If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.“ – Charles Bukowski
There’s a ton of research to support that having a good morning routine can lead to increased productivity. In Robin Sharma’s The 5AM Club, he suggests we all start our day with the 20/20/20 rule.
20 minutes of movement, 20 minutes of reflection and 20 minutes of learning.
While different methods will work for different types of lifestyles, try any of of these below so you can get a feel of how they work for you.
1. Make Your Bed
While this may seem like a ridiculously simple and irrelevant task, developing this as a habit every morning not only helps you accomplish the first task of the day, but also promotes a sense of calm and organization.
Of course, if your bed has about 5 layers and 1o pillows, it might seem more of a chore than anything else. Keep it simple. Keep it minimal.
2. Breathe in the Sunshine.
This is something I do religiously every morning, and for months I was doing it without realizing how it was actually impacting my mood. Turns out, sunshine is a great serotonin booster. A quote from Healthline stated “exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin… associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused”
I’m all for that calm and focus, so while I’m enjoying the calm before the storm (before anyone else wakes up), i stand at an open window, close my eyes and just breathe. Inhale, exhale. And it’s really just that simple.
3. Journal or Brain Dump
If you’ve never heard of a “brain dump”, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of things you’ve gotta get done, review, check up or follow-up on. A brain dump can help you organize your thoughts into categories and feel more in control of your tasks.
Start with a quiet environment, and a blank book. And as you sit there thinking about all the things you need to get done, write them down. Don’t worry about categorizing them yet. Just get it all out. It can be personal, work, family – anything you can possibly think of. Then when you’re all out of thoughts, go in one by one and sort into the different categories of your life. You can have as many categories as you need, but you’ll realize a lot of them can be grouped into similar categories.
4. Block Your Time
Time blocking is a time scheduling format that helps to boost productivity through focused work done in specific blocks of time within your day. Set “sprints” of 15-60 minutes at a time and then take a short break to recharge before picking work up again. This ensures that you are balancing deep focus work and much-needed breaks as well.
- Identify the tasks you need to get done for that day.
- Estimate how many hours each task should take
- Decide how much “break time” or flexible time you can allow in your schedule.
- Find a scheduling app like Google Calendar that can allow you to visualise your blocks of time within those 24 hours.
5. Take time to Take Care
Spend a little time, even 10-15 minutes, making sure you do what you need to feel good and boost your confidence.
This can mean daily affirmations, meditation or doing some stretches, applying some makeup, picking out a really nice outfit or even eating a healthy meal.
6. Practice gratitude
Studies have shown that practising gratitude boosts our well-being by keeping us focused on the positives. It helps to remind ourselves that even in all the chaos, we can make healthy choices about what to spend our time on by recognizing what’s essential.
It may seem like an overrated ritual, but it can definitely help set the tone for the rest of the day and puts you in a positive mindset.