Some people wake up rested and refreshed, ready to start each new day. Others may need a little help getting started in the morning. Whether you tend to thrive primarily in the earlier hours or find that you do your best work after everyone has gone to bed, it still helps to have a plan for starting the next day as smoothly as possible.
In "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business," Charles Duhigg extols the benefits of creating habits that help you automate some of your daily processes. Having a steady morning routine is an excellent way to ensure that you have everything you need to get started and sets the whole day up for success. The routine that works best for you won't necessarily look like everyone else's morning, though. Consider each of the following categories and try out the options that sound right for you.
Whether you leave the house for the day or work from home, there are probably a few basic things you do to get ready. Things like showering and brushing your teeth are probably already pretty ingrained in your routine, but if you still feel like there's too much to get done every morning, a change may be in order.
Start by writing down every task you complete as part of your general morning hygiene. Are there some things that could happen the night before, or is there a way to make them easier to manage in the morning? For example, if you must bathe after you wake up to feel refreshed, consider washing your hair at night so that your morning shower can be shorter. Even small things that streamline your routine can help.
Another good way to greet the day is to get your body moving. Working out in the morning can have benefits that last the whole day. Since different people's activity levels vary so widely, there's no one correct way to introduce movement into your morning routine. You have many options:
- Pilates, yoga or other stretching exercises
- Taking a walk or going for a run
- Completing a quick session of your favorite cardio video
- Gardening or light housework
Getting the day off to a good start includes making sure your body has the sustenance it needs. If coffee or tea is what lures you out of bed, use that to your advantage with an appliance you can program to start on its own. You don't have to eat a big breakfast if that won't settle well or you don't want to wake up even earlier to cook, but make time for at least a snack to jumpstart your metabolism and give you some energy. It's also a good idea to start your day with a glass or two of water to replenish fluids lost overnight.
While it's important to get your body ready for the day, it's just as vital to prepare mentally and emotionally. Take a few minutes to center yourself so that you are better able to focus on the upcoming tasks on your calendar. Whether you start the morning with journaling, meditation, prayer or jotting down a to-do list, establish a strong mindset that gives you strength for the day.
When you have what you need to start your morning smoothly, it can make your whole day better. Your routine doesn't have to look like anyone else's, because your needs are different. Once you figure out what you require to start the day with your best foot forward, you may be surprised and delighted with the difference it makes.