14 Ways to energise your morning for the day ahead
Arriving at work calm and ready for the day isn’t rocket science, it’s about time management and organisation leading to freedom of the mind to make the best of the tasks ahead. Perhaps it’s the inner peace delivering a state of zen, but being calm, collected and clear about what you have to do it the best way to get it done most effectively. Here’s how.
No-one is superhuman. That’s a given. Anyone who says they are is riding their ego and lying to you. So how do some people appear to get so much done at without appearing frazzled and stressed?
The key can be as simple as how you start the day. We’ll show you how. Adopt these morning rituals and you’ll be as prepared as Usain Bolt to burst from the starting blocks, work through your business day, and arrive at the end feeling proud of what you’ve achieved.
1. Start the night before. Don’t dash around in the morning working out what you intend to wear, printing off presentations and generally getting flustered. That kind of thing always seems to take less time at night, and is a great investment in your morning. Also, if you’ve done it before bed, you’ll rest easier, because there will be less on your mind.
2. Wake promptly. Deny yourself those five or ten extra minutes offered by the snooze button. Put the alarm clock out of reach, so you must get out of bed to turn it off. You’ll buy yourself time to do the things on the rest of this list.
3. Hydrate. Take a look at any houseplant you haven’t watered in a while. Sure, it’s alive, but it’s merely clinging on. Its leaves are limp, and the colour is drained from it. You’re a living organism just like the plant, so why would you be any different? The body needs fluid, and drinking first thing in the morning will do for you what water on the soil will do for a plant. You’ll look and feel better, because you’ll actually be better.
4. Eat. Let’s take another analogy. Your car needs fuel. Setting off without enough in the tank means you won’t make your destination. People are no different, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Trouble is, people don’t see it that way, and try to push on with tasks when they’re rendered less capable of them because they haven’t eaten. The result is that tasks take longer, and the result isn’t as good as it might have been. Go for slow-release carbs like oatmeal, and add sliced banana for an extra hit. Protein-rich Greek yoghurt with fruit is good. Wholegrain bread is great toasted with a poached egg too.
5. Drink coffee. Coffee’s not bad for you, but the cream, sugar and other fancy varieties can change that. Quite apart from possibly reducing the risk of diabetes and prostate cancer, coffee is a great source of anti-oxidants, which have a lot to be said for them in terms of health benefits. Stick to skimmed milk, though
6. Check email. On no account get involved in long replies, but it doesn’t hurt to check in to see what’s happening. There may be something that changes your priorities for the day, and it wouldn’t do to miss that, but let the others wait until your scheduled email time. (you have scheduled a time to deal with email, haven’t you? Doing it on the fly is the perfect way to distract you from other important stuff).
7. Dress to suit the day. If you’re working with clients, dress appropriately. Do they wear suits and ties? Then so should you. Are they jeans and jackets people? Then that’s the way to go. Remember that clothes make an impression, so whatever you’re wearing, it’s never a good idea to look as if you got dressed in the dark selecting garments from the laundry bin. Take time to get it right, and you’ll make the right impression.
8. Compute your commute. What are the travel delays? You need to know before you get to the station and find the trains aren’t running, or before you arrive at the end of a stationary line of traffic. If there are problems ahead, generating a ‘work around’ before you leave home will help you to be calm and self-assured. If you can arrive a few minutes early, you’ll feel assured, and may even be able to get some tasks complete before the rest of the day kicks off when others arrive.
9. Exercise. Get the heart pumping. Run up and down stairs a couple of times, take a brisk walk (perhaps as part of your commute). Exercise now and your body will be grateful, especially if your job involves sitting down for much of the day.
10. Cold shower. Anyone who goes sea-bathing will tell you that emerging from the water they feel more alive and energised than at any other time, and more ready to take on the day than if they’ve not been in the sea. That’s just not possible for most of us, but you can generate the same effect by turning the heat on the shower down to ‘cold’ for the last few moments. Be brave!
11. Family time. The reason you’re driving yourself so hard at work is ultimately for the people who share your private life. They deserve your attention at both ends of the day. Reinforced knowledge of why you’re doing what you do will help you to feel more positive about it.
12. Check the news. You can’t afford to be behind the curve about the day’s events. Use train time to look at news web sites, or turn the car radio on to a news station. Your life is interconnected to everything else at some point, and keeping abreast of the news will help you to understand the context and prevent you from getting too tied up to tiny details.
13. Be thankful. A small prayer of thanks for arriving at the start of a new day, with all the possibilities it holds, never comes amiss. Each of us is a minor miracle, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. The new day brings another chance to do our best.
14. Look in the mirror. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Now go and be awesome.