Creating a good morning routine can help set you up in a good frame of mind ready to start your day.
There are lots of things you can do in the morning to help improve your mindset and general focus. If you are not a morning person or someone who likes to keep pressing the snooze button this is especially important. We have a great set of ideas below, but remember, everyone is different so try things out and build a routine that works for you.
Everyone knows how good exercise is for them, but sometimes it is hard to fit it into your day. Exercise helps wakes your body up and releases endorphins which trigger positive feelings in your body. Not everybody has time or the inclination to go to the gym every day, but luckily there are some quick and easy alternatives that you can do from home, even in your pyjamas. For example, Yoga with Adrienne is an incredibly popular Youtube channel where you can find a 10 minute Yoga video designed specifically for Focus and Productivity.
If yoga’s not your thing you can find thousands of other 10-minute exercise routines on Youtube. For example, Joe Wicks, The Body Coach has a 10 Minute Cardio and Abs Workout.
Of course, the simplest form of exercise is to walk. Can you park a little further from the office and take a brisk walk to increase your steps or simply take a quick walk near where you live.
Taking a few minutes every morning to meditate can help your wellbeing and focus and is also believed to reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation involves sitting in a comfortable position and focusing on your breath. Breathe deeply in and out trying to maintain the focus on your breath. Inevitable other thoughts will creep in and take your attention, when they do just let them go and refocus on your breath.
You may prefer to do a guided meditation, and there are plenty available. One of the most popular meditation apps is called HeadSpace which has a free beginner course to get you started. Where an app might be beneficial is that you can track your progress and try different meditations.
Doing something creative can set you up in a great frame of mind for the day and help reduce anxiety. If you’re artistically inclined you could doodle or create a quick sketch. If you’re musical grab your instrument and play for 10 minutes. You could write a poem, or maybe your creative time could become part of a larger project of writing 500 words a day of the novel you’re been meaning to write.
Journaling is a way of getting all those niggling thoughts out of your head and onto the paper. Give yourself a set time to write or alternatively decide to fill a page or two of your journal. Let words pour out onto the paper. Don’t bother editing what you write, it’s simply a way of clearing your mind. You might also want to try the freewriting method. This is where you write without stopping to think. So if you get stuck and don’t know what to write, you write whatever pops into your head, or simply repeat the last thing you wrote until new thoughts arrive. This method is thought to stop us from censoring ourselves to allow our subconscious to put words to paper. You may discover new ideas or things you hadn’t considered this way too.
Don’t skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast gives you energy and helps you focus. Plus if you skip a healthy breakfast you are more likely to snack unhealthily later on.
Take a few minutes every morning to read. It could be that novel you’ve been meaning to read as a form of escapism. Maybe there’s something you want to learn or perhaps you prefer self-development books. You may want to steer clear from reading the News in the morning as it has a tendency to focus on the negative things in life in favour of something more uplifting.
You’ll either love them or hate them, but some people swear by affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements that we say to ourselves repeatedly so our brains believe they are true. Affirmations should be said in the present tense as though they are already true. You might create affirmations for specific events or situations or more general ones.
- I have a successful business that I love
- I exercise every day
- Exciting opportunities come to me regularly
It might seem strange saying these things at first when they aren’t yet true, but it is thought to help build our belief in ourselves.
For more information on affirmations read 80 Powerful Affirmations That Could Change Your Life
As humans, we sometimes have a tendency to look at the negative side of life. This is believed to have stemmed from our cavemen days. Then it was more important to fear the possibility that a bear might be hunting us than to be excited about the juicy berries we’d found. A gratitude diary can help us to overcome the negativity bias and notice the good things in life, however small. To create a gratitude diary, simply write down several things you are grateful for each day. This could be anything from something a loved one did, to success in business, to a cup of coffee that you enjoyed. If you would prefer to use a gratitude app there are plenty available in the app stores. A free one worth checking out is Gratitude Happiness Journal available for iOS and Android.
Setting your Goals for the Day
Before you start each day write down what you want to achieve and do what you can to stick to it. Setting that goal in the morning can help you stay on track. Organisation Apps like Todoist can help you schedule in your tasks for the day.
Hopefully, you are now in a great frame of mind for starting work. But before you begin, consider setting up a Focus App to help stop you from getting distracted. A Focus App can prevent you from accessing social media sites and optionally email at certain times of the day. A few Apps to consider are Focus (Mac), Cold Turkey (Mac and PC), Freedom (Mac, Windows, iOS) Antisocial (Android). We cover them in more detail in our blog post 12 Apps to Help You Focus, Organise and Get Work Done .