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How to Start the Day with Your Head in the Game


Start your day with deliberate steps to make you most productive.

  • Determine what you will watch, listen to, or read as part of your morning routine to get you focused for a successful day.
  • Commit to this routine daily.
  • When you get distracted through the day, return to your morning mindset.

If you don’t take control of the first thirty minutes of your day, don’t be surprised when the rest of the day gets away from you.

As a young age-group swimmer, I used to enjoy watching a video called The Fast and The Furious before I went to training each morning. It was about world-record holders Victor Davis and Alex Bauman. It was an intense video about how they swam, trained, and competed hard. It used to lock me into the job that I was about to begin: training at 5:00 in the morning.

When I went on to college to swim at NCAA level, we had a phenomenal team around us of twenty-four guys, all focused on the same objective, beginning training, again, at 5:00 in the morning. So there again, I was surrounded by an environment fully focused on key, core objectives.

Now in the corporate world, it’s obviously a little different: people aren’t rushing to wake up and hit their day full-on at 4:30 in the morning, so I’m responsible for setting up my day myself. So at 4:30 I’m up, and I’m into a routine: I have my Bible study and then I watch something or listen to something that specifically gets me set up for the day and allows me to begin concentrating effectively on what I need to get done.

Related: Persevering Through Daily Mundane Is the Quickest Path to Success

At the moment I’m watching a great series on Formula One drivers and the intensity that these people prepare for racing with. You might listen to a podcast if you go to a gym early in the morning before you hit the office. You might listen to a podcast that gets you focused on having a most productive morning, and therefore helping you have a phenomenally productive day.


  1. Determine the steps that you’re going to use every morning to get you focused on that day. Maybe it is watching a video, maybe it’s listening to a podcast, maybe it’s reading a book.
  2. Commit to that process: ingrain it as a habit that you do every morning when you wake up.
  3. As you progress through the day and you find yourself losing some focus or losing some concentration, cast your mind back to how you started your day: focused and intentional. Then carry on the rest of the day, using that as the mindset to get you to the end.
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