I know how difficult it can be to wake up early every day. My mornings usually begin with me continually snoozing my alarm every five minutes until my phone vibrates off my bedside table and I can no longer reach it to press 'snooze'. Although you may not want to hear this, the way that we begin our mornings can have a large impact on our productivity throughout the day.
Alison Morgan, Business Coach and Mentor for Small Business Owners, said "It’s my role to keep my clients in their optimal mindset so they can focus to perform at their peak. They stay more ahead, are more productive and stayed motivated for longer because so. I’m all about maximizing time, efficiency and making the most of every day."
Here are 5 morning rituals that Alison does personally and recommends to her clients for a successful and productive day:
1. Get an early start
Easier said than done, waking up early can turn a potentially hectic day into a well-organized, accomplished day. You may think you can get everything ready for the day in 30 minutes but odds are, it's not going to happen. Wake up early and get that workout in before everyone else starts their day. This will get it out of the way so that you won't have to worry if you have enough time in the evening. By waking up a couple of hours early, you will be able to also tackle some things on your to-do-list so that you don't get overwhelmed.
If you have enough willpower, you could try starting your day around 5 am, like Alison. "I normally begin my day at around 5 am when I like to exercise using an App. Starting the day with exercise helps to align my mind, gives me some ‘me’ time before the rest of my family wakes us and gives me an extra boost of energy that is added to with a healthy breakfast," said Alison.
2. Prepare your belongings ahead of time
You can save a lot of time in the morning by preparing items that you will need for the day the night before. You should gather your keys, wallet, laptop, or important documents that you may need and place them at the door. This way you're not scrambling last minute to find everything. Alison suggests having a basket at the front door to place your items in.
"I’m constantly meeting with clients and brands, often racing out the door at extremely early hours. By devising this new system of having a place where I know my most important items are going to be, I have saved myself so much time and have given myself the gift of peace of mind," said Alison.
3. Keep a clean and organized work zone
The last thing you want to see when you're ready to start your work for the day is a desk cluttered with yesterdays documents. You should try to get in the habit of clearing your desk and organizing any paperwork at the end of the day. This allows you to have a fresh start every morning.
"Having a clear working space lets me start the day with a fresh mind and means I’m able to stay dedicated and focused. By tidying up my desk the night before, I do not have to start my work day by fussing over this and I can just jump straight into it," said Alison.
4. Know what's on your calendar
Many of us plan our schedules days or even weeks ahead. It's a good idea to quickly scan your agenda shortly after you wake up. By doing this, you will be aware of all of your commitments and can prepare accordingly.
"Though I organize my days ahead of time, spending a minute at the beginning of the day is a great way to prepare yourself for what is ahead. Spend a maximum of one minute doing this, as you don’t want to become sidetracked," said Alison. This will help ensure that you don't forget about any important obligations that you may have made in advance.
5. Plan for work/life balance
You may think that because you're very busy, you don't have time for fun activities outside of work. This isn't always true. You should make it a priority to schedule this time into your days. "Diarising the activities you love to do away from work is so important. By scheduling this time, I have found I’ve become more productive at work and squeeze more into my day when I know I have something exciting coming up or something I love to do," said Alison.