“A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.” –Chin Ning Chu
Everyone has a different set of things to do first thing in the morning. Some may take their time and laze about before starting on anything or doing anything productive. Others are more straightforward with their day, tackling tasks here and there and making every minute they are awake as productive as they can be. But if there is one universal truth as regards as to how you spend your mornings, it is this: Your morning ritual sets the tone for how your entire day goes.
As a testament to the previous sentiment, how productive and successful people spend their mornings is evident enough of why mornings are the perfect avenue for setting the tone and mood of your day. Highly productive people do not waste time battling their alarms and delaying another moment in waking up. For them, carpe diem is an understatement and that every moment you let slip is an opportunity that is wasted. Highly productive and successful people go about their days a lot differently than most people and perhaps learning a thing or two from them may be the trick to set your productivity path.
1.) They meditate to lower stress
It matters not where you are working—whether you are a flash game developer or managing and running a retail conglomerate, stress is always prevalent regardless of your job environment. The existence of pressure makes it imperative on every individual to find relaxation techniques to de-stress and unwind. Successful individuals do it different by meditating every morning as it is the prime time of the day to do so. Mornings, contrary to popular belief, are the most stressful times in the day as our cortisol levels are at its peak and its highest point. Meditation will help you relax and steer away from negative feelings and center your head in starting your day in a calm manner.
2.) Curating their news intake
In the epoch of smartphones and digital media, more and more people start their day with their morning coffee and reading whatever content they come by online, may it be from social media or news sites. Kick this habit and instead of starting the day by mindlessly sifting through your inbox or the day’s headlines, choose the type of content you consume. For a few minutes or so, read an inspirational book or listen to a motivational podcast and you will be rewarded greatly. In the same vein, you can assist your employees in beginning their days on a positive foot. This can range from giving out Happy Friday emails of recent wins and successes of your employees which would motivate your employees to finish the week strong.
3.) Steer the conversation
Undoubtedly, your mood impacts others—more so if you are a particular team’s leader. Your mood influences how your employees would react to you, so instead of brewing negativity use this to your advantage by enhancing their experience. Whenever you are asked how you are doing, try to focus on the positive things happening instead of ranting and complaining. This does not mean you are inauthentic, but rather you do not feel positive all too often because your negativity consumes you. Commence meetings by posing a question which would elicit positive thoughts from the group and revel in the good news. It does not only stimulate feelings of inspiration but promotes social cohesion of the group as well. Even as little as five minutes invested in sharing good news and positive thoughts can already make a day significantly better and more productive.
4.) Thank someone
All around positivity is good for everyone and spreading even just a bit of it will bode well for everyone. Gratitude is one way of spreading positive feelings and vibes, and it benefits both you and your recipient. An email praising or thanking a colleague would do wonders and activate people in your social sphere in a meaningful way that would enable you to strengthen bonds.
5.) Map out and visualize your day
Before heading out to the office, you can maximize your potential by mapping out your schedule for the day, visualize your schedule and jot down your to-dos. Mornings are ideal for this as this is the only time of the day wherein you can get some uninterrupted alone time, so it is best if you spent it by visualizing how you want to spend your day. The early hours are perfect for fostering easier reflection which would aid you in prioritizing activities. Additionally, having a clear navigation route for your day ahead saves you from wasting time thinking about the next task you should do.
6.) Connect with your spouse and family
Family dinners are one thing and may be heavily lauded and practiced by many. But in the early morning rush, family connectivity may get neglected. Just as great as it is to end your day with your loved ones, it is equally rewarding to start your day with your loved ones as well. Before leaving for work or dropping off the kids at school, make it a point to eat breakfast together and exchange words of motivation and encouragement to each other. Additionally, make each morning a chance to connect with your spouses and significant others. Give them a brief kiss before you leave the house or send them an affectionate message if they are not home with you. Starting your day like this leaves you with a positive feeling all day long.
How you start your day impacts how the rest of your day goes as can be gleaned by the tips stated above. Create your own morning rituals and see what works best in promoting your productivity and success. Additionally, try to incorporate positivity into your mornings instead of grumbling how tired you are or complaining about the fact that you have to be up early—try to find the positive in each and every scenario. You may be skeptical about how it would work, but five minutes is all you need to impact the entire course of your day. So make those five precious minutes in your mornings count.