Episode: 4 Rituals That Make You Super Productive

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Michael Hyatt: You begin every day with the goal of being fully productive, fully present, and fully engaged in your work, but from the moment you hear the alarm a thousand small interruptions hamper your progress. It feels as if some unseen force resists your every move. Your energy level is low, so you hit “snooze” just one time. Then you wonder if you can still squeeze in a workout. After chiding yourself for a minute or two, you decide to skip the run.

You sort through the dryer looking for a clean pair of socks. While munching down a bagel, you sneak a look on Facebook to see if anybody “liked” your last post. Then you click on “Celebrity Diet Secrets,” then a news article. Then you check email. You might drive a little too fast so you can hit Starbucks before work, but you’re still 10 minutes late. Even before you sit down at your desk, you’re already stressed, already behind on your day, and feeling overwhelmed, and it’s only Monday.

Megan Hyatt Miller: By the end of the week, you’ve given up on your most important priorities, worked late twice, and have settled for the seemingly unreachable goal of getting caught up on your email by 5:00 p.m. After another weekend that went by way too fast you hit the snooze button again and start the process all over. Is there a hidden force trying to sabotage your productivity? In fact, there is. Author Steven Pressfield calls it the Resistance, but a physicist would refer to it as friction.

Friction is the force that resists the motion of one surface against another, and it works against you as you move through the morning and into the workday. Friction results in a loss of energy, and it produces heat. That’s why you begin each day feeling drained and arrive for work in the fever of what feels like a battle. What if you could reduce the friction? What if you could add a layer of lubrication to your day that would reduce the forces working against you?

Michael: Engineers have recently developed a compound of boron, aluminum, and magnesium called BAM for short. It’s billed as the world’s slipperiest substance, even more than Teflon. When a thin layer of BAM is applied to machine parts, friction is nearly eliminated. Because BAM is also one of the hardest materials in the world it can operate in the most severe conditions, from pumps to cutting tools and even cookware. A little BAM can take the heat and frustration out of any process. If friction is the unseen force impeding your productivity, what lubricant would reduce it?

Megan: What we’re really asking is…What would add a little BAM to your day?

Michael: Hi, I’m Michael Hyatt.

Megan: And I’m Megan Hyatt Miller.

Michael:  And this is Lead to Win, our weekly podcast to help you win at work, succeed at life, and lead with confidence. In this episode, we’ll show you exactly how to reduce the friction in your daily routine so you can be more relaxed, more focused, and more productive than ever before.

Megan: All of us want to be fully engaged and highly productive, but every day brings a fresh round of small obstacles to our progress. Today we’ll show you the four daily routines my dad has honed over a lifetime. They’re guaranteed to launch you into a productive day. When we’re finished today you’ll be able to avoid that feeling that you’re never quite caught up, and you’ll be able to enter each day calm, collected, and fully prepared to reach your goals. We’ll also give you your critical first step that will start you on this pathway.

Before we dive into today’s show, I’d like to ask you a small favor. If this podcast has been helpful to you, would you please take two minutes to leave a review? That’ll help other leaders find and benefit from this great content. It’s super easy. Just visit

So, Dad, we’re talking about eliminating the small obstacles that make us feel overwhelmed each day. I know everybody wants to hear more about that, but I wonder about the word rituals. I wonder if this makes some people a little squeamish, like we’re going to break out the candles and the incense and it’s going to get weird.

Michael: Actually, I like that, but that’s beside the point. I think a lot of times people have a religious connotation when they think of the word ritual, but I think of it more like a recipe. In other words, it’s simply a routine or a habit you bake into your daily life, something that sets you up to get a predictable, positive result.

Megan: The truth is there’s a lot of science behind this. MIT researchers have identified that there’s a habit loop. It’s basically cue, routine, reward. Once you install a habit you don’t even have to think about it. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me. I like that. Habits operate in a deep part of the brain, which is called the basal ganglia, that can bypass our conscious thought, which is pretty neat. Habits are maybe the highest level of automation there is, don’t you think?

Michael: Yeah, absolutely. If you can put yourself on autopilot and don’t have to think about it, you can run through a whole series of things that set you up to get a predictable result and save your brain power for other things that are more creative that are things you’re doing for the first time.

Megan: Right. Starting a new habit or routine is really about connecting the dots. Anybody could do it. For example, finish breakfast, which is your cue, take a morning run, which is a routine, and then have coffee, which is your reward. Now I’m going to be honest. I need the coffee first.

Michael: I need the coffee first too. Absolutely.

Megan: I feel I could adjust the order of those a little bit, but you get the basic idea regardless.

Michael: One of the things to remember, too, is these daily rituals we’re about to recommend provide some benefits we want to keep in mind. First of all, they conserve mental energy by eliminating routine decisions.

Megan: This is a big one.

Michael: Right. If I had to figure out every morning how I’m going to get to the gym, like it was a new route every time, that takes time and energy.

Megan: Or what kind of exercise you’re going to do.

Michael: Exactly. I have it all pre-mapped out, and I just go through the routine. It’s a ritual. In fact, so much so I don’t even think about it. I’m listening to podcasts while I’m doing that. Secondly, they reduce friction by removing the small obstacles.

Megan: Or decisions.

Michael: True. You’ve pre-thought, you’ve thought about the obstacles you might encounter, you’ve eliminated those in the process, and now you have a ritual that bypasses those with the least amount of friction. Then they boost energy by ensuring you don’t sacrifice your personal needs. This is the important thing about a morning ritual in particular. I want to make sure I’m exercising an appropriate level of self-care and getting myself set up to win. For me, the day is won or lost usually before 8:00 a.m.

Megan: That’s so true. If you don’t automate this, it’s very unlikely it’s going to happen consistently.

Michael: Today we’re going to talk about the power of automated actions, and we want to get down to four rituals that set us up for success on a daily basis. I know you use these same four rituals, but let’s talk about these, and we’ll kind of go back and forth on what we do.

The first ritual is the morning ritual. Years ago, I observed that a lot of professional athletes had some kind of ritual they got involved in that would set them up for a game-winning situation, whether it was the things they did right before the game or the things they did in the locker room or the things they did right before, like when the quarterback would take the hike. A certain ritual, a certain set of predetermined actions that set them up to win. Almost a little bit superstitious. I want to take out the superstitious part of it, but I’ve identified…

For example, in my morning ritual, there are nine things I do every day in order to get set up for a winning day. For me, it looks like this: the first thing I do when I get up (this is kind of mundane) is drink 12 ounces of water, because I’m pretty dehydrated. I want to get the water going so my brain is going, my blood is flowing, and all the rest. Then I make a cup of coffee. (Coming back to that coffee thing we were talking about earlier.)

Megan: First things first.

Michael: Then, for me, I’m reading a selection from the Bible. I read through the whole Bible every year, and I’ve done this for more than a couple of decades. So I’m going to read a Bible selection. Then I pray, journal, meditate, fill out my daily page in the Full Focus Planner, work out, and then eat breakfast. That’s my morning routine.

Megan: It’s funny. When you were talking about this, I was remembering back to some years ago when my kids were really young. Now they’re 17 to 8, so they’re a little bit older, but when they were younger I felt like this morning ritual thing was just not for me.

Michael: Like you couldn’t do it.

Megan: Like it was totally unattainable. I heard your ritual, which took quite a long time.

Michael: A couple of hours.

Megan: I just thought, “I’m lucky if I get 15 minutes. If I can make my coffee without somebody asking me for something, that’s a miracle.” So I got started with this at a very low-bar kind of level. I began my morning ritual with just coffee and a short devotional time. The devotional I’ve used for years is by a woman named Phyllis Tickle based on The Book of Common Prayer. It doesn’t take very long at all, maybe five minutes tops, to go through the morning reading. That’s all I did. That was my entire morning ritual, and it felt like a triumph every day that I could do five minutes.

Now it has expanded a little bit, and I feel like when we teach this in our activation workshops or our Free to Focus live events, this is kind of the cornerstone ritual we encourage people to start with. I think it’s because it really sets you up. For me, mine still starts with that devotion coffee time. Then I plan my day in my Full Focus Planner. Then I get my boys ready for school, usually. They’re not totally independent like the older kids, so they still need a little help making lunches and all that kind of stuff.

Then I go on a walk, normally. Once they’ve left for school, I go on a quick walk, about 45 minutes, sometimes a little less. For me, walking is a great exercise, not only because I love to be outside and it’s probably the only time of day I’m really outside, but I don’t have to go to the gym. It’s literally walk out the front door, so I save that time, which for me really matters. Then I come back, I shower, I eat breakfast, I fix my hair, put my makeup on, and get dressed.

It’s all of the normal things you do every day. We’re documenting those in our morning routine, but we’re also making sure we have the time for self-care. We’re making sure we eat breakfast. We’re making sure we get some exercise. We’re making sure we have time to plan our day. We’re making sure we have some reflective time or spiritual devotion time in the morning. No matter how short or long your season of life allows for, the point is you carve out this time to be intentional about setting yourself up for a great day rather than just stumble into your day and hope you kind of figure it out amidst the whirlwind of demands.

Michael: Here’s the truth: rituals are inescapable. Everybody has one. It’s just that they’re not always well thought out. They’re not intentional. What we’re trying to do is say, “Okay, if we wanted to set ourselves up for a win, what would that look like so that we’re spiritually, intellectually, physically prepared?” One of the things I didn’t mention is that when I do my exercise or my workout, I’m also listening to podcasts or audiobooks. That’s a way for me to feed my mind at the same time.

I’m trying to tend to the whole person. A very important point you made… That’s going to look different depending on the season of life you’re in. You want something you can do without fail. For me, I kind of have two versions of this. I have sort of a minimalistic version, and then I have the more expanded version. Honestly, if we’re on the honest planet, I have to say probably, for me, if I can get five out of seven days and do this, that’s good. Last week I was on vacation. I didn’t do this morning ritual at all. I did some morning ritual. It was kind of haphazard.

Megan: Right. You still had the coffee.

Michael: I still had the coffee. Definitely. We were touring a lot of things, and I just didn’t have the time to do it. That’s fine. I’m not legalistic about this, but for most of the year, most of the days, this is what I’m doing.

Megan: You and I are sitting here facing each other, and we have our Full Focus Planners open. There are actually two pages in the planner for daily rituals. One of the things I really like is that there’s a space for time allotted on the right-hand column next to this little block you build your routine in. That’s really important, because if you don’t know how long your routine takes, very often you won’t allow enough time for it, and then you’ll get frustrated because you keep skipping breakfast or because you feel like you don’t have enough time to exercise.

So it’s critical that you actually time each of the steps in your process so you know… For example, from start to finish, from the time I wake up until I’m fully dressed and ready to walk out the door, if I do all of these things, it takes me three hours. That’s including showering and getting dressed and hair and makeup and all that kind of stuff. What I know, then, is if I want to be able to walk out the door at 8:30 I need to get up at 5:30. That allows me to go through that routine without feeling stressed, which is critical.

Michael: I think that’s the secret. As we get to the evening ritual we’re going to find out going to bed at a certain time is the key to getting up at a certain time.

Megan: Okay, what’s next?

Michael: The second ritual is the workday startup ritual. One of the things I noticed years ago is that I found myself working through email all day long or handling interruptions all day long. I found that it was really hard for me to get focused, deep work. I thought, “What if I took care of some of these basic things I have to deal with at the beginning of the day and then also at the end of the day so I could clear the bulk of the day for that deeper, more focused, concentrated work or meetings so I’m not interrupted by these things that have to be done but are kind of maintenance items?”

I have a workday startup ritual that gets me all set up for the day. The first thing I do is empty my email inbox. The way I do email (and we probably ought to do an episode on this sometime)… Jim works with me on my email (Jim is my assistant). He’s actually prescreening all the stuff that comes into what I call my public account. That’s what everybody else has access to. He drags only those messages I have to tend to into my private account. Very few people have that private email address.

Those messages are dragged in there because Jim doesn’t know how to answer them or thinks I need to reply to them directly. That, on average, is four or five messages a day. So, for me, to knock out my inbox is pretty quick. The other thing I do is review and respond to Slack messages. Slack messages are our internal messaging system. We use that in place of email, but it’s similar. Jim doesn’t screen that for me. I’m doing that myself, because I want to keep my fingers on the pulse of the business.

Then I check Facebook and Twitter. Because we’re a company that, in large part, markets through those social media channels, I think it’s important for me to engage there. We have social media managers and all that, but I still engage personally on that. Then I review my Daily Big 3. I’ve usually framed these up in my morning routine, but now I want to get refocused on the three things I absolutely, positively have to get done for today. That whole process takes me 30 minutes at the beginning of the day.

Megan: That’s almost exactly the same as mine. I don’t have the social media piece in there. That’s not really something that’s important for me to be doing, but one of the big insights I had about this workday startup routine (and, for that matter, the next one we’ll talk about) is that if you don’t build in time for this kind of catch-up and correspondence, especially internally with your team, what happens is you end up working before you go to work, which interrupts your morning routine.

If your day starts with a meeting at 9:00, for example, and there’s no workday startup routine, then you think to yourself, “Well, I’d better skip that run or that walk or that session with my trainer because I need to answer those emails that are urgent.” It just destroys the rest of your morning, so you aren’t able to protect that time. The same is true later in the day. So I think there’s a real function here of protecting your most important priorities in the day but also before the day begins.

Michael: Yeah, this is just a way of batching all that little stuff, the tiny trivial stuff that will eat up your day if you’re not careful.

Megan: If we don’t account for it, it’s going somewhere. It may be individually tiny and trivial, but it adds up to 30 minutes worth of work that’s the difference between you have a morning routine and you don’t.


Michael: If you’re a high achiever, you know how to plan your day for maximum productivity, but do you know how to process your day so you can make each day better than the last? If not, I want to share with you the number-one tool to help you slow down, gain clarity, and move forward with confidence. It’s called the Full Focus Journal.

With this physical journal you are given an eight-question template each day so you can establish consistency with journaling. Even if you’ve struggled to keep a daily journal in the past, we’re positive that if you just answer our eight questions each day you’ll establish a habit where you’ll consistently learn from your journaling experience.

This beautiful and aesthetically pleasing journal is meant to stay at home, maybe by your bed or your favorite corner of the house. When you return home from a long day or even start your day you can rely on this journal to slow you down and gain clarity over the past day. If you want a ritual to not only make you more productive but help you learn from life, the Full Focus Journal is for you. You can claim your copy at

The third ritual is the workday shutdown ritual. The reason this is important is I don’t want to bring work home. Here’s what happens to so many people, especially who are in corporate positions, but even business owners and entrepreneurs and middle managers. All day long they’re in meetings or are being interrupted, so all the real work gets done at home either at night or in the morning before they begin.

They don’t have an evening ritual or, if they do, it’s getting back on the computer and processing the email they never got to during the day or the morning ritual is doing that last-minute preparation on the projects they’re going to be talking about in these meetings. We’re trying to avoid that.

I have a workday shutdown ritual that consists of the following. Again, emptying my email inbox. I don’t want to be dealing with email all day long. Unless you’re in customer service or something that requires constant interaction on email, most people don’t need to be on email all day long. In fact, this is a temptation that keeps us from doing the real work. We think, “Well, I have to be responsive.” Most people are happy to wait for half a day for a response.

Megan: They’re also in meetings all day.

Michael: That’s right. If they need something urgent they can try some other method of getting in touch with you. So I empty my email inbox. I have this written down as seven minutes. This is also about a 30-minute routine. Then, again, I go back through Slack, check Facebook and Twitter again. Then I review my tomorrow and this week lists. We happen to be using Asana right now. Our company has converted over to Asana.

Megan: Which is a project management system and also a personal task management system.

Michael: I have all of my tasks in there. I don’t keep all of those in my Full Focus Planner, but I keep all of those in that digital planner. So, I’m looking at the tasks that are going to be due tomorrow or I’ve flagged to be due this week, and I’m looking for candidates for my Big 3 for tomorrow. Then I review my Weekly Big 3, which is another thing we teach in Free to Focus and also as a component in the Full Focus Planner.

I review my Big 3 priorities for this week, make sure there’s not something there that’s left undone or needs to be done. Then I identify my Daily Big 3 for tomorrow. I’m constantly thinking, as you can see, about my Daily Big 3. I’m looking at the one for tomorrow. I’ll review it again in my morning routine, and then I’ll review it in my workday startup ritual. Then I leave my planner open to tomorrow’s page on my desk. That’s the last thing, so when I come in I have it all set up.

Megan: That’s great. Mine is very similar to that. One of the things I thought about when you were talking is this is not just something you sort of say to yourself you’re going to do. This is something that actually needs to appear as a calendar item on your calendar. This is an appointment you keep with yourself. Both your morning routine…

In other words, you’re not taking breakfast meetings or early meetings that are going to disrupt this on a regular basis, and you’re also not scheduling meetings or allowing other commitments to come into this workday startup routine, and you’re leaving time that’s blocked as a commitment to yourself at the end of the day for your workday shutdown ritual, because if you do those things you’ll enable yourself to have the kind of margin and rejuvenation you need in the evening, which we’re going to talk about next.

Michael: For me, for example, I quit work every day at 6:00. I’m pretty regular about that. It’s very rare for that to not happen. In fact, I have an activation trigger set up so my office lights turn off at exactly 6:00. I know my workday shutdown ritual is going to take 30 minutes, so I start at 5:30, and I’m going to be done by 6:00, because the lights go off and I’m standing in the dark if I haven’t finished.

Megan: That’s awesome. Okay, let’s talk about you’ve come home from work, you’ve had dinner, all of those sorts of things. How do you set yourself up in the evening for a productive next day?

Michael: One of the things I do is leave the devices alone. When I leave the office I’m done with the devices. In fact, we have a little tray now in our den where Gail and I (and Marissa happens to be living with us right now)… We all put our phones in that tray, and they can just charge up, so there are not going to be any devices at the dinner table. This is huge. I find so many couples, so many families… You see these people out eating at restaurants. Everybody is on their devices.

Megan: It’s true. It’s the weirdest thing.

Michael: We’ve had a lot of discussion in our culture right now about suicide. I just heard a report this morning. They were saying one of the major factors there is loneliness. Loneliness leads to depression, it leads to frustration, and in some cases leads to suicide. People are feeling isolated because of these devices. So put them up.

Megan: Connect with the real people around you.

Michael: This isn’t part of my evening routine, but I just want to set up the evening. We sit down and eat dinner together. As we’re having dinner… This actually is another ritual. We always ask, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” Now, we could focus on what was the worst thing, and it’s easy to go there because we do have this predisposition toward negativity and drama. I think that’s true of the human race, but you can choose to focus on something else.

You remember this as a little girl in our family. We forced you kids to come up with your best thing. Sometimes Mom would say to you… You’d say, “I didn’t have any best thing today,” and Mom would force you to say, “Okay, if you had to name one thing, what was it?” I think it’s incredibly helpful.

Megan: Especially effective for teenagers.

Michael: It is. So we’ll spend 30 to 45 minutes having dinner together, and then everybody is kind off to their own. My evening ritual begins with reading. I’m going to read something, preferably not a business book or something that’s going to get my brain fired up, but I’m either going to read fiction or history or a biography. I just started the biography of Ulysses S. Grant. I’m just one chapter into it, but I’m excited about that.

Then brush and floss my teeth, wash my face, and then when Gail and I get in bed discuss three wins with her for the day, and again, for the same reason. Sometimes we don’t do that if we’ve done it at the dinner table, but we like to identify three wins, and then we pray together. That’s it. Thirty minutes there too.

Megan: Mine…I tend to spend about 20 minutes doing some personal correspondence because I have four children. There’s always stuff related to kids schools or other planning for them that’s important that sometimes just doesn’t fit naturally into the workday, so I do that. I also review the next day with Joel.

We talk about what’s happening tomorrow, where the kids are, who’s the babysitter depending on what time of year it is, what activity they have going on, so we’re on the same page, because anybody with a bunch of kids knows there’s a lot of coordination that’s needed, and if we don’t have that conversation very often we’re like, “Wait. You’re not picking up? I’m picking up?” We just get a little confused, so it’s really important.

Then, I’m going to be honest, I watch TV for probably about 30 to 60 minutes a night. That is just my decompression time that I really enjoy. I do not like to read at night. I mostly read by listening to stuff during my exercise time in the morning, and I love watching a show. Very often, that’s my introvert cave time as a mom and a leader. I just need some time by myself. I love that.

Michael: We do that some too. We are living in the golden age of television. There are so many amazing shows on right now.

Megan: There are so many good ones.

Michael: We’re doing less of it now than we were doing, say, a year ago, but I still think that’s a good use of time. Nothing wrong with that.

Megan: Then, basically, I lay out my clothes for the next day, take my medicine or supplements, pray, and go to bed. What I know about that is it’s going to take me about an hour and a half to do all of those things, sometimes a little less, but I need to start that routine after I’ve put my kids to bed around 7:00 or 7:30 if I want to get in bed by 9:00. Again, we’re thinking with the end in mind. What time do I want to go to bed?

If I’m not intentional about it and just sort of dillydally around, which can happen, especially if you have kids and feel like you have no time to yourself… You can just putter around your house and not start getting ready for bed or moving in that direction until 9:00, and before you know it, it’s 10:30 or 11:00 and you need to be up at 5:30. It’s just not enough sleep.

Michael: No. The one thing I’m absolutely committed to above all other items of self-care is my sleep.

Megan: Me too.

Michael: I know if I get enough sleep everything else goes well. I’m shooting for eight hours a night, eight solid hours. For me, that means I have to get in bed by 9:00 if I’m going to get up at 5:00 to get eight hours of sleep. By the way, I track that also. I use an app called Sleep Cycle.

Megan: Don’t you love that?

Michael: I love that app.

Megan: It’s kind of addictive, because then you can see “What was the quality of my sleep last night? Was it 80 percent or was it 95 percent?” I get really excited if it’s over 90 percent.

Michael: The one thing I don’t get excited about is that it records your snoring.

Megan: I don’t have that problem.

Michael: Well, okay. Fair enough.

Megan: This is really important to mention too. If you have a night where you’re out late… For example, Joel and I were at a concert a couple of weeks ago. It was really fun. We don’t do that very often. It was late. We didn’t get home until like 11:00. My sleep is more important than exercise the next day.

Michael: I feel the same way.

Megan: In that case, I’m going to sleep later than 5:30. I’m going to forgo the exercise. The bare minimum baseline is I have to get my sleep, and if that means I have to truncate the morning ritual in order to do that, I still feel like it has been a win.

Michael: I think so too, because, again, I’m thinking from the end, keeping the end in mind. I’m going to be more focused and more productive if I sleep in. The ideal is that I get up on time. After eight hours of sleep I work out and all that, but if I can’t do that then I have to prioritize.

Megan: The next best thing is sleep.

Michael: That’s right. Again, you can’t get legalistic about this. To have a minimal routine… Like when I get to a hotel, that’s usually a challenge because I usually have earlier morning stuff, so I have a separate routine I do when I’m on the road.

Megan: That’s great. So, we started by talking about rituals as a way to set yourself up for optimum productivity, that without rituals you kind of stumble in and out of your day with no real intention, and as a result, the outcomes you’re able to produce are often compromised. That’s kind of our big picture here, but if you’re listening to this you’re probably wondering, “Well, how do I get started?” This is not something you’ve incorporated or maybe you’ve tried and have been overly ambitious and it hasn’t worked. How do you get started?

Michael: Well, I would start by documenting what you’re doing now. Again, I just want to make the point…you have a morning routine. You probably have a workday startup ritual, you probably have a workday shutdown ritual, and you probably have an evening ritual. So just document it. Go ahead and write down each step like you were explaining to somebody the recipe for what you do. It’s just like a cake mix or anything else.

If you don’t like the results you’re getting, if you don’t like the cake you’re baking, you have to change your recipe. What would make you more effective? You know you need to exercise, so build that into your morning routine. You know you need to eat breakfast. If you have the right nourishment and your blood sugar level is up to where it needs to be, you’re going to be more productive, more focused. Your brain is going to work like it was created to.

So all that stuff is important. Again, I would just start by documenting it, and then reengineer it. Say, “Okay, this is what it is.” Just a caution here: don’t go crazy. You have to set a low bar and make incremental change over time. Small improvements over time can have a big impact on our lives. So I would document what you’re doing now, tweak it a little bit, try it, tweak it some more, try it, and see what works. Don’t be afraid to throw out stuff that’s not working.

Megan: Absolutely. One thing I just thought of that’s really critical if you do have younger children if you haven’t yet implemented a morning routine… This is something you need to discuss with your spouse. Very often, this is the kind of thing that one spouse will come home with all gung ho and they can’t wait to implement it, but what it really means is the other spouse has to hold the bag and do all the morning stuff with the family to make it possible.

What you’re looking for is mutual support and coordination. If you’re able to work that out with each other, like, “I’ll make the lunches while you’re out on a walk,” or vice versa, then it can really work and you can support each other, but if you’re not careful this could be really bad for your marriage.

Michael: Didn’t you tell me about some practice you guys had of you went to bed with the kids but then got up like an hour earlier so you had time for this?

Megan: Yes. In fact, when our kids were young and were not good sleepers, we would just go to bed when they would go to bed. Sometimes that wasn’t extremely early, but the temptation is you are going to stay up one or two or three hours past your kids. One of the best strategies if you have young children or kids who just don’t sleep well is to go to bed when they go to bed so you’re able to at least get some good sleep before they start waking up in the early morning hours, and then get up in the morning.

Michael: Well, and I’ll tell you what. That morning time, spending a morning routine that’s deliberate and intentional, is going to be far more valuable than just channel surfing late at night because you’re finally vegging out.

Megan: Absolutely. That’s a great hack if you can just discipline yourself to go to bed early no matter what. Sometimes that’s all you have control over when your children are young.

Michael: Totally.

Megan: Today we’ve learned the four rituals that will set you up for a win every day by keeping you fresh and focused on your most important goals. They are your morning routine, a workday startup ritual, a workday shutdown ritual, and an evening routine. As we bring this episode to a close, I just want to remind you that it’s never too late to start. You can gain a greater sense of balance and control starting tomorrow by adopting these practices. Dad, do you have any final thoughts for us today?

Michael: Yeah. I would just try this as an experiment. It may not work for you. It works for most people, but just try it. Start with a morning routine. Map that out. Don’t get too fancy, and just try it. Maybe give it a 30-day trial and see if it works.

Megan: I think you’re going to love it if you do.  For more on today’s episode, get the show notes and a full transcript online at

Michael: Thanks again for joining us on Lead to Win. If you like the show, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. Also please leave a review of the show. We’ve made it super easy. Just go to It’ll take you less than two minutes.

Megan: This program is copyrighted by Michael Hyatt & Company. All rights reserved. Our producer is Nick Jaworski.

Michael: Our writers are Joel Miller and Lawrence Wilson.

Megan: Our recording engineer is Mike Burns.

Michael: Our production assistant is Natalie Fockel.

Megan: Our intern is Winston.

Michael: We invite you to join us next week when we learn how to get the outcomes you want by designing a process to produce them. Until then, lead to win.