Morning Ritual

Spring may be a great time to clean your house, but it’s also the perfect time to clean up aspects of your daily routine. Since the best place to start is usually the beginning, why not start with your morning ritual. Look to the 3 R’s to guide you: Review, Recalibrate and Reclaim.

*Review your morning routine and consider what currently works for you and what doesn’t.  What are you doing now that is hindering your productivity?

*Recalibrate habits that are no longer serving you by finding a way to redirect the habit or substitute a new one in its place.

*Reclaim control and set yourself back on your proverbial path to success, however you choose to define it.

The great news is that even making small tweaks can have a profound effect on the overall flow of your day. Here are a few tips to jumpstart your morning ritual revamp:

Morning Ritual 1 – Make your bed

It sounds simple, maybe even too simple. But while your unmade bed may seem innocuous, making your bed every morning as soon as you get up puts your space in order and that will permeate into your consciousness. This will also eliminate any temptation to crawl back under the covers. Even if you end up having a tough day at the office, you will still come home to the calm of that perfectly made bed. You don’t have to take my word for it, just listen to this excerpt from Admiral McRavens address to the 2014 graduates at the University of Texas Austin.

Morning Ritual 2 – Drink your breakfast

When you wake up, your body is likely still digesting whatever it took in the day before. Eating a big breakfast, if you haven’t given your body enough time for its cells to recover and replenish (usually 12 hours between dinner and breakfast), can tax your system before it’s ready. A green juice or smoothie with added protein will be easier for your body to breakdown. Also, the nutrients you drink down will be absorbed faster, giving you an instant energy boost. Here are a few of my favorite smoothie recipes for inspiration.

Morning Ritual 3 – Give yourself the gift of time

Time is the most valuable commodity we have, yet we never seem to have enough of it. It’s nearly impossible to ignore just how limited our time is, especially when trying to balance work with family or personal life. Oh, and time for yourself…what’s that?? Since we can’t literally get more time, it’s essential to master time management. Whether you just want to enjoy a cup of coffee or watch the morning news, you’ll have the autonomy to decide.

Nothing will derail your day quite like being rushed on the way to work, when all you can think about is arriving late to your morning meeting. Instead, you could spend your commute mentally reviewing your weekly goals or daily checklist. Being in control of your time rather than feeling like it’s controlling you is a total game changer. Start by giving yourself an extra 10-15 minutes in the morning. I guarantee you’ll be wondering why you didn’t make that change sooner and your morning time will become non-negotiable.

Morning Ritual 3 – Consult your calendar

For some of us, looking at our calendars at the beginning of the day isn’t a habit, however we do reach for our cell phones as soon as our eyes realize we’re awake. Before our eyes have even adjusted we’re caught up in a swell of emails from the night before or in the black hole that is our social media outlet of choice. Throw in getting a kid who changes his mind three times about which super hero shirt he wants to wear to school, and by 9am you feel like you’ve already had a full day!

We all put events into our calendar in good faith and yet when that 15-minute reminder pops up, it can feel like an ambush if we’re not prepared. Try this…before you open any emails, respond to texts or look at the latest viral videos, take look at your calendar so you know what’s on your agenda for the day. You can even take it one step further and look at your calendar the night before (pause for epiphany). That way you’ll be one step ahead when you wake up.  Need more tips on how to increase your productivity throughout the rest of the day? Check out these 7 tips to make you more productive at work today!