People often make the mistake of thinking that they need to be motivated to do work.

I disagree.

The best way to get motivation is to do the work.

The motivation thus gained will make it easy to do even more work.

Not easy, necessarily, but as simple as it can be.

Also, it doesn’t have to be that much work to get the ball rolling. In fact, the best way to do it is to only commit to doing a small amount of work, and seeing where it goes from there.

If you can do a little bit, doing a lot immediately after will be much easier.

After several years of experimenting with various morning routines, you know what I’ve found to be most effective?

Doing a 30 minute block of work within 30 minutes of waking.

Not that I always accomplish this – hey, even productivity writers don’t perfectly practice what they preach all of the time – but when I do, I always get a lot more done that day.

At minimum, if I can do this, it means I at least get 30 minutes done towards my own projects. My work habits are sufficiently honed that this generally produces real, concrete value.

The feeling of having gotten something concrete done is a huge motivational boost and sets the tone for the entire rest of the day, which is then generally higher in productivity and lower in stress than if I waited longer to start working.

This 30 by 30 is easiest to implement if paired with The Morning Note Method so that you know exactly what the first task should be, as well as any background details you need to remember to do it.

So, ditch the complicated routines.

Wake up and start.

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