Most people are looking for ways to boost their productivity and get things done quickly and more efficiently. But if you are working long hours throughout the week – 40, 50, or possibly even more – and still feeling like a hamster on a wheel, it might be time to rethink your morning routine.
Recently, I took stock of my daily activities.
Despite my good intentions for the New Year, I noticed that my productivity levels were starting to flag.
At first I thought it was the British weather. It’s winter here in London and the gray skies with wet, cold mornings make you want to huddle under the duvet and hibernate until the sun comes out.
The weird thing is that I had some good days where I was laser-focused, wildly productive and things just flowed. But then there were other days where I felt distracted and my time management was non-existent.
So a few weeks ago I decided to shake things up.
I introduced 5 morning rituals and the results have been pretty amazing! Even though I’m now working less, I’m actually achieving more and my productivity has gone through the roof.
Here are the 5 rituals I’ve been doing each morning, in the order that I do them. Hopefully they can inspire you to take some action and supercharge your productivity too.
#1. Jumpstart Your Day in 7 Minutes
Did you know that less than 10 minutes of exercise is enough to fire you up for the day? Not 15 minutes, not half an hour even?
Just 7 minutes.
As a former gym bunny used to pounding the treadmill for an hour or so, I was amazed to find that a snappy 7 minute workout can get you in shape better than an extended cardio session.
Why is 7 the magic number?
Because it is a short enough period that won’t interfere with your routine in the morning, yet it’s long enough to shake off any sluggishness you might have from the night before.
There are many different fitness routines that you can try. My preference is kettlebell swings combined with some floor exercises. This gets my blood pumping and my productivity soaring.
But a popular way to burn fat is with one of the many ‘7 Minute Workout’ apps.
These are high intensity workouts you can do at home and they work every one of the major muscle groups. What’s more they are free and you can even do them in your PJs.
Try one and let me know how you get on.
You might be surprised to discover how a 7-minute exercise burst in the morning can help you be more productive and get things done throughout the day.
#2. Meditation Can Boost Productivity
The benefits of daily meditation on your brain and overall well-being are astounding and scientifically proven. Many celebrities like Oprah, Russell Simmons and Richard Gere meditate daily. But it’s not just famous people. More and more entrepreneurs are discovering the power of meditation.
Ever since I started meditating two years ago, my life has changed beyond recognition. I am more focused, positive and productive than ever before.
A lot of people get caught up in the hype around meditation. You don’t need to chant, sit cross-legged in a yoga position or even be religious or spiritual. Just sit on a chair, allow yourself to relax and follow your breath. Your thoughts will naturally slow down.
If that sounds too hard, then one of the easiest ways to meditate is with the help of guided meditations. Just a few minutes a day is enough to get you meditating like a yogi and skyrocket your productivity!
#3. Develop A Green Smoothie Habit
Once I’ve done my meditation I’m ready for the green stuff!
You probably know that breakfast is your most important meal of the day. While it’s easy to grab some yogurt, fruit or a bowl of porridge to jumpstart your metabolism, may I suggest a green smoothie instead?
You will be amazed at the morning boost you get!
I’ve been having green smoothies for breakfast since the start of the year and have noticed a significant improvement in my energy levels and mental alertness.
A green smoothie fills you up, gives you an immediate burst of energy and reduces food cravings during the day. Six weeks in, my skin is noticeably smoother, my hair is silkier and I sleep far better than I used to.
What’s more, it takes less time to make a green smoothie than to prepare scrambled eggs on toast!
You can use any combination of fruit and vegetables to make your green smoothie. My favorite blend right now is one apple, one pear, and a banana with a handful of spinach or kale. Just add some water, a teaspoon of flax seed, maca powder or spirulina and whizz together in a blender.
In just a few seconds you have an energy-packed healthy smoothie that will keep you going for hours.
#4. Check Emails Later In The Day
Even though you may think that checking your emails only takes a few minutes, the follow-up activities really eat into your morning, which for many people is their most productive time of day.
Checking your emails first thing reduces your productivity because you end up getting sucked into someone else’s agenda at the expense of your own priorities.
Remember, there are only so many hours in the day. You can’t do everything.
If your most creative time is spent replying to emails and sorting things out for others, you can’t possibly build your own business.
That’s why you need to focus on the important things i.e. the activities that will bring you new leads, help you create new products or services and market them to your audience.
Leave replying to emails as late as possible, preferably until the afternoon so you can spend time working on your high-priority activities. You could also use the Boomerang app for gmail to schedule your emails for a later date and time.
#5. Pick A Win For The Day
When you check your to-do list, identify which task, once completed, would give you the single biggest boost and move you closer to success.
Focus on that item to get your win for the day.
Many people put off doing the really big tasks that could make a difference to their lives. Instead, they prioritize easy, unimportant work thinking that this “busy-ness” is getting them results.
As human beings, we need to experience completion.
According to Brian Tracy, completing important tasks creates a surge of energy and enthusiasm. But when we don’t finish important tasks, we feel stressed and unsatisfied, which affects our self-esteem.
Which one task do you want to achieve in the next 8 hours to feel like your day was successful?
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management technique that can help you stay focused and energized as you work on your high priority tasks. It’s based on the principle of working in short, timed bursts and can be very effective in helping you avoid distractions.
So there you have it – the 5 morning rituals that have helped me get back on track. By setting up my mornings correctly and being more intentional about my activities, I have been able to skyrocket my productivity.
Do you have any productivity tips that help you make the most of your day? What helps you stay productive? Please share below.