The first time I got online and understood what the internet was capable of, I became completely fascinated and totally transfixed by it.
I have a pretty addictive personality and when I find something I like I go really deeply into it. When I saw how much the internet had to offer and the endless opportunities it offered to learn, build, design, connect and make money I was hooked.
Many years later I am still hooked. My natural instinct (driven by my insane curiosity about online marketing campaign performance) is to wake up and race to the computer right away to see what happened during the night. It’s the first thing I think about.
Did anything change?
Did anything break?
Because of this fixation I have spent the last several years worth of mornings rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and immediately staring at the computer screen.
Computers Take Energy
What I find is that this ritual of waking up and immediately staring at the computer screen drains my energy and puts me into a loop of screen obsession that I can’t break until it’s time to go to bed.
This obviously isn’t a very healthy way to spend my day so – as I’ve written about here before I’m trying to do different things for that first hour of the morning to see how it impacts the rest of the day.
So far the results are good and it seems that as long as I do anything other than work – I end up having a better day.
Sun and Sweat Give Energy
One of the things I’ve been doing to escape the computer screen in the mornings is taking my bike out for a morning ride around the streets of Hollywood.
There are many benefits to doing this:
- I’m out of the house, away from the screen
- I’m getting sun which naturally stops melatonin production and wakes me up
- I’m getting exercise
- I get to watch the city wake up and all the crazy stuff that happens in the mornings
Spending the first 30 minutes to an hour of my day outside, on the bike away from the computer puts me in a great zone for the rest of the day. I get a little sweat going, my blood starts pumping and my body feels totally alive and awake.
When I do finally sit down to do some work and check my campaigns I’m in a much better mindset to make good decisions. And by not getting sucked into the internet first thing in the morning I don’t get sucked into it for the rest of the day.
Documenting the Process
Last week I took my iPhone out and filmed my morning bike ride. I wanted to share what I was doing and have a little fun by showing you what my neighborhood looks like.
During the video several things happened:
- I almost crashed trying to film and ride at the same time
- I explain why I might be selling my car
- I witness a police + Marijuana smoker situation
- I go into a rant about why laws, money and the rest of our lives may not be real
[Watch the Video Below]
That’s what I’m doing now to start my day. If you happen to be in Hollywood, CA around six o’clock in the morning and see a guy with tattoos, filming himself while riding a bike – that’s going to be me, trying to kick things off right.
If you’re doing computer-based work it can be really tempting to stick your face in the computer screen immediately after waking up.
I have found that by going outside and getting some sun and exercise for the first 30 minutes to an hour can set you up for a more productive and fulfilling day.
You can go for a bike ride, a walk, or just sit outside on the porch and watch the clouds. Anything seems to work. It’s nice, it’s relaxing and may just help you have a better day.
Give it a shot and let me know how it feels.