No matter how much you enjoy the work you do every day, getting up and getting moving in the morning is a skill that can take years to master. Even though I’ve always been a morning person (i.e. I can physically jump out of bed and get moving in less than a second), over time I’ve found that there are five key elements to my morning that help me prepare mentally to face the challenges of each day. Each element focuses my brain and organizes my thought processes in a way that makes each day more productive, enjoyable, and satisfying.
My morning cup of java (no sugar or cream for me) is more than the caffeine jolt my body believes it needs to be productive: it’s also the central morning ritual that gives me the head space to think about the successful day that lies ahead. Drinking coffee creates a physical change in my awareness, which fuels the fire I need to think creatively and innovatively.
- Baby Snuggles
If my life were the solar system, my full-time career, my freelance projects, my hobbies, interests, and all the other things that take up my time would be the planets and stars. My little boy would be the sun, and no day is complete without a morning snuggle and the chance to smother him with kisses. His smile is one heck of a motivator for me to be the best possible version of myself, for him.
- Read Trusted Voices
Creativity is fueled by collaboration. Creating engaging content and finding creative solutions to problems starts by being open to new ideas and staying informed on news around your community and within your industry. Every morning, I read a selection of news stories from the sources and voices I trust and respect.
- Plug Into Social Media
Scrolling through social media feeds in the morning isn’t about cramming tasks into my routine: it’s about plugging into the conversations that I plan to be a part of in the day to come. Scanning LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram helps me get a handle on what people are talking about so that I’m better prepared to enter those conversations when I get to the office.
- Set Goals
Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? I start each day by embracing my limitations. Waking up in the morning with an over-ambitious plan leads to frustrated afternoons where I feel like I have to work fast and catch up. Instead, I take the time in the morning to decide on the priorities for the day ahead, and see what I can do right now to make future tasks run more smoothly. In my previous post, I mention using OneNote to keep track of my projects, which is also where I write down my goals for the day. It’s a page titled, “Go Get ‘Em” and even has check boxes next to each item. Throughout the day, I open the page and check mark what I’ve completed. This method keeps me organized and provides a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
What does your morning routine look like? I love to hear how other people start their day, especially if it doesn’t involve caffeine: how??