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Imran's success story

Imran on a Strong Morning Routine and Leading a Work-Life Balance

Alan Nguyen
Alan Nguyen
Author, zealous traveler, our friend Imran dropped by and shared his journey with Habitify as the 7th transformation story in our series.
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We at Habitify believe in self-development as the leading factor to all advancement in career, relationship or health. So we step out to find people with similar stories. We found Imran, owner of Imran Esmail Consulting, one of the most loyal users of Habitify.

Being a 3x published author and a zealous traveler who has been to 50+ countries, having 1.8M+ views on Quora and 5000+ students on Udemy, Imran still manages to lead a balanced life without losing focus on his health and family.

Let’s welcome Imran.

What are your habits? What was the main reason you formed them?

Most of them focus on my morning routine so that I have a path to a strong start to my day. I start with Wake Up Early then Gratitude Exercise, Meditate, Visualization and then I’m off to the gym where I try and get in one Ab Exercise. I then have a Cold Shower and get my day going. My morning routine sets the foundation for my day and I find I’m happier and healthier over the long run when I start my days this way.

In your morning routine, there are Wake up early and Gym and Cold Shower. They are, I believe, the hardest habits to form (they require a lot of mental effort in the first place). How did you manage to stick to them for a long time, and how can you put them into a combo morning routine now? 

I just have a setup schedule to go to the gym at 9:30 am for a certain class at Barry’s Bootcamp and do the shower right after at the gym. So those two have become easy. Waking up early is more challenging but getting out of bed quickly before your mind starts thinking is the most important step.

What has changed, improved most significantly after years of habit-forming?

I find that I always come back to these core habits and I can track my mood/health against how often I’m engaged and doing them. There are often periods when I fall off and I find myself less productive because of it. I just think coming to this realization makes the daily check boxes that much more sticky for me.

I now live in terms of process rather than outcomes. It’s a journey but I don’t focus on attainment as much anymore but simply the habits that I know make my life better.

Along your journey, what was the most memorable experience? 

One of the items on my list is to Call Family who is on the West Coast of Canada while I’m in the East. So often if I get caught up with life I’ll forget to check-in with them. One day my mom sent me a message telling me how nice it was that I was speaking with my sister so much more often. I know I should remember but it’s nice to get a reminder daily to remember those most important to you. I notice my sister becomes warmer on the phone and we take a more genuine interest in each other’s life. 

Imran - upper left - with his family

Do you notice any impacts on your job?

I wouldn’t say they directly help because my habits aren’t work focused but indirectly I find myself much more focused on daily work following my daily morning meditation along with knowing I accomplished what I wanted health-wise before I started my workday.

Could you share some productivity tips you’ve learned for yourself over the years?

Of course! For me it’s all about utilizing technology the right way:

  • No phones after 10 pm or before 10 am - so you don’t get distracted by emails, etc.
  • Use blue light blocking glasses at night - helps with better sleep
  • Use Freedom on your laptop - blocks social media, etc for periods 
  • Basically force cut out as much junk food as possible (social media, surfing, etc.) for your productivity

The reason I’m suggesting these combos is that I find I sleep better and feel more refreshed in the morning which allows me to wake up early without having to mainline caffeine like most people. My focus is better on tasks - you can’t quantify it but you just have a sense that your mind doesn’t skip around like it used to.