10 things to do before 10am.
By Amy Crawford
You get approximately 25 thousand mornings in your adult life, 25,000 opportunities to start your day in the best possible way, in a manner that can help build positivity and productivity. Good habits are easily formed with a little patience; perhaps it's time to assess whether you're best utilising this precious time? So with positivity and productivity in mind, here are 10 things you might consider doing before 10am:
1. Upon waking, give yourself at least an hour before checking your phone.
Checking your phone for messages and emails as soon as you wake up puts your mind in reaction mode. When you're constantly checking your phone it can lead to increased stress; you become increasingly reactive to the demands of others and over stimulation can be exhausting. Before you know it, you've lost control of your day. Instead of letting others dictate your priorities, why not give yourself at least an hour to wake up without external distractions. Consider putting your phone on airplane mode while you sleep so you aren't tempted to check it as soon as you wake. In fact, consider not taking it to your bedroom at all (and in case you missed it, here's a few reasons why!).
2. Set your daily intention and read your goals aloud.
We don't need to highlight the importance of setting goals, but having them close by and reading them daily helps ensure they don't fall by the wayside. Reading your goals and intentions aloud is a very direct reminder of what you are working towards, it is the perfect way to hardwire your brain for success. What do you want to achieve today?
3. Meditate and be grateful.
Start your day by reflecting on what you are grateful for. A consistent practice of gratitude in the mornings will increase your awareness of gratitude throughout your day. It will also make you more resilient when challenges occur and help you put drama in perspective.
4. Drink water.
Your body awakens dehydrated, so it is very important to hydrate first thing in the morning. It has been suggested that you could aim to drink half of your entire daily water intake by mid-morning. Doing so will flush your system of toxins, leave you feeling less hungry and reduce headaches throughout the day. I like to add raw apple cider vinegar to warm water every single morning. You can read about the benefits here.
Many people wake up feeling a bit stiff, and it isn’t always easy to incorporate exercise into a morning routine. If you were going to choose one thing, the American Journal of Sports Medicine suggests adding a short muscle-stretching sequence of exercises to your morning schedule. Studies show that consistent stretching in the morning can increase flexibility, improve circulation, reduce stress throughout your day and improve posture. There are many gentle stretch and yoga outlines available if you search online, all of which you can do in your own home.
6. Listen to some music.
Starting your day with upbeat and fun music will not only wake you up but it will fill you with positive energy for your day. Music makes you feel good and the two most important benefits of listening to music are “mood regulation” and “self-awareness.” Not only has music been shown to improve your mood but it can end up increasing motivation, performance and lead to a better night’s sleep too. Why not consider spending time of a weekend creating a morning wellbeing playlist?
7. Clean up after yourself.
Life is busy and morning routines can be a bit rushed. It can be very tempting when you are running behind to leave your clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink or leave the trash until later. Don't! Procrastination around cleaning up after yourself can prevent you from realising our highest potential and best work. It also allows you to relax fully upon returning home.
8. Claim your space.
Just as much as you don't want to run out the door leaving your home in a mess, don't work in a mess either. It's simple, you get more done in a tidy workspace - your thoughts are in order and distractions are kept to a minimum. Clear your desk, create order before you start your day's work. Perhaps have a read of this great article about rewiring your brain for peak performance and happiness, including the removal of clutter in all forms.
9. Don't check your emails.
Once you're at work, leave it until 10am before opening your inbox. This will allow your morning productivity to skyrocket. Plan the day before which task it is that needs to be ticked off in this 9am-10am hour of power and get it done! Don't be distracted by the workload others place on you. Just for this one hour, set your tasks for yourself.
10. Get your hardest task done first.
It might seem enticing to get a bunch of easy things checked off your to-do list, but it has been shown that doing your hardest task first leads to a more productive and happier day. You are more likely to remember the day as being a good one when your day gets better and is easier over time. The bonus: it helps stop procrastination over the things we like to do the least.
What do you do before 10am that leads to a productive and positive day?