There’s a lot of talk about the morning routine. I read an Inman article; they quoted Gary Keller about the topic, and he’s not wrong about the morning routine. But there’s another aspect to this that I’ve learned through interviewing some of the highest achievers out there in all industries.
This one thing you can do besides the morning routine can really set the tone for you so that you can understand your next priorities as well as take control of the day ahead of you.
Again, I am not saying that the morning routine being important is wrong. I am just going to add to it.
They wrote an article about what Gary Keller says a successful agent’s day looks like in his Mega Camp, an annual training conference held in Texas.
According to Inman, “A real estate agent doesn’t have to be organized all day long in order to be a top performer—as long as they make the most of the early morning hours.”
That’s true. I agree that you don’t have to be organized all day long.
They quote Gary Keller, and he said: “Perfection is highly overrated. …If you can wake up in the morning and control your day before noon, you will have the greatest life possible.” (Source: Inman)
As they say, done is better than perfect. Plus, we can’t even reach perfection. So, I agree, perfection is overrated. But the next part is where I’m going to challenge you a little bit. I'm not saying that there’s a right or wrong, I’m just going to share something that, from what I’ve seen, is a little better.
Inman further adds that Jen Davis, Vice President of KW MAPS Coaching, subscribes to the morning routine philosophy—it is what she teaches agents she works with.
“In addition to ensuring a more productive day, the morning-centered strategy can have the added benefit of lowering anxiety,” according to Inman.
That is true to an extent because have you ever noticed that when you’re about to go to bed, you get this anxiety and you remember some things that you forgot to do during the day, and you go “I should have done this, and that.”
Anxiety always comes in during the evening. But Mike Scioscia, a great baseball player that I interviewed at Success magazine, said, "You know what, I don’t have that. I don’t have that [anxiety in the evening] at all. I have control of my day, and let me share with you what [I do].
Inman also quotes Jen Davis, and she said: “In anxious times, productive activity limits your anxiety. …When production is high, anxiety is low.”
Lastly, according to Inman, “After noon, if an agent has had a productive morning, they’ll then find there’s little need to be as demanding or manage their time as closely, Keller said. They’ll find they can remain productive with a fraction of the stress.”
Obviously, that is oversimplified. Gary Keller went a little deeper into it in person.
Now, I want to share with you one piece that is absolutely missing from this, and that’s the evening routine. We don’t talk about it. Most people find themselves so tired from the day that they find it hard to do this. But over the years, I’ve developed the process and simplified it so you can do this and have better control of your day.
I interviewed Sarah Jakes Roberts a while back, and she said something to me that was absolutely amazing.
She said she looks at her day—the coming day—the evening before. When she’s planning the day ahead during the evening, she looks at the things she planned to do and asks herself, “Am I going to be 100% present for this tomorrow?” for each task and appointment on her list that she had planned for the next day.
If at any point she feels like she won’t be there for that task or appointment 100%, she does one of two things: she either cancels and apologizes (which is the option she prefers not to do), or she asks herself where she needs to be to show up there.
But the bottom line is: Your day starts the night before.
This is the evening routine I created to help you do just that. I love acronyms, so I called this evening routine PREPARE. This is what it means:
For me, the evening routine is more important than the morning routine. Your day tomorrow starts this evening; it doesn’t start tomorrow morning when you go. “Surprise! Let’s kind of figure everything out.” That’s not how it works. It starts the night before, and hopefully, you are planning way ahead (like planning the week ahead during the weekend).
I usually use my Saturdays or Sundays to plan the next week and reinforce that through my evening routines to plan the day ahead, and my morning routines to start my day with focus. Because, as you can see, my evening routine goes for approximately 11 minutes. It says there, Plan for tomorrow: 3 minutes, and if it goes for three minutes, man, you'd better plan the week ahead on Sundays.
That way, you can just look at everything you’ve planned for that day and review your priorities based on the time and energy you have. Ask yourself, “What are things I’m going to be present for tomorrow? Who do I need to be? How do I need to show up? With what energy do I have to show up for those things? Am I prepared enough?”
So, I’m telling you... The morning routine is great, but the evening routine is better. You need to level up.
Next is Review what happened today: 3 minutes. This is the part where you look through your emails, voice mails, texts, and everything else—and see if you missed anything. It serves as a catch-all for things you might have missed or forgot to do or follow up on, because when you are really busy, you are going to miss some things.
This way, you can prevent that anxiety at night when you suddenly remember something you forgot right before you go to sleep, or even wake up in the middle of the night because you forgot to do something. You prevent this because you’ve already allocated time to review and have a catch-all moment before sleeping.
Next is Exercise: 1 minute. This goes with the whole idea that Tony Robbins said, “Motion creates emotion.” I tweak that a little bit and I say, “Motion enhances emotion.”
A light 1-minute exercise can do wonders. Remember, we are chemical beings. Our biology has certain reactions. Exercise helps us dump things out and we feel better.
Next is Practice gratitude: 1 minute. A lot of us do this in the morning, but I want to challenge you to do it in the evening as well. Practicing gratitude in the evening, where you can go back through the day and say “Wow, who am I thankful for? Who do I need to reach out to and say ‘Thank you’ to for making my day this much better? Who made my day easier? Who is out there who I haven’t reached out to recently that I just feel like I need to say hello or thank you to?”
This is how you are ending your day. You are taking control of it. It’s very purposeful.
Next is Affirmations: 1 minute. Like gratitude, most of us do affirmations in the morning. I have a set of affirmations for the evening that I go through that get me into the right mindset to prepare for turning “off.” Because a lot of us just go through the night, and it’s like, when is our shut-off time?
In this “always on” society, if we don’t do something that gets us in the right mindset to turn off, we sleep through the night with all this worry and anxiety.
Next, Reflect on your actions: 1 minute. As you’re going through the day, pay attention to this one. For me, this changed my awareness level and how I interact with other people. When I am reflecting back on my actions, I ask myself, “How did I treat people? Was I short with somebody? How did I communicate with people?” Those are things that everyone you meet during the day pays attention to: how your interaction makes them feel, your tone, body language, focus, and how you treat them.
This is the only way you can get better as a person—take time to reflect on your actions.
Lastly, Embrace the night. A lot of us don’t ever get there. This is the time when you can look back and tell yourself, “I’ve done enough for today.”
I could keep going on forever, and I’m never going to finish. I learned that early on in my business career. At some point, you are going to have to stop and embrace the night.
When you set aside time to do everything here, it relieves anxiety. It gives you a snapshot of how your day went, and you can say, “I can do better tomorrow, but I did okay today.”
And when you allow yourself to embrace the night, you are learning how to let it all go.
A lot of us don’t have the structure or system that allows us to let go.
So, as cool as the morning routine is, I’m going to tell you right now, your day starts the night before. It’s all about the evening routine.
(I also have a morning routine and weekend routine that you can download here.)
If you click on the download link above, there are also reflection questions that you can answer if you have time.
What do you think? Do you need an evening routine? Do you even have one? Maybe you should have one so that you can set yourself up for a better day the night before. Now you are not leaving it up to chance, you can take control of your day. But it should start the evening before.
Have an awesome day!