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Establish a morning routine that allows you to forget the small stuff and concentrate on what’s best for business
How does your morning unfold? Is it a series of snap decisions as you race against the clock to get out the door on time, slice of toast in one hand and tapping out emails on a smartphone in the other? Or do you glide through your routine in a state of serenity, confident that everything is ready to start the day right?
For most of us, it’s probably somewhere in the middle – but applying a set of simple rules when you wake will set you in good stead for the day ahead and, ultimately, career success. It’s up to you how that looks but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Stop and think
According to The World Institute of Slowness, taking time to ease into your day is the best way to start job preparation. Like the website says: “We have the same 24 hours in a day that we’ve always had and yet time seems to be speeding up.” Instead, the WIS advocates a set of morning affirmations – perhaps even some morning meditation – to spark creativity and boost productivity. Mindfulness is key.
You snooze, you lose
Hitting the snooze button seems like a good idea at the time but going back to sleep also disrupts the natural cycle – and that results in feeling groggy. Sleep Clinic Services says it’s because “the start of the sleep cycle is not a good time for being jolted awake by your alarm again” and suggests keeping an alarm (or two) on the other side of the room. That way, you have to get up to turn them off…
Think about food
It may feel counterintuitive to think about breakfast right after the evening meal but it’s not as strange as it sounds. Preparing overnight oats, for example, while loading the dishwasher after dinner is a good timesaving hack, and removes the need to decide what to eat when you wake. Plus, you’ll be set up from the get-go to get you through the day.
In The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM, Hal Elrod sets out his rituals for success, and this one couldn’t be simpler. As your body recharges during sleep, it becomes dehydrated and needs topping up – just like a battery, in fact. So drink a refreshing glass of water when you wake and watch the difference it makes.
Prepare for success
If you can do it the night before, then that’s the best time for it. From packing your lunch to choosing an outfit, it’s all about decision-limiting in the morning so you can concentrate on the bigger things. If it works for Barack Obama (who famously rotated blue and grey suits to avoid decision-fatigue in office), then it can certainly work for you too.