A little over two weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode by Tim Ferriss called “5 Morning Rituals that Help Me Win the Day.” I highly recommend it. Because it has transformed my work week. I don’t do everything in his list, and I’ve modified things to fit my lifestyle; but altogether, this podcast has revolutionized the way that I go about my day. I find that I have more energy, more focus, and more motivation to get things done when I do each of the following:
- Make my bed. Ferriss talks about how conquering something small first thing in the morning sets you up for success in the bigger tasks of the day. I hate to admit that I did not do this regularly before, but was comforted in the fact that Ferriss actually had to add this to his list. It truly makes me feel more organized and ready for the day, as if some mental switch has been triggered.
- Meditate. I do this as soon as I arrive at the office in the morning. As a Christian, my meditation consists of reading scripture and praying. We are told to “meditate on it [scripture] day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8, NIV) It is interesting that many of the most successful leaders today share this daily habit in common. It is important during meditation, though, to not have your mind “do all the talking.” One thing I need to work on is allowing space for God to speak to me. Rather than reading the Word just to study or to memorize, I need to ask God to show me his perspective on it. Rather than running through a laundry list of prayer requests, I need to ask God what to pray for.
- Diffuse something. Ok, shameless plug time (and this one is not from Ferriss’s podcast). Laura and I just bought the Young Living Essential Oils starter kit that comes with a diffuser, so I am saying this with obvious bias; but diffusing essential oils has truly helped improve my focus, energy, and morale at work, especially around 2-3pm when that afternoon slump hits. This is due to the fact that the olfactory nerve is so closely connected to the pituitary gland and the limbic system, which handles hormones, emotions, and memory. Oils that I use to help remove stress while increasing focus include lemon, peppermint, Rosemary, and a YL blend called “Stress Away.” Aromatherapy works, guys!
- Journal. This one was the big game changer. I learned that morning journaling should not be a lengthy process. Tim Ferriss’s journal is inspired by the Five-Minute Journal that encourages the writer to complete short sections for gratefulness, affirmation, and potential improvements. My personal morning journal currently comprises the following:
- The weather
- What I am drinking and diffusing (memory triggers)
- What I am thankful for (2-3 things)
- What I have scheduled that day
- Prayer requests for that day (usually one for myself, and 2-3 for other people)
So there you have it! The habits above were added to my usual routine that involves a morning workout, breakfast, showering, etc. It has made a world of a difference. I hope that implementing these habits can help you have a more engaging and productive week. What morning rituals help you win the day?