This could be one of the most important changes in my life in the last few years. Analyzing the systems that you currently live your life by, and setting up new ones that better your life.
I like this definition of a system:
“A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.”
I want to introduce this idea of optimizing your life by either addressing systems in your life that are destructive, or creating ones that set your future you up for success.
The best way to find your own systems is to analyze what you do in your day.
My day used to look like: wake up, snooze, snooze, get up in a hurry, shower, shave, make coffee as quick as I can and drive to work without a minute to spare. Always on the edge of being late and one nick while shaving away from being significantly late. Always tired at work and a little jumpy.
I got pretty into morning routines after getting into Tim Ferris’s podcast and realized that I was wasting my mornings. My system was fragile and messy and needed to be changed. I didn’t really know what to do, and I don’t think it’s something you can be told, you gave to figure it out.
To break down what I needed: a shower, get ready, coffee. Not that demanding. I set a system to always wake up 1.5 hours before needing to leave for work. I woke up slow, enjoyed my coffee, read some news, and started loving my mornings again. I would have to wake up a little earlier, but that had positive effects too. What is the long term benefit to two additional beers and a couple extra episodes of a show they doesn’t matter? NOTHING. There really aren’t any.
Next I needed to make time to work out in the mornings. I found a local gym that had group HIIT work outs early and loved it.
In the matter of 3 months I started crushing my days. I was up at 5:30 with a cup of coffee, gym at 6, light breakfast after and off to work by 8:30. It was a multiplier of my personal productivity. It was the snowball effect but it was taking me up the mountain. I was feeling great, had great energy throughout my days, and it was a game changer. I ended up being able to work from home more often and because I was getting everything done so much quicker I was working less hours with better results. I guess I can’t attribute all of this to a morning routine, but this was the catalyst to bringing a lot of positive changes to my life.
“Own the day, own your life.“Aubrey Marcus
I ended up reading that book a few years after I made this change and couldn’t agree with it more. We can take control of so many things in our lives and become better because of it. We are so robust and good at surviving as a species that we can survive living in toxic systems for far too long. But we don’t HAVE to. We get to choose how we live our lives, yes we all will have different parameters, but we get to decide how we address them.
Funny story, I wrote this in the morning and it ate up my morning and I had to rush to get onto my Zoom call.
Analyze the systems that you live your life by and see if you can tweak them to enrich your life. Start small, and reap the benefits of compounding better routines into your life. Make one better decision a day and it will change your life.
In fact, I challenge anyone reading this to make one better decision a day for two weeks and email firstname.lastname@example.org how you feel after that small interval.