Last year I bought a new computer. I love that it’s nearly instantly ready to go when I turn it on. My previous laptop took several minutes to complete the start-up process. When I’m ready to work, those minutes can feel like hours.
Despite the inconvenience of the wait, its start-up routine is essential and unchanging. The CPU, memory integrity, and other hardware components are methodically tested and the operating system is loaded. Until that routine completes, I’m waiting. Nothing I do can speed it up, nor would it be in my best interest to interrupt it. Its state is unreliable until it finishes.
You and I have start-up routines as well. How we get ready for our day may have been established so long ago that we’ve become oblivious to the sequence. And if we’re not intentional about it, in our haste to get going, we may short-circuit the preparation we need to operate at our very best. That’s especially true when we’re anxious or overworked.
Reassessing our morning routine isn’t easy, but if we want to live more intentionally, it’s the best place to start. That requires asking some important diagnostic questions such as:
- How am I preparing for the day beyond personal grooming?
- Do I regularly take time to read, reflect, journal and pray?
- Is exercise and/or stretching a regular part of my morning routine?
- Do I mentally prepare for what’s ahead?
- Have I allowed email, social media or the TV to distract me from my morning prep?
- How much time do I want to devote to my start-up routine?
- What am I willing to sacrifice to get up earlier, if necessary, to do these things?
Your morning routine is the first opportunity you have to tap into the renewed supply of willpower that you accumulated during sleep. Your battery is topped off. Decision making is at its peak. Why not use the first part of your day making sure your most vital systems are working?
What are some of your vital start-up routines?