As I sit here in the very early morning thinking of what to write I recall a recent discussion we had at a PWBN networking group. The topic was focused on the morning habits we create that move us toward being more productive throughout the day and how we feel when we don’t start our day off with some semblance of a routine. Here are 7 of the most effective practices to help kick start your day and help you become more productive.
1. Get the rest you need, I know it sounds so simple but how many of us do it? Early for you might be different than early for me depending on whether you are a night owl or an early bird. But getting up at a specific set time and going to be at a specific set time helps to balance out your internal clock and helps you have a more restful night. Remember when you were little and there was a bedtime and you woke up when your body was ready to? Your body is amazing, listen to it.
2. Get up when your alarm goes off. Statistics show that you are more alert and aware when you wake up the first time your alarm goes off than when you use the snooze several times. It is difficult to return to that deep restful sleep between snoozes and your body is basically shocked into waking up. Rising on the first ring allows your body that adjustment time it needs to wake up naturally.
3. Start your day with quiet meditation. Whether you read, pray, or meditation this quiet time allows your mind to focus on your being and the inner peace that we all seek. It helps us to focus on the things that are most important and what we need to accomplish for the day. In his book The Compound Effect Darren Hardy, Editor of Success magazine, talks about his morning routine and how it is an integral part of life for the many great leaders he has interviewed over the years and how they attribute it to the single most important habit of their success.
4. Exercise in the morning and get your blood pumping. Exercising in the morning helps to jumpstart your metabolism and increases your energy levels. It’s a way to heat up your bod and get your creative juices flowing. A lot of people like to run or walk early in the morning and others like to start with yoga, somedays I put some music on and dance just for a change of pace. Whatever you do enjoy it or you won’t stick with it. Movement gets the heart going and that’s a good thing.
5. Eat a good breakfast, yes BREAK-FAST! Recently I heard a health coach explain that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because you need to fuel your body after the 8 hours of rest where your body has gone into a “fast” of sorts during sleep. “Break the fast” with a nutritious breakfast high in protein and fat to give it the fuel it needs to face the day.
6. Review your 3 most important priorities for the day. Before you get started review your calendar for important meetings and any specific tasks you need to do. Begin with the 3 most important things you need to accomplish and focus on them. Even if you have 20 items on you to do list, focus on the 3 most important, get them done, cross them off, and celebrate your accomplishment. Do a happy dance and move on. Celebrating along the way will spur you on and you’ll feel great.
7. Leave the email and the texts for later…yes, later! Don’t let other people’s thoughts interrupt your day. We all do it, we read email, we respond, we check other emails, we respond to those, then we check social media because of a message in our email and pretty soon half the morning is gone and we haven’t even gotten out of our pajama’s yet. When we allow other people’s thoughts to control our lives, we are distracted from the important things we need to accomplish. Save it for later.
What’s your morning routine? If you don’t have one I encourage you to implement one or two things for the next 2-3 weeks and see how much more productive your days are. Daily habits begin with mornings, make them great!