Full disclosure on these morning habits: This article doesn’t feature 20-mile runs, kale juice, ice water plunges, or two-hour meditations. It’s not that these aren’t effective (they can be), but they’re not for everybody, some are pretty time consuming, and not everyone has a lake, pond or ocean within walking distance.
From a business perspective, we at Nickson may be all about helping people look their best and feeling good about it. But there is more to feeling good and performing well in life than dressing nicely.
Sure, a nice new outfit will give your dopamine and serotonin levels a marked boost, but there’s so much more we can do to sustain the feel-good factor.
As far as we know, there’s no single trick to hacking your day. Doing just about anything mindfully and with positive intentions will have some positive impact on your state of mind.
So, we’re not here to preach about things you absolutely must do and dismiss the rest.
Rather, the following are simple, common-sense recommendations that many of us overlook in our day to day lives. Just 6 little things that every single reader could implement into a morning routine.
We’re confident that they’ll make a noticeable difference to your peace, happiness and motivation.
Let’s start at the beginning:
1. Give yourself time
Waking up 30 minutes before work and having to rush around in a tizz is just about the worst way to start the day.
Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to just wake up, take things at your own pace, smell the roses and then the coffee.
Some of you may have to start getting the kids up and ready soon, so take a moment to yourself. It could be 10 minutes, it could be 30, or it could be an hour. It doesn’t really matter, so long as you make it yours.
You might like to get some exercise early, or just freshen up in the shower before taking it easy for a bit. Maybe you want to curl up close to a significant other or take the time to make something great for breakfast. What you do with this time is up to you, but the key is going at your own pace.
For those few minutes, you’re in charge, and working on nobody’s time but your own.
2. Avoid screens (for just a while)
It’s tough to not get sucked into the social media or email hole first thing, especially since we usually set our alarms or check the time on our phones.
But all that blue light, news, and work updates are doing us no favours, not at this hour.
Again, there’s plenty of flexibility here. It’s fine to check your phone or computer for anything pressing, but if the notifications can wait, allow them to wait. If not, try to deal with them quickly and get them out of the way. Then you’re free to take your time again.
Tip: Keeping your phone away from your bedside table, or even in a separate room, is a great way of preventing yourself from lying in bed and scrolling through the newsfeed. Morning habits are harder said than done but give it a go.
3. Let your mind wander (if it wants to)
So many self-improvement books, podcasts, and the like stress the importance of disciplining the mind, reigning it in and taking control early. This is good practice but the same can also be said for the opposite approach – it depends on what works for you.
As the day goes on, you’re going to have to master it anyway, so what harm will it do to let your mind drift wherever it likes in the morning?
Essentially, this is just a bit of a brain dump exercise to get everything out there. Some may prefer to write this stuff down, but just letting the mind think about whatever it wants will also suffice.
But here’s the trick: noticing that you’ve drifted and being fine with it. You don’t have to attach any emotion to it or over-analyse. Just notice it from time to time. Then comes the next step…
4. Bring it back to the present when ready
Once you’ve let your mind wander and acknowledged as much, you don’t have to force it back into the now. Rather just gently bring yourself back. You can do this by asking yourself a few simple, grounding questions.
It could be as easy as telling yourself your name, your job, and how you got to where you are. You might even want to run through a few things you’re grateful for in life. Anything that brings you back to the moment.
And it’s fine if you drift off into the mental aether again, by the way. By repeating the above, and not forcing anything, you’re building up a nice, easy, and productive relationship with your mind.
And just like that, you’re meditating.
5. Eye up your day & set your intentions
So, you’ve let your mind off the leash for a bit, perhaps it’s about time you started zeroing in on the day ahead.
Size up the things you have to start or finish at work, the things you want to learn, and perhaps a few things that excite you. Maybe you’re a list maker? Well, this is your time to shine. But even doing this mentally will work for your morning habits.
By gauging the tasks ahead for the day, you’re already beginning to overcome them.
6. Take control by completing little tasks
Don’t underestimate the power of conquering the little hills before taking on the mountain of morning habits. Make the bed, tidy up your home a little, get into your business clothes—whatever little things you can do in the morning, take care of them and take pride in completing them. The point is that you’re taking control, restoring order, winning the early exchanges.
Think of it like a game of football (or rugby, or whatever your sport is). Scoring the winning goal isn’t the first priority. Rather it’s winning the first ball or completing the first pass. Start simple, then grow from there. You’ll stand a better chance of winning that way.
By paying attention to your mental space and allowing enough time to get ahead in your morning habits, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of getting what you want from the day. Check out our related articles below, and if you would like to buy a nice dress shirt, you can do that here. Whenever you’re ready.
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