Illustration by Dmitry Nikulnikov from Icons8
“The early bird gets the worm.”
Yes we all have heard the phrase which we heard as kids from our parents and much to our own chagrin, find ourselves as parents uttering the very same words to our children.
The morning is what sets up your day. The attitude in which you approach the day derives from your morning approach and your sleep the night before (not to mention what you ate as well).
According to an article in DaringToLiveFully, there are a number of approaches to get right in the morning to have the most success for your upcoming day.
What I would like to clarify here first is “what is success” in your day. So let’s discuss that briefly first. Success can be work-related, family dynamic related, health-related and personal well-being related… The tip here is to strike a balance of all of those aspects from the list below.
Ok, so on to the “9 morning habits to start the day” (The obvious one before this would be a good night's sleep uninterrupted)
- Wake up early enough so that you don't need to rush to work and start the workday already stressed. Take your time to do the things that will help you and your body get the best start. Starting with time to be calm and get through your daily tasks will already help you. Having time for introspection also helps combined with a bit of stretching, yoga or meditation. If you haven't tried this before, we can't recommend this enough. Maybe get your exercise done with time too.
- Smile The dopamine and neurotransmitters that come from a smile are an amazing human gift and we should wake up and put on a smile. It will only help you feel better about the day ahead. Maybe utter a nice mantra to yourself while you smile and look out of the window. “Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” – Dalai Lama
- Making your bed is such a small thing but according to Gretch Rubin Sunday life the secret to happiness it creates a sense of order and inner calm. It's the first task of your day and your day mostly consists of a series of tasks and this one starts it right.
- Brush your teeth and of course scraping your tongue. Some say that doing this first before breakfast is better so as to rid yourself of overnight bacteria.
- Drink a glass of room temperature water with squeezed lemon. This does a few things but it's an alkaline boost for your body first thing in the morning and it's high in Vitamin C but also cleans out toxins stored in the liver. A great start.
- A stretching routine will help stimulate your blood flow and also move those joints, not to mention those lymph nodes that only work with movement. A 10-minute yoga pose stretch will be just perfect.
- Meditation will help you to focus on you for a few minutes, with good deep breathing which is not only great for oxygenation but also for your immune system. If you can't meditate, just sit calmly and not use a phone or distraction while you have tea or coffee. There are many apps that one can use to assist you. You'll see what some of us at UKU do later in the article.
- Eating a healthy breakfast and making sure that after the natural fasting period of the night before (your 8 to 12 hours of not eating while you slept) will put the first nutrition you eat to good use in the body. If you are eating healthy with porridge and berries, ensure you chew all your food to get all of the best enzymes into your system. Chewing adds so much more to your food and health so don't just wolf it down. Chewing releases enzymes in your mouth that not only help digestion but also boost the benefits of the food you're eating. Naturally, I don't mean bacon and eggs. A good figure to aim for is 30 to 32 chews before swallowing. Plus these moments of calm while you eat are all part of the de-stressing moments of the day so do not watch TV while you do. Spend that quality time with your kids and family, you won’t regret it and neither will they.
- Create something first thing while your mind is fresh and thoughts are clear. Write a blog post, or a social media post or a birthday card, or sketch or write a recipe out for dinner. Just create something.
So, what do we do here at our tech company based in Tallinn in Estonia?
Well, we create workflows and solutions for our community of clients daily with the idea of making their lives easier, smarter and more efficient.
So, we are in our own way following versions of the above and how we start the work day. Let me highlight some of our approaches.
We have very active team members that run mini-marathons each morning and one of our founders that wakes up in the morning to begin the day with a tea ceremony and mediation.
Many prefer the walk on the way to work and sometimes walk the “longer route”. Most take their time and ease into the day calmly. Several listen to music as a form of mediation in a calm environment in the morning.
Now how can that all help us in our workday?
What we do is we all arrive at different times of the morning at the office but a set time we have what we call ‘Stand up’ where we all gather in a circle (standing up not sitting). One by one we go through our previous day and what we accomplished and what we hope to get done today, and if there are any blockers hindering you.
It's insightful to hear what everyone is doing and how what we all do is interconnected to our overall success and how we can support each other if tasks need assistance.
It's the same care we put into our projects. Open, insightful, sharing, transparent as per our recent article and empowering.
It takes literally 1 to 15 minutes maximum and smaller issues can be dealt with within the team afterwards. That's a solid start to your workday.
So, why don't you put some thought into your mornings and start the day on the best foot and set your day up for success?
UKU - has all the features you need, and none of the ones you don't.