There’s a really interesting article you should check out from Michael Hyatt who gives guidance on becoming a morning person. Apparently morning people make more money, are more productive, live a healthier, longer lives and are happier…
This is all down to creating a morning routine for yourself and one of my resolutions this year was to set a morning routine. Nothing over the top just simple things that would mean my day would get off to a roaring start.
image via StyleSaint.com
I’ve been a big fan of doing my to-do list the night before for a while. I find if I fail to write down what it is that I need to do the night before, I spend most of the day coasting, aimlessly going from project to project (or worse from twitter to facebook) and achieving nothing!
Working from home I think its imperative to have routines, so that the work/home life doesn’t blur (or at least doesn’t blur as much because there is and always will be an overlap).
But I’m also fascinated by other people’s routines (something I’ll be posting more about in the future)…
Leo from Zen Habits shared his routine:
1. Sit. I wake up and start the coffeemaker, drink a glass of water, then sit on a small pillow. I just sit, and focus on my breathing. You don’t have to meditate — sitting still, contemplating, taking in the world, is a beautiful thing.
2. Read. I read a book. The paper kind, that doesn’t require electricity. I like reading with no distractions. I’ll read for about half an hour to an hour.
3. Write. Before I check email or Twitter or read my feeds, I sit down and write. It doesn’t matter what — a chapter for my new book, a blog post, answers to an interview someone emailed me, anything. I just write, without distractions.
After I’ve done that, I am now free to check email and read my feeds (I only follow a handful). I get on with the rest of my day.
Whilst Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue rises at 5.45am each day to play an hour of tennis, after which her hairstylist arrives to blow-dry her bob, after which her driver takes her to the office.
And Gwyneth Paltrow:
I wake up at 7 a.m., I get [the kids] fed, and I get them dressed in their uniforms, any bits of homework are finished,” Paltrow explained. “I take them to school. She [Apple, now 9] gets dropped off at 8:25 a.m., and he [Moses, now 7] gets dropped off at 8:45 a.m., so we have a croissant together in his school dining room and we do reading together. Then I go home and I work for one hour on all the e-mails that come in overnight from L.A. Then I exercise from about 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Then I work on Goop [the digital media and e-commerce company she founded] pretty much the rest of the day until I pick up my kids and then they have various activities.
See successful people are all up and at them in the mornings and more importantly they have a routine.
My morning routine at the moment is the essence of simplicity, I want to get in to a more structured and meaningful routine but for now, I do this:
I check my emails on my phone and usually my social media networks (I know, its a habit that I’m working on breaking).
I get some water in me. Whether it’s warm water and lemon, lemon & cucumber infused water or just a plain old glass of h2o.
3. Get some fresh air: I used to just get up and head straight to my desk but if I’ve any chance of getting things done these days then I need to get out and feel the air in my lungs. Now, this isn’t always exercise, it can be popping to the shops or just standing by the back door having a cuppa whilst the dogs do their business. Either way, fresh air is the perfect start.
For me, my routine isn’t perfect, I don’t want to really check my emails as soon as I open my eyes but like many of you, I’m trying to overcome the epidemic of busyness that’s descended upon us. I also want to add exercise and meditation in the mix. As someone who finds it hard to switch off in general I think that this would do me the world of good as I could start my day with a clutter free mind.
But in general as human beings we need a bit of structure. Creating a simple daily plan stops distractions taking over and wards off that pesky overwhelm and quite simply, how we start our day sets the tone for the rest of the day.
A few tips on successfully creating a morning routine…
Plan: Planning is key to almost everything in life. Even those of us who don’t like to be too rigid in our planning, making sure that you’ve got things ready the night before so you can slip of out of your pjs and get what you need to get done is priceless.
Allow yourself more time that you anticipate you’ll need: life often throws curveballs at us. The postie may knock or a client may call so if you dedicate the first 15 minutes of your day to just meditate, make it 25 just to ensure that you can fit it in. Plus being early for things is never a bad thing!
Don’t quit. For things to become a routine you have to do them often. Don’t be tempted to throw in the towel just because you’ve missed a morning yoga session or done things in the wrong order. Michael Hyatt suggests that you commit to 21 days as this is how long it takes to form a habit.