How you start your mornings sets the tone for the rest of the day. That's according to former Google career coach and job strategist Jenny Blake, who reveals in her book "My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Everyday Inspired " that she's stuck to the same morning routine for the last six years.
Blake aims for seven to nine hours of sleep, which allows her to wake up around 6 a.m. If she's had less sleep, she'll get up closer to 8 a.m. Once she's awake, she sits in bed reading nonfiction books for nearly two hours or until the sun comes up. She then meditates for 20 to 45 minutes depending on the day. Sometimes, she goes for a quick run just to get some fresh air and increase her endorphins.
Blake has stuck to some form of this routine ever since she left Google and ventured out on her own. "I realized very quickly that my body, and by extension my routines, were the fuel for my business," she writes.
Like many other successful people, including media mogul Arianna Huffington and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blake refuses to use an alarm clock (unless she has to catch a flight). She also doesn't schedule meetings or phone calls until after 10 a.m., a rule that Bezos follows.
"[This] helps me avoid a feeling of rushing out of bed to start the day," writes Blake. "I figure that my body will rest as long as it needs to."
The career coach refrains from answering emails first thing in the morning. However, she says that this used to be one of her worst habits and made her feel "stressed and annoyed before even getting out of bed."
Although every stage of Blake's morning routine helps set her up for success, meditating is the single most important step. "It is the best thing I can do for my day and it helps me feel calm, grateful, grounded, strategic and creative," according to Blake.
She started meditating for about ten minutes a day but quickly increased her meditation time after realizing that it was "actually the most important thing I could do in a day, not something to be squeezed in," she writes. "It dissolves problems much more quickly than churning through them all day with my mind."
Blake also makes sure to prioritize a full night's rest. She notes that a lack of sleep negatively impacts her productivity and effectiveness, which in turn hurts her work. In addition, poor sleep habits are unsustainable. "Success, to me, has as much to do with how I run my business and my life as it does what I choose to work on," she writes.
By following a morning routine that focuses on her health, Blake says that she can be her most energetic and creative self. She adds, "I came to adopt the motto, 'Your body is your business,' and I make my physical health and vitality a top priority."
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