The things you do between waking up and starting work can have a significant impact on your overall productivity. If it takes you half the day to get your mind in the mood for business, it is going to make it harder for you to achieve your goals. Morning rituals can mean any activity you regularly do after waking up, and the usual reason for doing these rituals is to increase your productivity for the rest of the day.
Too many of us start the day in a state of panic. We drag ourselves out of bed at the last possible minute, rush to get washed and dressed, eat a hurried breakfast, and go to work with the enthusiasm of a convict on his way the executioner. The purpose of a morning ritual is to take charge of this important period of the day, so we are then in the right mindset to achieve our goals over the course of our waking hours. It’s also an effective way to protect our health and well-being because these practices can help to reduce stress and boost our mood.
The reality is that if you start off badly, it can be downhill from there on in. It can cause a chain reaction that reverberates throughout the rest of the day. You rush out the door in a bad mood, and this means that your mind is programmed to focus on the negative. Things that would be considered small niggles on a good day now feel like major threats. By giving yourself a good start using the right morning rituals, you can not only get more done but also easily handle difficulties as they arise.
Just adding one or two of the rituals listed here to your morning can significantly boost your productivity. These activities can be rewarding in themselves, and you are probably going to find it easier to incorporate them into your life if you don’t look upon them as a chore.
Spend Some Time On Visualization Before Getting Out Of Bed
If you devote a few minutes to positive visualization before getting out of bed, it can be like programming your mind for productivity. You can get your mental juices flowing by remembering all the good things in your life, and next you can turn on your motivation by imagining how good it is going to feel to achieve your goals. You can then end your session of visualization by seeing yourself doing all the things you need to do today to get your closer to your goals.
“Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.”
Bo Bennett (Author and Successful Businessman)
Positive visualization can be a very powerful technique. It puts you in the right frame of mind for the day ahead, and it helps to stay focused on achieving your goals. Imagining doing something can also be a kind of practice that prepares you for the real thing. The fact that you are focusing on the positive can also give your confidence a daily boost. Successful athletes like Tiger Woods have benefited from visualization, and it can be a great tool for entrepreneurs as well.
Get Your Body Warmed Up With The Five Tibetans
The Five Tibetans is a simple yoga routine that only contains five postures. Doing this practice every morning can increase your energy levels, strengthen your body, calm your mind, and improve your mental focus. This routine is believed to have been devised by Tibetan monks, but it is now practiced by people all around the world.
It is usual to start off with five repetitions of each of the five postures, and over time increase this to 21 repetitions. The postures include spinning slowly in a clockwise direction, doing leg lifts while lying on your back, the yoga camel position, the yoga tabletop position, and the yoga downward dog changing to cobra position. The nice thing about the Five Tibetans is its simplicity, and the fact that you can complete the routine in a short time period.
Prepare Your Mind With Some Meditation
Other than being successful, what do Tony Schwartz, Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, Russell Simmons, Marc Benioff, Rupert Murdoch, and Larry Brilliant have in common? Answer – all of these people begin their morning with meditation. This practice can improve your focus, increase your ability to deal with stress, create mental space, boost your creativity, improve your intuition, and make it easier to overcome negative habits. You could begin to enjoy these benefits with as little as 10 minutes of meditation every morning.
Meditation can be as simple as just sitting quietly and observing your breath. If your mind is constantly moving away from the breath, and getting lost in thought, it doesn’t mean that you are doing it wrong. It is your ability to recognize when your mind is wandering that is evidence of progress.
It’s like building up muscle, by repeatedly returning your focus to the breath, you increase you focus for the practice. If you struggle with sitting down to mediate, you could try alternatives like walking meditation or moving meditation like tai-chi.
Don’t Forget Your Nutritious Breakfast
A nutritious smoothie containing yogurt, fruit, or vegetables can be the perfect choice for breakfast. This liquid meal is going to be packed with goodness, and it can provide you with enough nutrition to keep you going until lunch. It can give you a real energy boost, and it can be better at waking you up than coffee.
It’s fun to experiment with different smoothie recipes, and if you prepare them the night before, and leave in the fridge, it can also be a quick breakfast – although ideally it is best to prepare smoothies fresh.
Clarify Your Goals
If you don’t devote a bit of time each morning to clarifying your goals for the rest of the day, you can waste a lot of time on trivial things. Ideally, you should create a work schedule of tasks that need to be completed the night before, and this means you can just quickly go over this in the morning so you know what you need to do. If you don’t have any concrete goals for the day, it becomes harder to get stuff done because you are likely to waste your time on busy-work.
Do The Hardest Thing First
Productivity experts like Brian Tracy suggest you should start off your day at work by doing the hardest thing first of all. Hopefully your morning rituals will have given your motivation a boost, so it makes sense to use this extra energy before it is wasted on trivia.
It can be helpful to think of your willpower as a limited resource that you need to use wisely. The benefit of doing the hardest thing first (Brian Tracy calls it ‘eating the frog’) is that you get this job out of the way. It means that you won’t be spending most of the day dreading the hard work still you have to do later on. The other nice thing about starting off with the hardest stuff is accomplishing this task is going to give your motivation a huge boost. Once the hardest things is out of the way, it is all downhill from there.