Don't miss the most important part of your day
The first 15 minutes of your day are crucial for making each day count. If you are anything like me in the summer, then you are off on your routines and healthy morning rituals because of vacations, hosting guests, weekend getaways, and croquet matches that go past sundown. To bring our best selves to our work, our family, and our commitments, start the day with an awesome routine. Here are some tips to get back on track if summer fun has derailed your AM routines.
The first 15 minutes of your day are often considered the most important because they set the tone and energy for the rest of the day. Humans also have a cognitive peak where we are more focused, alert, and creative, making the morning an ideal time to tackle the tough stuff first. plus, you are less likely to have distractions coming at you like emails, calls, colleagues etc. To make the most of your cognitive peak and your day, use these to get after it.
Here is what I do in my first 15(ish) minutes of my day:
alarm turns off (no snooze!)
drink a glass of water
10 minutes of breathwork (sometimes guided, sometimes just with a timer)
light stretching/tapping exercises
3 positive affirmations, gratitudes, and prayers
Review the list that I made at the end of the day yesterday
What kind of person do I want to be today? I try to pick a theme/identity because it helps me stay aligned throughout the day. Today I am an artist and visionary, worker bee, leader, or fine-tuner.
If my list doesn't make sense for you, here are a few more tips to help you achieve your goals every day.
1. **Plan the night before:** Before you leave work or go to bed, take a few minutes to plan your next day. Write down your top priorities and tasks to have a clear roadmap when you start the day.
2. **Get enough sleep:** Duh, and yet so hard! Adequate sleep is crucial for cognitive function and productivity. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Ditch the cell phone well before you hit the pillow.
3. **Wake up early:** Waking up early gives you a head start and allows you to have some quiet time for yourself before the busy day begins.
4. **Hydrate:** Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up to rehydrate your body after a night's sleep. Proper hydration can improve focus and overall well-being.
5. **Exercise or stretch:** Engaging in some form of physical activity or light stretching can wake up your body, increase blood flow, and boost your energy levels.
6. **Mindfulness or meditation:** Take a few minutes for mindfulness or meditation to clear your mind and reduce stress. This practice can improve focus and emotional well-being.
7. **Healthy breakfast:** Fuel your body with a nutritious breakfast to provide energy and concentration for the morning.
8. **Prioritize tasks:** Re-read the task list you wrote the night before. Focus on the most important tasks first. Use techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix to identify and prioritize urgent and important tasks.
9. **Limit distractions:** Minimize distractions in your workspace, don't look at your phone until you have finished your morning routine.
10. **Time-blocking:** Schedule specific blocks of time for different tasks. This helps you stay focused on one task at a time and prevents multitasking, which can decrease productivity.
11. **Take breaks:** Regular breaks can prevent burnout and refresh your mind. The Pomodoro Technique, for example, advocates working for 25 minutes and taking a 5-minute break.
12. **Stay organized:** Keep your workspace tidy and organized to reduce distractions and save time looking for things.
13. **Stay positive and motivated:** Cultivate a positive mindset and remind yourself of your goals. Positive thinking can increase resilience and productivity.
Remember that everyone's productivity patterns may vary, and it's essential to find a routine that works best for you and one that is easy to stick with because that is what will provide long-term benefits. Regardless of how you spend the first 15 minutes of your day, making the most of this time can positively impact your productivity and well-being.