As many of us know, Covid has truly messed up our daily routines. But since many of us haven't known normal since mid-March, creating new routines are (most likely) in order.
Routine and structure are a huge part of organization. But if you want to do the most demanding of tasks with less friction, like waking up at 5:00 am or starting your day with physically demanding exercise, your Kindergarten teacher already taught you this; "Put things back where you find them."
As adults, I feel this phrase is better expressed as "The Meditative Reset." (At least I don't feel so five years old when I put that in writing.) If you are going to set out for a run or the gym at 4:30 am like Jocko, or have a date with your laptop to continue your daily writing discipline, the meditative reset is a hack worth embracing.
It's not enough at the end of the day to just unwind or crawl into bed. Setting your next day up for success by having your gym clothes placed out (or in the bathroom so you don't disturb your slumbering partner) or your laptop returned to the workstation where you'll begin pounding keys with the roosters, you are practicing a meditative reset.
It doesn't make doing the difficult work any less difficult, it just makes it that much easier to begin. Getting things done in a day has way less to do about their degree of difficulty as it does with the least amount of friction to begin. And for many of us, starting the day with coffee is a must. Setting up the coffee machine to brew a pot the night before is one of the most rewarding indulgences at an ungodly hour. (I love you, Mike!)
But the meditative reset isn't only about making things easier for the tasks to get finished, it is also setting an intention. By moving your gym clothes to a specific spot the night before, you are letting the universe know this task is serious and will be completed. That you take your health and fitness seriously, you are dedicated to your goals. For myself, I take my laptop with me to the office mid-afternoon, but start writing at my desk upstairs first thing in the morning. The simple act of taking my computer bag from the hallway where I drop it off when I walk in the house, and putting it in my office creates one less barrier to scale. It sets the intention I take my work seriously and I'm honing my craft.
A meditative reset can be expressed as a ritual or even a personal mantra. Each thing you do in preparation is in fact answering a question. It is answering the "Why" for your actions. Monks will mediate on certain thoughts and continue to ask why on their path for enlightenment. Every preparatory intention is an affirmation, a declaration, a truth that is expressed. It may not bring enlightenment, but definitely a strong dose of mindfulness. I don't know about you, but I'll take it.