As an entrepreneur, you’re busy. The more you work, the more work you have. 6 months ago I realized that while working 12-16 hours a day, I did get a lot of things done, but I also noticed that I started losing track of the big picture, swamped by the day-to-day details. I started re-examining my work from the past 2 years and came up with a stark realization: 20% of your work produced 80% of the results.
20% of your work produced 80% of the results
I wanted to do more of the 20% and delegate more of the 80% that didn’t add much value. Thus, I started to experiment and created a morning routine for myself that needs to satisfy 3 criteria:
1. Maximize work to results ratio.
2. Get more time to look into the future, clarify and update your vision, think of creative solutions – without sacrificing existing output.
3. Massively increase energy level and enjoyment of life.
I came up with a system that has been working really well for me for the past 3 months. I’m going to share it, it might work for you as well. Here goes.
7AM. Wake up, make breakfast shake.
-By making the shake, you’ve already accomplish a small goal and created something first thing in the morning. It started the positive feedback loop of getting stuff done throughout the day. Beats hitting the snooze button several times. I usually try not to eat after 7PM so by morning I’d be hungry and motivated to consume something nutritious. Make your biology work for you!
-Feed, hydrate, and energize.
Accomplish a small goal and created something first thing in the morning.
I’ve experimented with many shakes formulas, this one works best so far in term of energy, mood, and general satiation:
Coffee – Energize, helps speed up metabolism
Protein – Good for brain, builds muscle, make you feel full
Nutrition Powder – a little bit of all the essentials
Green powder – alkalize and energize
Bananas – prevent muscle cramps, good for mood (high tryptophan), sustain blood sugar.
Use one serving each. Add ice and water and drink it along with your multi-vitamins.
Here’s the picture of all the stuff I use if you want specifics. You can get them all from Amazon.
730-845AM: Gym, thinking & planning.
What do you do after drinking your milkshake? Put on workout clothes and drive straight to the gym.
-Keep yourself healthy, happy, and maximize energy throughout the day. You can’t take care of your company unless you take care of your own health first.
-Accomplish even a bigger goal at the beginning of the day. This accelerate the Get Stuff Done positive feedback loop.
-Kick-start your brain.
You can’t take care of your company unless you take care of your own health first.
-Work out one different major muscle group each day. For instance, Monday – Chest, Tuesday – Shoulder, Wednesday – Back, Thursday – Arms, Friday – Legs, Saturday – Abs, Sunday – light cardio. I love this workout philosophy because it trains your mind to stay focused.
-4 X 4 increasing weights: 4 different exercises, 4 sets each, increasing weights for each set. The first set would be warm up, do 20 reps with moderately low weight, increasing speed. This warms you up and gets you pumped! then do 12, 10, 8 reps slowly with heavier, increasing weight. For bonus points, strive to increase your max weight every week. I feel a tingling sense of accomplishment every time I increase my max. To track progress, I use the Fitness Buddy app. It also has a ton of built-in workouts you can use.
-Thinking between sets: I’ve had a lot of luck coming up with many pleasantly awesome solutions for personal and business using this method. Here’s how it works:
1) Just right before each set, ask yourself a question that requires solution. For example, how should I structure the algorithm to do A? Last time when Mr. Potential Big Client asked such and such, I didn’t have a great answer to that. How should I over come this objection? Note: Loaded “why” questions without possible constructive solution is forbidden, especially the rhetorical questions sometimes people ask when they feel sorry for themselves. For example “Why did she leave me?” “Why am I such a dumb loser?” are forbidden, “How do I get her back?” and “How do I make $50k by next month?” are acceptable.
You can be bold with your questions. You can ask questions like “What is the destiny of humanity? What steps I can take to steer it toward [outcome]?” Gym time is your time. Be Bold. Be visionary.
Gym time is your time. Be Bold. Be visionary.
2) As soon as you finish asking yourself a clear question, completely ignore it and start doing your reps.
3) When you finish your reps, rest for a minute. When you’re physically resting, your brain need to churn out as many answer to the question as possible. I like coming up with at least 3 potential solutions as soon as possible. Just blurt it out in your mind, no matter how crazy it might sound. Focus on quantity over quality. Crazy answers are ok! You have the rest of the day to filter yourself and refine them. The purpose of this step is to get your brain moving fast and churning out creative solution during the day.
–Heroic poses in the steam room. There’s an amazing Ted talk by Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy on the benefits of power poses. Cliff’s notes version: Power posing can affect testosterone and cortisol level – making you feel more confident and might improve your chance for success. I choose the steam room because folks can’t really see I’m doing the Superman pose and grinning like an idiot. If someone has really good eyes and ask what you’re doing, you can tell them about the Ted Talk. They’ll think you’re an intelligent and enlightened human being. (not a grinning idiot posing like Superman!) You feel like money after a great workout and 10 minutes of power posing.
By 9AM, you’ve eaten breakfast, accomplished two goals, energized, have a bunch of potential solutions to your challenges, and feel like Superman/Wonder Woman.
You are good to go. You can take on anything.
As Cofounder at Spot Trender, Rick Nguyen creates and refines enterprise solutions for professional advertisers to win hearts and minds. Built Spot Trender from scratch to acquiring Fortune 500 paid customers. Spot Trender was featured on major publications such as Advertising Age, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance. In his spare time Rick enjoys various projects to promote STEM education and advanced science in the United States. Engage with Rick on Twitter @getricknow
Disclaimer: I’m not a health expert, consult your physician before trying. The content displayed in this post is my personal opinion for entertainment purpose only. Use it at your own risk. I do not officially endorse any product mentioned in this post.