Latest great, smart and insightful guest post from our friend at Brinc, by Bay McLaughlin, and also panel member of the Irish Tech News 2017 IoT awards

Quick Adjustments You Can Make Today to Win the New Year

It’s time to clean off 2016 and move into the new year with positive energy and new behaviors and begin building momentum towards your goals!

This is a mini-series that chronicles the areas of life that I’ve found to have the most impact when given focus and a fresh set of eyes at the beginning of each year.

Every new routine and all successful people I know have a rigid morning routine that starts their day on the right foot, allowing them to start the day feeling energized, ahead of ‘the game’ and in the zone…

So let’s talk about your Morning Routine

I’m not going to make the argument that a routine is the key to productivity. I feel like this is nearly universal rule of thumb (feel free to show me otherwise…always happy to change my opinion :).

So how do you make the most of your morning routine? Here are all the areas I’m focusing on in 2017. Pick and choose as you please and let me know yours if I’ve missed anything that works well for you!

10:30pm?—?6:30am Go To Bed At The Same Time Every Night

Or at least shoot for the same total amount of sleep each night

My goal is to get eight hours of sleep a night. If I can’t, I draw the line at seven whenever possible. Consistency is the foundation of good sleep. Check out Arianna Huffington’s book #SleepRevolution to learn more. In order to do this, I employ the following techniques:

  • No phone after 9:30pm (when trying to be in bed by 10pm) & if you’re an iOS user, turn on Night Shift mode after sunset to reduce your blue light exposure and support your natural melatonin production cycle

This ensures I have 30 minutes before I get into bed to do any last minute odds and ends and clear my mind of the day’s distractions.

TIP: If your mind is racing, make a quick to-do list to get your thoughts out of your head and down on paper.

  • Use a sleep tracking application or device to hold yourself accountable! We all THINK we’re creating new habits, but I bet you’re NOT! Prove it!

I use the Pillow app and am about to test Eight’s (formerly Luna) bed sheet tracking system. I don’t like using wearables to bed, though I’ve tried many. And if you haven’t picked up a Kello alarm clock to ensure you go to bed on time and wake up peacefully, do that too! FULL DISCLOSURE, we’re investors in Kello.

Do it! Connect your body to your brain first thing in the AM!

6:45–8:00am Work Out First Thing In The Morning

Or do something to connect to your body before reaching for the caffeine

I try not to waste any time at the house in the morning. The day has already begun and I need to get myself ready! I’m usually out the door by 6:40am (10 minutes after waking up) and start with committing to the day’s hustle by:

  • Doing a brief social commitment and sharing my stoke / enthusiasm for the day on Snapchat (betabay1) and Instagram (betabay1) stories (time stamped of course)! Photo or it didn’t happen 🙂

I like to do long workouts, so an hour is a minimum for me. Do whatever works for you, but I tend to be in the sauna by 7:50 or 8am.

Caffein and organization time is a crucial part of my morning routine

8:15–8:50am: Time To Caffeinate And Connect

Or tea or any other pick-me-up concoction of choice

I’m convinced that caffeine has a LOT of positive health benefits and while I try not to drink more than two cups or espressos a day, I like to get my pick me up about 2 hours after I get out of bed. I also use this time to catch up on my social platforms and film my morning video content.

I post on Facebook Live ~4 times a week and answer questions on AskWhaleevery day of the week. This connection time is an incredibly enjoyable way to hear from all corners of the world before you start your work day. It also fills me with a great sense of humility to remember how many great people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and to give back things I’ve learned along the way.

TIP: If you’re going to be active on social media, you HAVE to think about what time zone your audience is in. Most of my connections are in South East Asia (local), San Francisco (~4pm), and the East Coast (~7pm) in the states. This means that I’m catching my main audiences when they might be watching and can build an audience and likes quickly.

But most importantly, I take this time to organize my personal schedule for the day, review our quarterly priorities, and make plans on what to dive into with the team when we kick off the morning in Hong Kong.

9:10am–9:30am: Kick Off The Office Focus & Hustle

Or at least make sure you and your team are certain of the day’s tasks & goals

A lot happens over night, especially in a business that doesn’t sleep (e.g. any startup). It’s paramount that you don’t assume anything and check in with your team to ensure your expectations and theirs are aligned before the day starts. It’s too easy and all too common to allow one day to become two, then three and then a month where you’re thinking one thing and your team is doing another.

TIP: Inspect what you expect… always!

still make mistakes and break these rules from time to time, but am recommitting in 2017 to ensure that I am leading myself first. This is the first part of my behavioral changes for the new year. Follow me to ensure you get the next four Life Hacks delivered to you soon!


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