Want to know how to take back control of your day?
Do you begin the day rushing around, skipping breakfast because you don’t have time, grabbing a coffee on the run to get you started and by the time you get to work you feel as if you have done half a day’s work already?
Or, maybe you know the morning routine is important to set you up for a productive and creative day, but you continue to struggle to maintain it.
The experiences we have first thing in the morning are a precursor to how our day will unfold. If we are rushing around, running late, thinking negatively, or getting uptight this will flow over into the rest of our day. Our attention and focus will be elsewhere and not on the present moment or creating the morning routine with ease. Our creativity and innovation will be lacking. Our ability to be open, curious and respectful of others will waiver. We will have a challenging afternoon and a challenging, difficult or tiring evening.
When we look at this from a psychological and behavioural perspective – we are allowing the outside world (other people, environments, external factors) to dictate how our inside world (our own thoughts, feelings and actions) is playing out.
How do you begin your day with strength and creativity?
- Start your morning the night before. Take 15 minutes to write your ‘I Get To Do’ plan. Write down your plan for the following day, and then you don’t have to keep the ideas in your head. Prepare what you will wear for the following day. Don’t leave this decision making to the morning – it can derail your routine. Set out what you need to wear and take to work with strength and certainty.
- Wake up earlier than you currently do. Give yourself more time and less rush EVERY day! The top scientists, business people and entrepreneurs wake up one to two hours before their daily schedule begins. For example, if they have a train to catch at 8:20am for a meeting at 9am they are up by 7:20am, if not 6:20am. Getting up earlier than usual (even 15 minutes each day) can set you up for a different outcome and level of control. This can be 15 minutes earlier each day this week, then an additional 15 minutes earlier next week. Take time to warm up your mind, body and soul. This may be through breathing, meditation, prayer, yoga, a walk or whatever gets you set up for the day. Like a muscle before a game or a workout, we need to warm up to perform at our best.
- Engage in ‘Gratitude Imagery’. Take time each morning to go through three things you are grateful for. During this experience incorporate imagery. Imagery is including all your senses to recreate a real life experience. Begin by identifying one thing that you are grateful for. Create the image/picture/scenario in your mind. Hear what occurred during that moment, feel the emotions, taste the flavours, and smell the aromas. When we immerse ourselves in these moments of gratitude, our brain rewards us with a chemical called dopamine. This chemical gives us a natural high and we are motivated to feel it again – often triggering us to repeat good habits, commit acts of kindness, be thankful, and do good for others.
Often, the only place we will find more time to commit to ourselves is in the morning. When we instill effective habits that assist us to take back control, we can experience a more productive and enjoyable day.
We all have 86,400 seconds gifted to us every day when we wake up. What will you do with your gift? How will you use it in the best possible way for yourself, your significant others, your friends, colleagues, and humanity?