10 things to do in your mornings to have a great day
Whether it's part of the morning routine or not, these are all the things I like to do. I don't always do all of these things but if I do one or more of these items, I find that I have a much better day.
For a long time, I avoided meditating. No particular reason why, I just didn't see how not doing anything for 5 or 10 minutes or longer would help me.
But having done a 10 minute session, albeit not as consistent as I'd like, I see the benefits. I'm more 'in the moment'. I liken it to how you might feel if you saw a messy desk - by organizing and clearing away all the crap on your desk, you see what it is you need to do. That's what meditation is for my mind.
I like reading a wide variety of books - and usually I'll read a few chapters or a few pages based on what I think I need more 'insight'. For example, if I know I'm going into a meeting with a controversial or heated topic, I might read a book on emotional intelligence. If I know my energy has been off, I might read a book on diet and exercise. The point is, I read and I take action (because what's the point of reading if you're not going to change your mind about something?)
3. Glass of water
Shawn Stevenson, host of the Model Health Podcast talks about how when we sleep, we are quite dehydrated when we wake up in the morning. Since our bodies are over 70% water, it's important to hydrate right after waking up.
For me, I like to add a bit of lemon into the water. Or if you're a fan of Tim Ferriss, you might want to add some protein (30 g of protein within 30 min of waking up).
I think there are mixed studies showing whether exercise is more beneficial to you in the morning or in the evening (I think they're leaning towards the evening) but honestly, I get to work and then I find that I don't have the time to work out in the evenings because of other commitments. So if I want to get active, I do it first thing in the morning before my other commitments take over.
You don't have to do a lot - just enough to get active - whether that's a 7 min body weight exercise, 15 min yoga, or 30 min kettlebell session.
Depending on the many projects I have on the go, I like to get writing. Sometimes that's the form of journaling, other times that could be working on a book, and yet other times it could be writing on Medium, NotePD or other places.
It gets things out of my head. It gets my brain 'warmed up'.
I think more and more people are discovering the benefits of fasting. It keeps you healthy. It doesn't cost anything (even saves you money). And because I'm not eating breakfast in the morning, it saves me time.
7. Write out my task list for the day
You can do this on a flash card or an app but it helps you 'look ahead' at what your day looks like and what you need to do to be successful.
For example, if I know I have to stop by the library after work to return books, I'll pack the books up and put it by the door so I know I won't forget when I leave. Or if I know that I'm going to return an item at the store, I'll make sure the item is in the car and visible so that I know to stop by the store before returning home from work.
These are things I can do because I review what I have to do that day and then plan ahead.
8. Change into 'work' clothes
With everyone working from home these days, the lines are blurred between work and home. It makes it all the more important to make sure you have boundaries set. One of the boundaries I have: I wear different things for when I'm 'working' and when i'm 'home'. Just like if I'm going into the office and I might wear a suit, I like that ritual of changing into my home clothes when I'm off work.
9. Clean up one thing on my desk
It doesn't sound like a lot, and it isn't. But one thing done daily over a long period of time gets a lot of done. I put away a book. I put away random receipts I have laying around. It's just one small item but over time, my desk is more and more organized and only with the things I need to do work.
10. Practice gratitude
I find that if I start my days being grateful for the things I have in my life, I am not going throughout my day wishing that things were better or that I had X (more money, a better house, more electronic toys). It's a small shift in mindset that I like to tackle right away in the morning.