I consider myself a morning person. I like to get up early and I feel that is when I am most productive. However, I know I waste precious hours every morning while I wait for the rest of my family to wake up. Most of the time I can spend a good two hours (if not more) checking email, reading gossip-type articles online, and catching up with my family and friends lives on Facebook. As I embark on this journey to improve myself, revamping my mornings seem like a logical place to start. What would you do if suddenly you had two extra hours in your day?
I recently read a great article by Arman Assadi (you can read the full article here), where he gives a framework for creating a morning ritual. I like his approach since it allows for each person to create a ritual that works for them. It basically boils down to three steps:
- Identifying what rituals you feel you would benefit the most if you made it into a habit.
- Starting with just a few habits and building from it.
- Adjusting your morning ritual as time goes by.
The end result should be a morning routine that is specific to you and will help you start the day with the right energy and frame of mind.
Once activity that I know helps me greatly is to make a to-do list the night before. So even though it is not officially part of my morning routine, I add this here because it is one thing I know makes a big difference in my mornings. Waking up knowing that I already know what I want to accomplish that day gives me motivation to start the day.
Getting out of bed when my eyes first open is another big one for me. Sometimes I force myself to stay in bed until everyone else wakes up, and in the end I wake up feeling rushed and that I wasted time I could had used to get something done (even though when I do get up I waste those hours with meaningless tasks).
I really would like to also start to focus more on gratitude as well as doing more visualizations (I actually probably should say “start” doing visualizations), so in order to ease myself into the “getting out of bed” part I could take 5-10 minutes to visualize how I want my day to unfold; how I want certain meetings to go, my energy level and happiness as I go through my day, my interactions with my loved ones, etc. Finally, as I start going through m morning tasks (feed the cat, preparing breakfast for my family), I think this would be the perfect time to remind myself of all the things I am thankful for.
I plan on start playing around with this morning routine until the end of the month, noticing what actually helps me and what I think I should change, and once September kicks in, I will actually start tracking how many mornings I actually follow my morning routine in hopes with will become a habit.
What is your morning routine? In what ways do you think a morning routine has helped you?