What are you like in the morning?
Do you drag yourself out of bed and rely on a few coffees to get going?
Do you amble from one task to the next with no clear sense of purpose?
Or, like many successful people, do you have a morning routine that ensures you get a jump on the day?
If you ask any highly motivated and successful person about their mornings, I bet you’ll discover a fairly strict routine.
Very few just wake up and see what they feel like doing.
This makes a lot of sense.
Not only are our brains a lot fresher in the morning, but by getting up early and tending to a list of tasks, it frees us to get on with the rest of our day.
No emails hanging over our heads, no gym to rush to after work.
Here are a few important foundations upon which to build that morning routine:
1. GET MOVING
Richard Branson gets up every day before 6am and fits in a workout.
This is a great idea.
You don’t have to kill yourself, either, but choose an exercise you enjoy doing, whether it’s getting lost in your thoughts on the treadmill at the gym or setting a quick walking pace outdoors.
Exercise releases those feel-good chemicals, endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine, and you will arrive at the office in an upbeat mood rather than in a half-asleep state.
2. DO THE WORST JOB FIRST
No matter what your job is, there will be a task you enjoy doing less than any other.
Maybe it’s responding to emails, maybe it’s dealing with staff requests. Whatever it is: do it early and get it out of the way.
This will feel like a weight has lifted off your shoulders, and is far better than putting off the task until the last moment.
3. EAT UP
A good breakfast cannot be overstated, and gone are the days when you can get by on a strong black coffee and little else.
If you don’t believe me, try it.
Eat a healthy breakfast every morning for a fortnight and see how much more energy you have.
It sounds clichéd but it’s true: a healthy diet and a healthy mind go hand in hand.
4. ACTIVATE THE MIND
The last thing you want is to be heading into work feeling sluggish.
So it helps, too, if you can find something that gets your brain cells firing.
It could be a crossword, a puzzle or a book, but either way it’s important to start the day with an active and engaged mind.
Set challenges for yourself, such as completing the puzzle in under 10 minutes each morning, and try and get closer to the goal each day.
5. TAKE A MOMENT
Finally, it’s important to carve out some space in your morning routine to take stock.
Some people like to meditate with the highly popular app, Headspace, which requires only 10 minutes of your time each day and is extremely effective.
Or you can simply enjoy that time to yourself to set your goals for the day, or spend some quality time with the family.
There’s no right or wrong way to construct your morning routine.
The only way you can go wrong is by not having one at all.
And you can always tell those who don’t.
Just look around the office first thing in the morning, and they will be the rushed and frazzled employees, rushing from task to task.