This post was written by Jennifer Taylor. 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.
I probably don’t have to tell you this, but the way you begin your day has a huge effect on the rest of your waking hours, so it only makes sense to start your morning off on the right foot.
As you enter the day, be sure to make some time for yourself to be present and focus on taking care of yourself before diving into anything work-related.
With that said, I understand more than most people how difficult it can be to really step away from work even if just for a hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee. I’m the type to check social media right when I wake up only to continue on to my email. Sometimes completing small productive tasks in the morning can help with motivation for the rest of the day.
However, my rule is that I can clean up the emails I don’t need since I know a smaller inbox will help me have a clear mind, but then I move right on to writing in my gratitude journal. Once I get to the office, I’m able to quickly sort through the leftover emails and respond to the ones that I need to.
What works for me is to assign a topic to each day of the week so I can focus my efforts on one thing, but still accomplish all of my work for the week. For example, my Mondays are dedicated to business development, while Tuesdays are for client work. When I get into the office, I already know what I’m working on so it takes only five to ten minutes to plan out my top priorities.
To-do lists are considered morning musts in my office because it helps keep us on-track with all of the things that need to be completed. They aren’t always work tasks, but it’s so helpful to be able to see all of the top priorities written out in front of you. We also make an effort to double check on to-dos for the following day so we’re not going in blindly the next morning. With due dates set, it forces you to do all of the assigned tasks instead of picking and choosing what you want to do.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by work from the moment you wake up, it’s time to step back and be honest with yourself about your work style. Only when you truly understand the way you prefer to work will you be able to create an atmosphere in which you can thrive.
It can also help to build in deliberate separation tasks between work and personal time to create a buffer period between the two. Whether it’s an evening yoga class or a walk through your favorite neighborhood, it’s a good way to signal the end of the workday before going home and your brain will know it’s time to unwind.
So, what’s the key to the ideal morning for a successful day? Only you have the answer to that. Find out what gives you joy and build it into your morning schedule, even if it means setting your alarm a bit earlier. You’ll be grateful when you arrive at the office feeling grounded and ready to take on the day!