Think about the way you woke up this morning. Was it calm and peaceful, filled with time for self-care and reflection? Or was it rushed and stressful, with barely enough time to run out the door with wet hair and a piece of toast?
Whether you’re a commuter or you work from your home, the way you start your morning has a big effect on how the rest of your day unfolds, so it’s to your benefit to take care of yourself before jumping into your work.
I can understand the pull of checking your inbox first thing in the morning, but if you’re a serial emailer, you can surely relate to the never-ending rabbit hole that it can be.
1. If you absolutely must peek at your email, allow yourself to clean up those emails that you don’t need and save the correspondence for your office hours. You are allowed to be selfish with your morning time! Whether it’s a steaming mug of coffee or a big, hearty breakfast that fuels you (or both!), take the time to enjoy and appreciate it.
2. Once you get to your office, mock up a to-do list for the day of everything that needs to get done. Prioritize them in terms of deadlines and importance – that way, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done and when.
One thing I’ve found that helps me is to assign a topic to each day of the week so you can get in the zone and focus your efforts on one thing. For example, I dedicated Mondays to business development and spend Tuesdays on client work. It helps to know what you’re going to work on ahead of time so you can hit the ground running when you start in the morning.
3. Of course, a lot of your morning routine lies in the night before, so start preparing before bed. I like to check the next day’s to-do list before leaving the office, just so I know what I’ll be dealing with the next day--going in blindly can lead to surprises!
In a similar fashion, preparing your coffee so it’s ready to brew or leaving out a gratitude journal will serve as a reminder to take a step back and appreciate the early hours.
4. It can also help to set tasks that deliberately separate your work life and your personal life. For example, starting every workday with a run around the neighborhood or ending the day by cooking dinner signifies the boundaries of your work-life balance and reminds your brain to take a break.
5. If you still seem to be overwhelmed by work from the moment you wake up, it may be time to consider your position and how it fits into your life. Be honest about your work style and ask yourself if things are truly working for you. From there, you may realize that you need to change up your work atmosphere in order to be successful.
Everybody’s morning routine is different, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be hurried. Find a way to bring more joy into the early hours of your day, even if it means waking up just a bit earlier. You’ll feel more grounded and prepared for the day ahead of you!
Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui. She is also the creator of The Taylor’d Plan, a self-administered class for wedding planners to grow and improve upon their skills.
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