1. Think About the Big Idea
If you’re going to take anything away from this article, this tip is the most impactful. Since I’ve made this action a morning habit, I’ve noticed that my morning mood is exceedingly positive.
So here’s the deal.
I wrote my big idea on a cue card. The cue card stays on my night table, tucked under my phone. When I wake up, I turn off my alarm and read my cue card a few times. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or checking my Medium notifications, I spend the first two or three minutes of my day staring at my big idea.
I find myself waking up faster, ready to go and tackle the day. I’m not hitting the snooze button or slowly moping up the stairs to make a cup of coffee. I wake up feeling energized, vibrant, and excited. I’d say that’s a pretty decent morning.
The daily practice of revisiting your big idea increases your mental alignment. It’s easy to forget what you’re working towards, the outcomes you want to change, the habits you want to build. By looking at your big idea every morning, you create a sense of expectation within you. You develop an immediate sense of purpose, which helps you get out of bed. You’ll feel an urgency to get up and get going.
Just make sure your big idea is something worth struggling for.
. . .
I’m not the type of person that preaches the benefits of meditation. I think meditation is something you choose to do on your own, not something that you should be convinced to do. But I’ll include an entry-level form of meditation because it has made a significant impact on my mornings.
Visualization is a type of meditation. The most common form of meditation suggests you focus on observing your breathing. During visualization meditation, you focus on an image.
I’ve found that five to ten minutes of visualization in the morning is a great way to reiterate your big idea. For me, my big idea becomes more apparent to me after I spend some time visualizing myself achieving my goal. I try to create a mental image of an envisioned future. I imagine the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the emotions. Then I focus on that snapshot for the duration of the meditation.
If this is too woo-woo for you, I understand.
Honestly, I was the same too. I didn’t think I would ever be the type of person to spend ten minutes sitting on the floor with my eyes closed every morning. But if you try it, commit to exploring the practice for two to three weeks. That’s how long it approximately took my close friends and me to buy into the idea of meditation.
. . .
3. Get Moving
A little physical exercise in the morning is an excellent way to wake up your body. All the laggy feelings will dissolve in your sweat. Your heart will start pumping fresh, oxygenated blood throughout your body. Especially to your head, which is essential for optimal cognitive output.
This workout doesn’t need to be incredibly strenuous. You don’t need to be hitting the gym to bang out heavy squats or deadlifts. In truth, you don’t really need to lift anything except for your feet.
I like to step outside and skip rope for 5–10 minutes. I work up a decent sweat, I get my heart rate up, and then I come back inside for some light stretching.
Doing an activity in the morning has significantly helped me remain concentrated throughout the day. I find that a short workout is enough to ward off the restlessness until my actual workout later on. My mind stays focused on my work, and I don’t feel the urge to move around, which would take me out of my flow.
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4. Do Real Work
I don’t touch my email until noon. My job and school situation permit me to do this; not everyone is as fortunate. However, if possible, hold off on any busy tasks until you’ve tackled the real work.
I define real work as tasks that move the needle, not tasks that simply keep you afloat. For example, I use the first hours of the working day to write proposals, research potential clients, create content for Medium, or study for my courses. I believe these tasks to be the most important for me at the moment, so I give them my most productive hours.
Previously, I started my workdays responding to emails, following up with people on Instagram, or replying to comments on Medium. Since I moved my most main tasks forwards in the day, I’ve noticed that I’m much more productive.
I am writing more for Medium. My research is quick and effective. My proposals take me a fraction of the time to complete. Those less-meaningful tasks pushed back till after lunch, have not suffered at all. They’re things that I can do on auto-pilot as I try to stay awake through the post-lunch hangover.
. . .
So in summary, to win the morning, and win the day:
- Wake up thinking about your big idea.
- Do 5–10 minutes of visualization meditation.
- Do something to get your body moving and heart beating.
- Do real work first.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.
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