The power of that first hour

Make your first hour countSomeone once said that the first hour of your day is the ‘golden hour,’ because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. In any occupation, especially in sales, a morning routine that is conducive to high energy levels and positive attitude. There are different views of what a good morning routine might be, but I’ll share my own, which turns out to be fairly common among success-minded people.

Drink two cups of water, preferably with a bit of lemon.

In many countries, people have done this for thousands of years. Drinking at least two cups of water within 20 minutes of waking up helps to hydrate your body, ‘wake up’ the organs, and will also be helpful for the health of the digestive and urinary tracts.

Read something inspiring and uplifting

When I wake up, I nearly always have a book on the nightstand. This is usually the Bible, so I’ll read from Proverbs, which is filled with practical wisdom for life, or I’ll flip through writings by Herodotus, Seneca, Cicero, Sun Tzu, and other ancient philosophers. I don’t watch news or read newspapers n the morning, because I’ve found that it’s far more constructive to read something that will inspire me, and news media has more than its fair share of negativity.

Engage in some kind of exercise

It doesn’t have to be a hard-core bodybuilding workout. Once I’ve done some reading, I do some basic stretching and calisthenics. I’ve found that this makes the stress of the day easier to deal with, and whatever walking or driving I have to do is easier on my back and joints. There are also, of course health and attitude benefits to exercise as well.

Eat something healthy

Greasy, fatty, and high-starch foods will make your digestive system work harder, and as a consequence your digestive organs will use more of your blood supply than they’d have to if you ate something healthy. One consequence is that you will feel less energetic, and some may even feel mentally less agile. A nutritious meal to start each day will leave you feeling more energetic, thinking more clearly, and it will have a positive impact on long-term health.

Have your day planned the previous night

I always sleep better when I have my following day planned, and this is apparently true for a lot of people, so this habit will contribute significantly to your energy and enthusiam. It also means that when you start your first hour of the day, you’re not wondering what you’re going to do. Direction is crucial for your day to go well, so don’t underestimate the potential of having prioritized to-do list.

Try this or a similar routine and see what it does for your productivity. As Brian Tracy likes to say, we don’t really manage time, we manage ourselves. If you can start your day with good self-management, it’s easier to continue that pattern of discipline and productivity for the rest of the day. Whether you’re in sales, leadership, or just looking to improve your ‘time management,’ having a solid, productive first hour is sure to be quite helpful to your pursuit of success.