Have you ever woken up and within 5 minutes, your day was already off to a bad start? Maybe you rolled over and read a message on your phone that didn’t sit well with you. Maybe your kids got up an hour before you and were already fighting before you got out of bed. Any number of things can happen first thing in the morning that can wreck your mindset and tank your productivity. In today’s episode, we’ll be talking with our guest, Ryan Cote, about how a morning routine can help you with productivity.
Ryan lives in New Jersey with his wife, Jill, and their three girls. He’s the creator of the Morning Upgrade Blog and Podcast where he shares his morning routine and writes about personal development. He’s also a partner in his family’s digital marketing agency, Ballantine.
Below are the questions we asked during our interview:
Why Did You Start Doing a Morning Routine?
In 2017, he was going through issues at work with the clients. This made him take a step back and address the problems at work as well as problems within himself. Ryan has always been into personal development and consuming content that makes him a better person. The reason he got into morning routines is that he read a book called The Miracle Morning by Robert Kiyosaki.
By investing in himself, he started showing up differently at work. It made a difference in the way he handled client situations as well as the way he was leading his team. This is why he’s so passionate about morning routines, because it made such a big difference in his life.
1. What Does Your Typical Morning Routine Look Like?
Ryan first learned about morning routines in the book The Miracle Morning. Since then, he’s crafted his own to meet his requirements and help him with personal development.
His routine focuses on three key areas, Body, Mind, and Progress. He calls this his BMP routine and it takes him about 45 minutes.
The routine includes:
- Body – movement or simple exercise of some kind. He only does this for 5 minutes. It’s not meant to replace his workout time, but get his blood flowing in the morning.
- Mind – meditation, brain dump, and gratitude practice.
- Progress – learning something new, reviewing his goal sheet, Q&A (big win, 3 priorities, and recognize someone).
2. What Do You Advise Someone Who Can’t do a Morning Routine?
On Empowering Productivity, we talk about how there’s no “formula” to productivity and you should embrace your own tendencies. This is true when it comes to morning routines. Ryan encourages people to make it a priority and start small.
If you simply can’t spend time on a morning routine, create an afternoon or evening routine you can stick with. Whatever you do, make it simple and something you enjoy.
3. Would You Say Your Workflow is Like The Tortoise or the Hare or Something Else?
In episode #3, we talked about Aesop’s fable, the Tortoise and the Hare. We discussed how these two characters represent the different types of workflow we usually see in someone. Either, they are like the tortoise, slowly chipping away at tasks and slowly getting things done. Or, they are like the hare and knock out tasks with a big burst of energy and then need a recovery period afterward.
Ryan says he’s more of a combo of these two. He takes fast action on his ideas and things he’s passionate about. But, he also firmly believes in the compound effect of taking small daily steps to reach his goals.
4. Is There Anything You Do That Contributes to a Mindset That Keeps You From Producing?
We often discuss how your mindset can create mental chains that keep you from being productive. When you feel guilty, obligated, stressed, or like a failure, it can reduce your ability to focus and get things done.
Ryan talks about how he tends to be prone to a rollercoaster of emotions where he feels motivated and productive, but then there are moments he feels the opposite of that. We think a lot of entrepreneurs can identify with this.
In order to overcome those times of being less productive, he says his morning routine serves as a stabilizer to his emotions. Also, he’s aware of the cycles, so he is not caught off guard when he has highs and lows. It helps him to be mentally prepared to deal with the lows.
5. What Helps You to Be More Productive in A Day?
Setting the tone for the day is very important to him. His morning routine incorporates several things that help him get started on the right foot. The key things he does that helps his production is meditation, gratitude, setting 3 priorities for the day, and doing a brain dump to get everything out of his mind.
6. Is there anything you do to recover when you aren’t being as productive as you want to be or should be?
Depending on the level of the funk he’s in, simply taking quick or massive action can be the cure. But if he’s in a big funk, he shuts off the computer and takes a break. Maybe he’ll go to bed early, talk a walk, watch a movie, or journal with pen to paper.
How to Get in Touch With Ryan Cote
We were so happy to have Ryan Cote on the Empowering Productivity show. You can check out his Morning Routine over at Morning Upgrade. Don’t forget to subscribe to his podcast. Also, you can reach out to him through the contact form on Ballantine.
If you need to get in touch with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Until next week, get out there and start breaking the mental chains that are keeping you from producing!