As a kid, you probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  As a working adult, you most likely now realize how true that statement is!  Just as eating a healthy breakfast gets your metabolism off to a great start, there are other things you can do to give your mind and body the head start they need for a productive day.  Try to set up a morning routine for yourself that includes some or all of the following suggestions.

  • Avoid the rush.  This may be especially relevant if you work outside the home.  If you find yourself rushing around in the morning for whatever reason, consider waking up earlier.  Even 10 extra minutes can make a world of difference.  Usually when we are pressed for time, our bodies respond physically: increased heart rate, perspiration, headache, etc.  Set your alarm for a few minutes earlier than usual, and try it for at least a week.  Once you get an idea of how much better it is for you, you won’t want to go back to sleeping in.
  • Get inspired by the words of others.  Motivational quotes are quick and easy ways to get an inspirational pick-me-up in the morning.  Sometimes we get so bogged down in our own responsibilities that we forget to be thankful for what is good in our lives.  Take a few seconds in the morning to read an inspirational quote; if you have a smartphone, there are several apps on the Apple, Android, and Blackberry platforms that provide one a day.  However, if you’re more conventional, get yourself a mini desk-calendar with a motivational quote for each day of the month.
  • Use “positivity Post-Its.”  The invention of the sticky note has allowed all kind of people to find creative uses for them in all aspects of their daily lives.  Try taking out a stack and jotting down a few positive words or phrases that will motivate you, help you handle stress, and remind you of what you feel is important in your job or your life.  For example, one man who took a part-time job so his wife could stay home with their two daughters put sticky notes around his home, car, and office that said three simple words: for my girls!  Reading those words repeatedly throughout the work week motivated him to continue and reminded him of what was the most important thing to him.  Find your positive thoughts in words and phrases and place them in plain sight so that you will come across them throughout your day.
  • Just breathe.  Sounds easy, right?  Of course, you’re breathing all the time and not noticing it.  However, sometimes our obligations get the better of us and we just go through the motions of our day without taking any time for ourselves.  When you first sit up in bed in the morning, try a 2-3 minute deep breathing exercise.  Such an exercise can relax your muscles and focus your mind.  The internet is full of descriptions of different techniques, and YouTube has a great deal of videos demonstrating these techniques, such as Quick Calm seen here.  Give it a try tomorrow morning; you’ll notice the effects right away!

Starting your day off on the right foot will increase your productivity and improve your state of mind.  How do you get a jump on your day?  Please share your ideas with us below!