The way you start your working day will determine how much you will be able to accomplish during it. Scientific research confirms that what you do in the first several hours in the morning influences the rest of your day. While getting up early can keep your mind refreshed, your first routines and activities impact your daily productivity. Adopting specific morning rituals is one of the best ways to start your day.
These rituals could involve setting yourself a short-term goal, writing a couple of lines in your log or practising yoga. Many successful people follow morning rituals, which they believe help boost their productivity and remain motivated. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3.45 A.M. and goes to the gym or a hiking trail. Morning rituals should match your own preferences and lifestyle. Below are some of the best morning rituals that will allow you to stay energised during your working day.
Set Clear Goals
Setting yourself a clear goal for each day will keep you focused and limit possible distractions. You can write down your goal in your diary or even make a note on your smartphone. Believe it or not, simply writing down your daily goal will significantly increase the chances of achieving it. When you have a recorded goal for each day, it will help you to prioritise activities, search for relevant resources, and find possible and impossible ways of achieving it.
Don’t forget to judge if the goal is attainable after formulating it. Setting unrealistic goals can quickly lead to exhaustion and will even demotivate you if your objectives are not regularly achieved. To live a balanced life, set goals for different areas, including health, relationships with other people, education, leisure and others. For example, your daily goal could be to have a five-mile walk. After you master the skill of setting and achieving one goal per day, you can try setting a goal for each area of your life.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation can be a useful mental exercise that will sharpen your focus and provide you with better control over emotions and thoughts. You can practice mindfulness meditation for just five to fifteen minutes every day by focusing on breathing and accepting the current thoughts and sensations. Don’t analyse your feelings and accept whatever comes to your mind. Meditate in a calm place like your lawn where you will not get distracted. Also, try to meditate before your kids and other family members wake up. Practising meditation will improve your decision-making skills and make you smarter in a number of ways. Recent research in neuroscience suggests that mindfulness will help you to better manage your anxiety level. Rejuvenating your mind through such a morning ritual as mindfulness meditation is said to bring you lots of energy during daytime.
Complete a Chore
One of the best morning rituals that are perfect to start your working day is completing a household chore. A busy life usually results in you leaving many daily chores to your spouse, kids and paid help. Completing a chore by yourself in the morning will diligently help you to get prepared to your working day and do a ‘warming-up’ exercise. Choose a simple task such as polishing your shoes or getting your clothes ironed to start your morning. Even setting up your desk and organising books in the morning can quickly get you in the mood to have a productive day.
Write a Diary
Many people prefer writing their journal or diary at the end of the day. However, starting your day with some reflective writing may help you to process your thoughts and ideas in the most productive way. As a result, your daily planning will be more effective, and only a couple of lines written every morning will help you to stay on track. According to the University of Rochester Medical Centre, journaling contributes to managing anxiety, reducing stress levels, and coping with depression.
Understanding the real causes of stress and anxiety is of great help to tackle your fears and replace them with positive feelings. It is a rewarding practice to write a few sentences in your journal every morning and finish your log before you go to bed. Journaling doesn’t need to be only about your work life. As an alternative, you can write a blog post that can be published on your website or posted on social media. Try to go live on Instagram if you have never done this before. These reflective practices will remove mental clutter and unlock your creativity.
Go to the Gym
Doing a quick workout before work is one of the best morning rituals that will energise you during the daytime. In a study conducted by the Appalachian State University, early morning exercises led to lowering blood pressure and improving sleep. Going to the gym early in the morning is also a good way to get a discount because you will be out of peak hours. Regular physical activities serve as a perfect antidepressant and allow for coping with exhaustion and stress. If intensive workouts are not what you keen to do in the mornings, you should try jogging for thirty minutes or taking your dog for a brisk walk. A short burst of fun cardio activity such as dancing, hula hoop or aerobics can also work wonders for you when practised properly and regularly.
Yoga helps in realising yourself, and there is no better time for practising yoga than early mornings. Many people feel sleepy in the mornings and find it difficult to commute to the office. Practising yoga allows for stretching our snug bodies and prepares us for an active day. Yoga exercises are especially useful for people who perform sedentary jobs (e.g. software programmers). Protecting your spinal cord and increasing muscle strength are the most recognised effects of regular yoga exercises. Additionally, they boost the rate of metabolism in your body by warming up the digestive system. In turn, good metabolism will help to stay energised and productive while performing your daily responsibilities. Recent medical research has also shown that yoga has a positive impact on the endocrine system.
Organise Your To-Do Lists
Everyone wants to be an effective planner, but very few of us stick to the initial plan and finish unpleasant tasks without procrastination. You can plan your day by scheduling to-do lists in the morning. All the tasks you wish to complete today can be jotted down in your pocket diary or saved in a note-taking app like Evernote. Scheduling allows you to understand the time available to you, as well as to allocate reasonable time intervals to each task. You will obtain incredible energy from seeing each milestone checked off one by one.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
A breakfast is the most important meal you have in a day. Eating healthy food in the morning is good for a person’s body and soul. Having a decent breakfast before your working day starts instead of picking up junk food from a local fast food restaurant is a good morning ritual you can turn into a regular practice. Just make sure that your breakfast has a good balance of fats, proteins, and other nutrients needed for your body. A healthy breakfast will energise your body and you will not feel hungry until lunch. Sharing a tasty and healthy breakfast with a family member will show that you care and ready to invest in personal relationships. Cooking breakfasts may become your regular household chore, which is another source of energy and creativity.
The above-reviewed rituals will yield the best possible result if you follow them diligently. The lack of consistency in your morning activities will end in a chaotic day and a tired evening. Just remember not to copy the morning rituals of your favourite celebrities and business tycoons. Select and test-drive those rituals that are suitable for your biological hours and don’t be afraid to experiment with something new. Indeed, some rituals are perfectly paired (e.g. writing down your daily goals and journaling). For some of us, simple rituals such as going through a newspaper in the morning are much more energising and refreshing than doing calories-burning workouts. It would be wise to track your energy level during daytime and correlate it to your morning activities. Doing so for several months, you will discover what rituals are the most powerful for you.