I am one of those people who sleep with the phone on my bedside and wake up to umpteen messages of GOOD MORNINGS dancing on the gifs of blooming flowers, steaming teacups and never-sleeping-still-always-glowing Gods. As much gratitude I feel for their thoughtfulness, this texting ritual doesn't set the right tone for the entire day. (never mind the needless phone storage invasion.)
The innocent subconscious habit paves the way to an unfocussed day, punctuated by checking on my phone for messages and emails, almost compulsively.
Here are a few morning habits I came across, which can set the inertia for a productive day.
WAKE UP EARLY
Let's start this list just like most of us do our days, with a strong coffee!
Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz has reported to wake up at 4:30 am every day! Same with many other successful people like Michele Obama former first lady, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Jennifer Aniston and many more.
Early, being subjective. You don't have to wake up before dawn, just early enough that it gives you enough time to finish your morning activities peacefully. Most of the times, we are not able to follow through with our Yoga and exercise because we end up snoozing longer than we planned.
LET THE SUN IN
Make use of this nature's alarm clock to wake your body up. Leave the curtains and windows cracked little, so sunlight can sneak into in the morning and give a healthy dose of warmth and vitamin D. That's what Richard Branson, English business magnate does and wakes up to the sunrise at approximately 5:45 am every day. Branson then goes for swimming or kite surfing and then treats himself to a healthy breakfast.
HAVE A TALK WITH YOURSELF
Aiste Gazdar Founder of Wild Food Café in London says before getting out the bed and fully waking up he spends 10 to 15 minutes talking to himself and preparing to wake up. He tells himself, 'I am awake', which is supposed to be less of a command and more of a realization and awareness.
As many scientific studies show early hours of the day can be very crucial as your subconscious mind is quite suggestible then. Why not make the best of it. Use it to drive deep into mind and soul, whatever mood and attitude you want to experience throughout the day.
The silence and zero distraction can help us to ponder over important things and be creative. If you are an artist or an entrepreneur, use this time to come up with the wonderful world-changing ideas!
DRINK LOT OF WATER
It will rehydrate your body and set in your body metabolism. Some people take warm water with honey, and some go for lemon water. It drives lethargy out and immediately makes you alert and energetic.
I don't think there is any other point that I can harp on more than meditation. Although it is seeping into the main media and the society massively, after many celebrities and successful people encouraged it still many take it with a pinch of salt. Well, it is a multi-faceted topic and consists of a multitude of techniques. But becoming aware of your breath, of your thoughts and emotions or trying to focus on a locus in your surrounding does help with our concentration and mental peace.
Many people like actress Julianne Hough also suggest practising grateful incantations and thoughts. Developing gratitude for all the things in your life, no matter how small, can reinforce happiness and magnanimity. Afterall getting to wake up every day in a healthy body and mind is a boon and much to be grateful for.
Steve Jobs would wake up every day, look into the mirror and ask if it was his last day would he do things any differently than what planned. If the answer was consistently no, he knew things need to change.
Many people need external motivation to leave the bed and start the day with a strong positive purpose. And there's nothing wrong with that. Reading inspiring quotes or putting your own "getting ready" playlist as actor Brittany Snow can be very potent to change your mood.
Gone are the days when life was less dependant on machines and computers, and people had to do hard physical labour to fulfil the basic needs like getting supplies or reaching schools. Now with a more sedentary life, exercising has become vital to living a healthy life. Mornings and evening are the ideal time for it.
It is difficult to find celebrities and successful people who don't indulge in some form of exercise. Just like his wife, Obama too has a stiff morning routine, starting with 45 min of a workout session.
As unappealing as it sounds, cleaning your room can help to march into our days confidently. Tim Ferriss, the American entrepreneur, says "Win the morning, win the day,"
Ferriss chooses to start his day, making his bed and cleaning his room. This simple task can give you a sense of accomplishment and control over your life.
Not just after sweating it out on gym and hitting shower, but celebrities indulge in all kinds of the shower to jolt their body awake. Actor Lea Michele takes a steam shower every day after her cup of coffee, which helps her to sweat out all the toxins from her body.
Kate Hudson takes a nice facial ice bath every morning. Seems like a good way to jumpstart every cell of the body.
AWAY FROM SCREEN
Now, this one will hit home for many. Just like me, for many people, their morning starts in front of this pixelated glass. That's a big NO if you follow the advice of most successful people. Not just the mental stress but also immediately putting screens before your eyes after waking up does put stress on your retina.
TALK TO YOUR PARTNERS
How about cuddling up with your partners for little extra minutes if you are not ready to leave your cosy bed. Waking up with the feeling of being loved is as good as it gets. Talk to them about your plans for the day, the excitement and the apprehension, lay it all out and ask the same of them. Not only it can be therapeutic for both of you but can also boost you with enough confidence to take over the world!
EAT HEALTHY BREAKFAST
No matter how demanding your job is, do find a few minutes to have your first healthy meal of the day. With the increasing corporate culture, this is probably the only meal that you will fix for yourself. Do it purposefully to provide enough energy to get you set for morning meetings.
More than morning practice, minimalism is a school of thought and a way of living. Eliminate everything unnecessary from your mornings to avoid physical and mental clutter. Facebook CEO, Zuckerberg is seen in similar grey t-shirt every time because that's all he has in his wardrobe. That helps him not to waste time and energy to select every morning what to wear. Hence, get rid of redundant choices.
If you are on the religious bent, start your day with a prayer. Actor Mark Wahlberg wakes up at 2:30 am and prays before hitting the gym, which sounds more productive and fulfilling than scrolling through our WhatsApp groups and replying!
And more importantly, make a routine and stick to it. Nothing great was ever achieved without a proper habit.
Co-author: Shreya Arya
A digital marketing enthusiast with experience in HR and hospital management, Shreya has wide interests ranging from philosophy, psychology to latest trends in automation. She is also a freelance content writer and loves lending beautiful words to ideas and feelings.