To put it simply, your mornings should be non-negotiable “me time”. This means it isn’t time to be negotiated with your team, your co-workers, bosses, or others who aren’t in your innermost circle. This is time solely to yourself, prior to answering to the other people waiting for you once you check your phone, or power on your computer. Think of it as a “no-touch zone” where you structure your own priorities before someone else does it for you. Personally, my own zone is between 7 and 9 a.m.
I understand that not everyone may have this type of control over their schedule, and that’s fine. The goal is to use whatever time you do have in the mornings in the best way you can. For example, if you need to worry about commuting to work by 9am, you can still implement a simple morning routine fairly easily. Try putting your phone on airplane mode before bed and keep it on until you’ve finished 1-2 of the habits of your choice from my favorites below. Also—this may not be what you want to hear—but there is also a lot of power in waking up earlier, even if it’s just 10 minutes.
You can structure your morning routine however you like, but as inspiration, below are a few of my favorite ways to begin the day:
I begin each morning with 10 minutes of meditation using the Calm app, though you can also try meditating yourself, or using apps like Headspace and Meditation Timer to see which you prefer. This gives me an opportunity to reflect in solitude, to think about the day before officially starting it, and is perhaps the most important part of this 2-hour routine. If you have time for nothing else, it’s worth waking up 10 minutes earlier for this.
I also recommend getting yourself moving, whether you take a short walk around the block, a 30-minute run, or even just 10 minutes of yoga (this routine is my personal favorite). I’ve found that physical activity in the mornings can do wonders for your mind and energy.
We’ve touched on this before, but putting thoughts down on paper is a strong way to set intentions and put yourself in a positive mindset for the day. My own journaling consists writing down intentions, making gratitude lists, and selecting my most important priorities for the day; the tasks that I am going to sit down and accomplish first, regardless of what other people are throwing at me, or what messages are awaiting me in my inbox.
I also use this 2-hour window for simple things like making the bed and giving myself time to eat that isn’t in front of the computer, replying to emails. Sometimes I’ll also read a self-help book, or some other type of content that’s not on a screen, to inform my curiosity around topics like work-life balance.
Do you have a routine that helps you prepare for the day well? Share your favorite habits and ways to spend your time with us in the comments below.