The start of your morning sets the tone for the next 24 hours. As a businesswoman running several different companies at the same time, I’ve learned that mornings are a valuable opportunity to get things done before the work day officially begins. Maximize your abilities with these five morning rituals for a successful business day:
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
We are creatures of habit and our internal clocks can go off-sync pretty quickly. My body is used to waking up early, even if I go to bed late the night prior. I try not to force myself to sleep in, as it’s generally not an option anyway — but even when it is, if I sleep in, the rest of my day is off. Stay true to your internal clock.
When Your Alarm Goes Off, GET UP
This is a no-brainer, but it’s so important that it must be a line item. We have all fallen prey to the snooze cycle: “Just five more minutes” we tell ourselves, and the lethargy immediately creeps in. It sounds simple, but when it’s time to get up in the morning, make yourself get out of bed when the initial alarm goes off.
Send a Positive Message to Someone Important to You
It may sound cheesy, but I text message my parents every morning, “Hi, good morning, have a great day! I love you!” I started this at the age of 18, when I left home for college, and have come to realize how significant it is. The action of sending the outbound positive message, which is later responded to with an inbound positive message, helps set the tone of your day. You don’t have to send the message to the same person every day, but the habit of sending a positive message to someone important in your life should become a ritual. I consider it a form of “cheat gratitude journaling.”
Whether it’s a parent, significant other, best friend or mentor, reach out via text/email and say, “Hi, good morning, wishing you a great day!” and watch how your next 24 hours pan out. There is a special, intangible effect.
Make Your Morning “Your Time”
I was recently reminded by a dear friend that you can’t draw water from an empty well. In order for me to have an effective day and give any of myself to others (i.e. mental energy, business knowledge, etc.), I have to be “filled up,” as what I expend to others is overflow. Before I embark on my generally jam-packed, increasingly verbal schedule, I allow myself to ensure that the mornings are my quietest times of the day. I play music of my choice and don’t speak to anyone until after I’m ready.
Reserve 10 Minutes to Go Through Emails and Check Social Media
My businesses are very email intensive, so I utilize two phones and an iPod touch. I only use the phones for email accounts, and I only use the iPod touch (essentially the same device as an iPhone5, except that it doesn’t have a mobile number attached to it) for social media and business apps.
After I’m ready, I sit down in the adjacent sitting area of my closet (I have a red leather chair just for this; I feel like the vibrant color wakes me up) to check my business phones and iPod touch. I filter important emails, send a quick line or two of response if needed, and check what messages, replies and/or interactions came in on my various companies’ social media accounts during the night. Although I am not the primary handler or poster, I do want to be cognizant of what items may need attention and what new opportunities may have arrived as these can adjust your schedule for that day.
What other rituals serve you well?