As a rule, the world is a messy place. There’s a lot of chaos and randomness. While our actions certainly influence what happens to us, we’re also influenced by the actions of the many humans around us who are working to influence their lives. It isn’t an easy job facing an unstructured mess as we wake up in the morning (of course, it gets much harder if we’re sleep deprived – that’s a topic for another post).
The simplest tool I’ve found to move from unstructured to structured is the morning routine. I have a list of things I copy and paste into my task list every morning – blog, read feeds, clear email, charge phone, send a text to my wife with the day’s schedule, freshen up and get breakfast. All of this takes between an hour and ninety minutes but really sets me up for the day. And, there are two reasons it works.
The first is momentum. These are tasks I know how to do. So, getting started with these and checking them off builds momentum.
The second is comfort. I definitely find comfort in the predictability of this morning routine. While structure is helpful in providing the requisite clarity to remove procrastination and get things done, I think comfort is a very important effect of structure. On mornings when the rest of the day feels like going to war while running uphill and against the wind, a touch of comfort is always appreciated.
On mornings like today when I feel like I need a healthy dose of both momentum and comfort, it is nice to know that the morning routine will give me a head-start. The rest will be up to me and will depend on the choices I make through the day, of course.
But, that’s just normal service and is what makes life life. And, I sure am glad I’m in good health to experience it.