Imagine limitless time, energy and productivity. Picture a world where the alarm clock is a welcome sound, where deadlines and schedules all fall neatly into place, where automated coffee machines and email inboxes empty according to plan. Where you find time to read another chapter of that book, enjoy quality family time, and still squeeze in your 30 minute HIIT workout! Not to mention getting a head start on the next season of your awesome podcast.
Whew…does this sound unrealistic? I hear you! It may seem that only a select few inhabit such a utopia. While you, on the other hand, presently find yourself in a dystopic spiral of looming deadlines, chronic tiredness, and productivity levels flatter than the bed you wish you were able to hide in when the alarm screams at you in the morning (how on earth does that alarm come so quickly?!).
Friend, I’ve been there! This is a topic that resonates deeply for me; I’ve been guilty of being excited and passionate about so many meaningful things but then failing to plan, which, according to U.S. statesman Benjamin Franklin, is the perfect plan to fail.
A great plan is one that starts strong – and there’s no better way to start the day strong than with a morning routine geared to set you up for success! You see, a solid morning routine will have a direct impact on all the important stuff you do in the course of your day – namely, podcasting! I want to help you become the greatest interviewer of guests, the most captivating host of episodes, the most enthralling entertainer of listeners (read: the most dang awesome podcaster ever!) If this hits home and convicts you do not worry! Do not be dismayed! There is hope, and that’s good news for the quality of your podcast content; a prepared you is a productive you and that will translate into a notably better podcast experience for your valued listeners and viewers.
Everyone has their own tried and true tactics to tackle the tumult of morning rush. In this blog I want to share some novel tips; these are ideas and prompts you may not have considered, they could be seen as lesser known strategies that will help you plan to succeed.
Read on and take note, Superstar Podcaster, as we share several unique strategies to help you make your morning routine work for you.
Related read: 10 Habit Building Strategies That ACTUALLY Work
1. Keep a Journal
Do yourself a favour – journal the night before. This will encompass both the practical business stuff, and the intangible personal stuff. Lemme’ explain – write down your task-oriented podcast goals for the next day, for instance, connecting with potential guests, following up with past guests, making sure studio time is booked and confirmed, replying to emails from sponsors, getting back to listeners who have engaged with you on social media, brainstorming future episodes…so on and so forth.
These are those important “crunchy” non-negotiable tasks that need to be accounted for – planned for. Always being sure to prioritize the most important things first, and allow those things of lesser importance to filter to the bottom of the list. Planning your morning this way through the power of journaling will help you to channel your prime focus and energy to those things that need to be addressed first and foremost.
In addition to the crunchy non-negotiables, there are also the “soft” personal tasks. Think emotional wellbeing and mental health. Use your journal to process the thoughts, feelings and emotions of yesterday. It will set you up for a better morning tomorrow. Did something go well? Celebrate it! Record the joy of the success, and channel that positive energy into momentum for the next 24 hours. Did things not go according to plan? Was it a tough day? Process the disappointment, frustration and angst. Vent! Put it down in your journal tonight, so that you don’t have to pick it up tomorrow morning. Trust me, your productivity levels will thank you.
Journaling is a perfect way to unload and offload everything from the incidental to the important, allowing you to sleep better and tackle your morning with ease and vigour. I’ve learnt from experience that knowing those things are accounted for and that you already have an actionable game plan before the day kicks off is essential to acing your morning routine!
2. Choose Your Clothes
Okay, hear me out on this one! Have you ever thought about how much time we spend on choosing the right outfit for the occasion on a daily basis? According to a 2016 study by British Retailer Marks & Spencer’s, women between the ages of 18-60 spend an average of 17 minutes a day dividing what to wear to work, and men clock in at 13 minutes per day. This adds up to four days for women and three days for men over the course of a year! Superstar Podcaster, this is valuable time that you could and should be investing into your podcast.
As odd and as random as this tip may seem, I encourage you to eliminate this distraction from your morning routine by choosing tomorrow’s outfit ahead of time. You could even take this measure a step further and adopt a “uniform”, wardrobe staples that make you feel good and look good. For example, a solid t shirt, a go-to pair of boots, a warm hoodie, your favourite blazer – build a wardrobe that will allow you to feel confident, look presentable and conserve precious minutes in your morning that could be used to:
- Start your commute earlier and get to the interview location to prepare for your guest sooner.
- Using the salvaged fifteen minutes to respond to emails in the morning so they don’t have to be taken care of later (and give a great impression with your prompt response time).
- Spend the extra few minutes meditating, thinking through the topic of your next episode so you’re fully grounded in the moment and have had the time to allot extra mental capacity to the quality of your show.
I have friends who lay out their gym clothes the night before on the chair nearest the front door. This removes barriers to their success in the gym; think of this quirky tip as a way of helping you to remove the time wasting drains as you strive to prioritize a smooth flowing morning, which will yield astoundingly smooth sailing podcast episodes.
3. Get Into Bed!
One of the biggest barriers to successful mornings is the wonderful warmth and comfort of our beds – especially if you were late getting in and did not get enough shut-eye! First things first, go to bed on time! According to sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, “The 90 minute phase before midnight is one of the most powerful phases of sleep, because it’s the period where the body is replenished”.
Related read: Sleep tips: why the sleep we get before midnight is the most important kind
The hours of sleep we get before midnight are actually the most restorative and restful. This means sharper mental function, more effective short and long term memory function, and the ability to stave off the dreaded afternoon crash without having to run to the coffee pot! This will have a direct impact on your performance in all of your daily tasks, let alone the business of running your podcast successfully. Try to get into bed before 12am, lock in seven hours of shut-eye, and don’t use technology right before bed. Use it, instead, in the morning to wake you up!
4. Get Out Of Bed – Literally!
Here’s where the “literally” part comes in – position your cellphone in a space in the room (or another room entirely) where you have to physically get up in order to deactivate the alarm. In the beginning it will be the incessant siren that forces you out of bed…but give it some time, and you will be waking up the same time everyday, getting out of bed and staying out. The restfulness you experience will keep your mind and body sharp – which is essential for you to not only share your voice well on your platform, but actually delight in doing so. Also, this routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will add predictability to your morning routine – and a predictable routine is nothing more than a well-planned routine. And like a well planned podcast episode…there’s really nothing that yields a more positive response!
5. Speed Up By Slowing Down
You’ve wrestled off the warm, cozy confines of the bed sheets, and you’re now up…and hopefully awake! You can ease yourself into the day’s to-do list by first spending time meditating, praying, or reflecting. You may regard this as being counterintuitive as it could be seen as taking time away from the important tasks surrounding your show, but in reality it will help you to focus, be centered and stay grounded for the next 18 hours of productive activity. There are myriad benefits to this; it actually relieves stress, regulates your heartbeat, and helps to cement a positive outlook on life – to name a few. A stress-free, healthy optimist sounds like an ideal person to be handling guests, tackling tough topics, and producing an amazing podcast, wouldn’t you agree!
These tips are all about strategically setting yourself up the night before to remove hindrances to a smooth flowing morning. Processing unreconciled mental baggage and organizing pressing tasks will bring peace, clarity, and direction to your morning routine. Choosing your clothes the night before will help to save precious wasted time and brain power in the a.m. – we’re talking about redeeming entire days in your month! Going to bed and waking up at the same time, and getting out of bed promptly will wire you with a clear sense of consistency and control. All of these benefits will result in a happy, more focused you!
You’ll be able to focus your energies on the important things pertaining to your work or creativity (or maybe they’re one in the same, which is the case for many podcasters). By implementing these three unique tips, you’ll be taking meaningful steps to creating the best version of yourself who emerges at sunrise – not half way through the afternoon after your third cup of coffee! Make your morning routine work for you and you will inevitably become a happier, healthier, more efficient version of you… which is the best podcaster you could be.
Related read: 10 Top Free Resources To Boost Your Productivity