Being successful isn't easy. It takes a lot of work and determination to get better at life...but sometimes, staying focused and motivated is harder than we hope, and the day just slips away.
Dr. Mark McLaughlin, a neurosurgeon at Princeton Brain and Spine Care, says he has the perfect three-step morning routine he calls the "triple threat" to absolutely crush each and every day, which he explains in Business Insider.
So, here are three morning routines you should start doing a.s.a.p. to conquer your day, according to a neuroscientist.
Every morning, McLaughlin wakes up at 5:00 a.m. and meditates for 10 minutes. He calls this his "non-negotiable self-care aspect" of his day, which is why it comes before everything else.
McLaughlin says he first tried transcendental meditation, in which you silently repeat a mantra, but switched to natural meditation, which doesn't involve actively reciting a mantra, but rather is focused on quiet inactivity.
"Meditation — or mindfulness practices — can help reduce your stress levels and avoid burnout, improve your mental health and well-being, boost your creativity levels, enhance your capacity for empathy, improve sleep and so much more," he explains.
Another mind-clearing exercise to try is to create a file system for each day of the year, and assign yourself one task in each file, which McLaughlin says removes the stress of little to-dos that tend to pile up and make your day overwhelming.
I've created a personal file system labeled for each day of the month, and every day has one task in that file. When something pops up during my day that's not urgent, I file it away in this system and don't think about it again until its designated day. For example, I might wake up one morning, check my file, and see that today's task is to write a thank-you note to a friend. I can check this off my list and move on with my day.
When you plan out your day with a list of tasks and errands you need to complete before the day is over, you tend to get a lot more done. Otherwise, without a schedule, it's difficult to stay on task, which ends up stressing us out even more.
With that said, McLaughlin's third step in his "triple threat" is to keep a day planner and map out what your day is going to look like every morning. This way, it's easier to stay organized and on top of goals and priorities.
However, try not to use an app on your phone or computer to plan...instead, use pen and paper, because it actually has health benefits you wouldn't expect, including increased mindfulness and better memory retention.
Lastly, the good doctor concludes: "Try different morning routines until you land on one that works for you. While it doesn't have to be complicated, it does need to be intentional and tailored to your needs in order to help you have a more productive, successful day."
Good luck out there, my friends.