We pride ourselves at Allwell on listening to our team members and customers on what tools we can provide them with in order to have a better, healthier quality of life. A lot of the same themes keep coming up: not enough sleep, too much stress, not having the time or energy to exercise, and constantly feeling like you’re rushing from one task to the next.
Really when you take a step back, a huge part of improving your physical and mental fitness is impacted on how you start your day. So let’s take a deep dive into your mornings and look at some tweaks you can make to “set the tone” for a successful, productive day. Here are a few:
Do the prep work the night before. This includes laying out your clothes for the next day. If you’re a morning workout person, this eliminates one more obstacle – and seeing your exercise clothes laid out is an instant reminder and impetus to start your day right1. Also, create a to-do list of the 3 most important things you need to get done.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – on your OWN schedule (work/child care requirements permitting). Recognize whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, and plan your sleep accordingly. “The most important thing isn’t what time you get out of bed. It’s getting in tune with your body’s clock for a good routine.2” We realize that some of you may not have the luxury of following this completely but perhaps you can get an extra hour during the time your body needs it most.
DO get that morning workout in. For so many of us – this author included – the best workouts occur first thing in the day. Two reasons: a) we naturally have more energy, and b) “happy chemicals” that get released in your brain during exercise like serotonin and dopamine help you become more alert and have better focus throughout the day.
A sidenote here. If you’re a nighttime workout person, we recognize you! A modified way to get the “happy chemicals” is to move around at morning – perhaps a quick Yoga session on the Allwell app, some sit-ups, or a quick stationary bike ride. Also, hydration is so important – lots of water!
Create a morning routine to focus your mind. There are many ways to do this, but in general: set your mind on what you want to focus on for the day, and set your heart and mind with the right attitude. Routine helps with this.
Eat the frog (or a tadpole) first thing in the morning.
OK, you probably read this and are thinking “whaaaaat?”
The idea is – if applicable – take the one task you’re dreading doing during the day and get it done first. Hence, “eating the frog.” The previously-footnoted Trello article goes into detail of the mental benefits of this. Essentially, you start off the day with the feeling of accomplishment of crossing off the task that’s large and looming over you!
– Johnny Premier, COO of Allwell
1 Kreatures of Habit, “The Ultimate Morning Routine Checklist” – https://kreaturesofhabit.com/blogs/habit-lab/morning-routine-checklist
2 Trello.com, “The Five Best Morning Routine Ideas of Productive People” – https://blog.trello.com/best-productive-morning-routines