A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about the benefits of getting up earlier (7 habits to help get your butt out of bed.) There’s no doubt many successful professionals prefer to get a jumpstart on their day by getting up at the crack of dawn. But, whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all have one thing in common … we all have to wake up and get our work done.
It used to take me a long time to get my sleepy head in the mood to work. The busyness of the morning would send me in a million different directions. If you can relate, then I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Actually, it’s more like 5 secrets. These are the things I do to streamline my morning routine so I can get on with my day and accomplish my work.
1. Use the end of my workday wisely
The last 15 – 20 minutes of my workday are extremely important to ensure my next workday starts off on the right foot. I have two things I do during this time: clean and prioritize. First, I scan my Task List and move my unaccomplished tasks (and who doesn’t have these?) to the next day. I prioritize and schedule time in my calendar to ensure these get done. After that, I clear off my desk, putting away papers, pens, file folders etc. When I return in the morning, I know exactly what I need to start working on and I have the space to do it.
As soon as I roll out of bed in the morning I stretch. This helps get my blood flowing, my muscles warmed up and it helps me wake up. This only takes 10 minutes but it’s hugely beneficial. Confession time … I’m a follower of Dr. Oz. Check out his 7-minute morning workout for some ideas on how to get warmed up for the day.
3. Have a To Go breakfast
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why do so many of us skip it? Lack of time is the number one reason. Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated to be nutritious. My favourite To Go breakfast is a smoothie. It’s packed with protein and other nutrients to get me through to lunch. I make it the night before and keep it in the fridge so it’s ready to go when I am!
The best thing I ever did was to delegate certain morning tasks to my kids. Individually, these chores don’t take a long time to do, but cumulatively they can consume more than 30 minutes of my morning. Now my kids help by feeding the dog, making their own breakfasts and packing their lunches. It’s a win-win situation: my time is freed up and they learn how to be responsible.
5. Delay going into my email inbox
I do this one at all costs. Checking my calendar and Task List first helps me focus on my deliverables for the day. I then take a couple of minutes to scan my email messages for anything urgent. It has to be urgent or it doesn’t get opened until later. I have set times in my day for checking and processing my emails.
Doing these 5 things helps me keep my focus and get down to work quickly. Some days my routine gets interrupted. Life happens, right? But like anything, I just roll with it and get back on track as soon as I can.
Now it’s your turn.
How do you get down to work in the morning? Do you have any secret breakfast recipes or special yoga poses to share? Leave your two-cents below and let’s continue the conversation.