According to a Nielsen study, 85% of the consumer packaged good (CPG) companies die within the first 2 years. With this statistic, it almost sounds ridiculous to even try to start a company in that field. Unless you have the right procedures and routines in place and the mindset to succeed.
On July 1st, 2016 two former UCLA athletes, Steve O’Dell and Robbie Page, founded Tenzo Tea, a matcha beverage company. Today, Tenzo Matcha is enjoyed daily by thousands of people across the United States and is dubbed one of the healthiest drinks on the planet.
I’m always curious to learn what habits people have that have allowed them to achieve success so I decided to ask these 2 athletes how they organize their lives to be not only productive but also well-balanced.
Here are their best tips:
1. Build Effective Routines
Routines help to reduce mental load so you can be more productive while doing less. But, if you’re like most of us, building stable routines can be very hard. One solution to create strong and repeatable routines is by forming specific habits and then string them together. It might be hard in the beginning, but like riding a bike, writing a paper, or really anything in life, the more you practice, the better you’ll get.
2. Start Early – The Morning Routine
The early bird gets the worm. Instead of loafing around for an hour getting ready or pounding the snooze button 10 times, these guys religiously follow a morning routine to get started fast.
The founders begin each day at 5:00am sharp, pointing out that waking up early has major two advantages.
First, it allows you to better plan your day. Having a few extra minutes in the morning to plan your day will save time later because you won’t constantly be thinking about what’s next. Secondly, starting early allows you quiet time to get serious work done before the bustle of the normal workday begins. It’s best to use these hours to handle your creative or most difficult tasks because your brain is the freshest in the morning, especially without the distractions.
Next up is a warm cup of Tenzo matcha, which is perfect for everyone who wants to be productive and healthy because of it’s long lasting energy with no crash and numerous health benefits. Robbie pointed out that “contrary to coffee or energy drinks, Tenzo matcha has a rare amino acid called L-Theanine, which distributes the caffeine in your blood over 4-6 hours.” Instead, of the bothersome jitters and wild roller coaster effect commonly associated with coffee, matcha gives you a relaxed, focused energy.
After they’re feeling energized and prepared for the day, the founders head into a 5:30am management meeting to tackle problems and discuss key objectives for the day. This lasts for 30 minutes and then Steve immediately walks to a local coffee shop for some quiet reading time while Robbie prepares a well-balanced breakfast.
Pro Tip: Robbie recommends following advice from learning expert Jim Kwik and avoids all social media for the first hour when he wakes up. Checking Social Media early leaves you in a reactionary state – you focus on what your friends did last night, rather than what lies ahead.
3. Healthy and Productive – The Afternoon Routine
Each day at 3:45pm the Tenzo Team promptly stops work and begins their second routine. Team workouts.
The Tenzo Team heads to the kitchen and begins the ritual. Before every workout, the team gathers round and takes a concentrated shot of Matcha green tea. Why you ask? Matcha acts as a preworkout because of it’s 50mg of caffeine, but doesn’t have all the synthetic junk found in a C4 or redbull. It also, boosts your metabolism, which increases the rate that calories are burned during the workout.
At the gym, you can continue this routine all the way through your workout. Steve recommends standardizing your warm-up and most of your exercises. Mentioning that “It’s so much easier to get through a good workout if you follow a plan that you’ve done before, because you don’t need to spend time between exercises thinking about what you need to do next, you just do it.”
Pro Tip: Use operant conditioning to form good routines by pairing two habits together. For example, Steve and Robbie love matcha but aren’t meatheads. So, when they first wanted to get in a solid lifting routine, they paired something they loved with something they knew they needed.
4. Keep Going
The hardest thing about routines is getting over “the hump”. It’s the reason so many people sign-up for gym memberships each January with hopes to become healthier, but never do. They can’t get over the hump, where an action goes from something new that you’re just trying to a true habit. If you still have to get motivated to get through a new routine…it’s not a routine yet. When it becomes intuitive or mindless, then it’s become a routine.
So, how can do you do this?
The single most important thing to form powerful and efficient routines is discipline. If you want to live healthy and be super productive, there’s nothing stopping you.
Start small and add 1 healthy routine to your live. Stick with it for a month until it becomes a habit and then add the next one.
Stay disciplined and eventually, you’ll develop powerful routines too.
Also published on Medium.