Either you love or you hate them. I consider myself a big morning person. I am that person who wakes up way too early, is way too excited for coffee, and can’t wait for everyone else to get an early start on the day too!
We all seem to have our own way of getting through mornings (even if that is simply, consuming an entire pot of coffee before both eyes open wide) but have you ever thought about how your morning routine affects you throughout the day?
The truth is, just finding motivation to get through your day and then continue knocking tasks off your “to do” list is HARD (some days more than others).
If you are self employed, like I am, you really start to understand and appreciate the importance of time management and planning. It is SO easy to get off course every day (and try living this lifestyle in a city where people pride themselves on not working) which is why it’s important to set yourself up for success anyway you can. Your morning routine directly dictates your success throughout the day.
Win the first hour of your day to win the day!
»Don’t check your phone during the first hour of the day.
We all do it.
Wake up, roll over and grab the phone. But this is one of the WORST things you can do first thing in the morning.
Your phone is full of unread messages and emails, photos waiting to be liked, comments to respond, apps notifications and on and on begging for attention. When you wake up and begin responding first thing, you are programming your brain to reply and react. In a way, you give away your power before you even grab a cup of coffee.
Jim Kwik, a world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance says “you sell your sovereignty if you start your day by checking your phone.”
Do you really want to start your day giving away your power?
Set yourself up for success! Don’t sleep next to your phone. Get an alarm clock. Charge your phone at night on the other side of your room.
» Set a ritual and stick to it.
Set a routine that works for you, one that fits your personality and schedule. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do all the “personal” habits that you need. By starting your day with a routine that you can do with little to zero thought, you program your brain to start the day in a calm way; which will result in a more successful and productive day. There are studies that show our decision making abilities are limited as the day progresses. This is why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same t-shirt every day because it’s one less decision to make (I don’t know about you but picking out my outfit every day can be STRESSFUL).
Your brain’s highest levels of capacity is one hour after you wake up. The fewer choices you make when you first wake up, the higher level of productivity you will have throughout the day.
» Make your bed every day.
This a military success secret and it is a great one. It’s what experts refer to a success habit. Making your bed every day will start your day off by successfully accomplishing a task and completing that task well. Also, by making your bed in the morning, you will end the day returning to your made bed.
» Set daily goals: decide what is important for the day.
Now, it is up to you when to set your goals. Some prefer to do this the night before and review in the morning. While others like to wake up and write their goals down as if theyare creating a blueprint for the day. Having goals in place every day will not only give you a clear focus of what needs to be accomplished that day but goal setting, in general, will make you feel happier, more confident, and give you a sense of being in control of your life. It’s recommended that you set 3 goals each day. No matter how good OR bad your day goes, you will feel accomplished knowing that you did what you intended on that day (anything more, feels like a bonus) and if the day doesn’t go as planned completing your minimum goals can still make the day feel productive.
People who construct goals in concrete terms are 50% more likely to be confident and attain their goals and 32% more likely to feel in control of their lives. – Howatt 1999
» Utilize your peak brain times.
According to science (and many studies) you are most productive about an hour after you wake up. This is a time where your brain will work with you to get important tasks of the day complete. Your ability to learn and think clearly will vary throughout the day, but an hour or so after you wake up is when you are sharpest. Use this time to accomplish your important goals and toughest work. Cherish and protect this time and use it to your advantage every day.
Use the afternoon to recharge. Schedule meetings and calls in the afternoon. Check your emails later in the day. Use this as your travel time, grab a snack or meditate for a few minutes when you need a reset. Check your daily list of goals to ensure you stay on track.
» Drink water and move.
Moving around after sleeping for many hours is essential. By getting your blood flowingand your heart rate moving, you are wake up and prepare your body physically for the day! A cold shower also helps to reset your nervous system, but taking one is up to you.
Hydration is important in the morning. We dehydrate ourselves during sleep so it’s important to drink lots of water in the morning. Our brain is made up of 83% water, and when you are not properly hydrated your brain can’t function at maximum ability. Drink water first thing in the morning to get your metabolism going, flush out toxins and it helps you eat less throughout the day.
» Most importantly: Positive Self Talk.
Your body is a computer and your self-talk is the programming to make it work.
I looked up 10 of the most successful people in the world, and when studying their morning routines was blown away by how many successful people take the time to develop and practice a morning routine that works for them. Each has their own version of a routine but I found that 95% had these habits in common:
☛ Drinking lots of water
☛ Meditation AND exercise
☛ Plan, Plan, Plan (and goal setting)
☛ Take journal notes
☛ Read books or newspapers
I have recently created my own new morning routine and it goes like this:
☑︎ Wake up (Don’t check my phone)
☑︎ COFFEE. COFFEE. COFFEE (Don’t grab my phone)
☑︎ Read (Don’t check my phone)
☑︎ Set my goals for the day: 3 personal, 3 professional, 3 spiritual (Don’t check my phone)
☑︎ Drink 3 glasses of water (ice cold and take vitamins)
☑︎ Make my bed (make my phone in my bed so I don’t check it)
☑︎ Stretch for 10 minutes (It happened, even if I didn’t post on my IG story)
☑︎ Do 4 sets on battle ropes (Don’t put on SnapChat)
☑︎ Drink a tea (Don’t check my phone)
After an hour, I’ll *FINALLY!!* check my phone!
IT IS HARD – but it takes 21 days to form a new habit! I’m hoping this habit will help shape me into a more productive #GIRLBOSS.