Daily Bread over my headphones I do a bit of exercise to get started. You need your brain working right away and that requires some blood supply. So I do twenty each of froggy, push up and sit up.
I usually transit from the brief exercise to communication with my God. Giving thanks first for provision and protection. A period of meditation follows and then I breathe life into my day by asking the Supreme One to direct every hour, minute and second.
I boil some tea and my day has commenced. By then it would be 5.30 am and my first writing will be the morning pages inspired by Julia Cameron. Of course, I used to write down a to-do list but the morning pages is a lot more than that. Julia describes it as “the bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning”.
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,
done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about
anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes
only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and
synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put
three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.
~ Julia Cameron
I can’t remember the last time I wrote exactly three pages. It must have been in the early days of following Julia. I also can’t recollect doing successive morning pages for a week. However, try to write down something each morning even if it is a to-do list which I always include in my morning pages by the way.
Once I’m done with my morning pages, I begin to hammer away on my computer. I will have almost two hours before the school run at 8 am. You can actually accomplish half of the day’s tasks in those two hours.
Before we go please internalise this:
“Those who have goals and plans dictate to others, while those who have no goals or plans are dictated to”
Now let us practice rising early for this week and see how far we can go.
Set your alarm and rise early.
Pray and exercise.
Write your morning pages.
And enjoy the week!