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10 Morning Rituals That’ll Energize And Keep You Productive All Day Long

10 Morning Rituals That’ll Energize And Keep You Productive All Day Long

Early morning hours have a special quality to them. They are quiet, peaceful and scenic—the perfect time to spell out your intentions for the day and set the stage for a truly fruitful day ahead.

Establishing thoughtful morning rituals can ensure you start each day on the right footing, feeling centered, purposeful and productive.

If you are ready to jazz up your mornings, we’ve got some refreshing rituals you can incorporate into your morning routine to energize and keep you productive all day long. Enjoy.

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1. Read an inspirational quote or passage of the day

Keep a stash of your favorite inspirational quotes, literary passages, bible verses or life truths on hand, and read a few of them first thing in the morning. Positive writings have a powerful effect. They’ll remind you of the values you want to live by and get you started on a bright note. You’ll feel lighter, happier and more inspired just by reflecting on an inspirational word early in the morning.

2. Meditate for 5 minutes, at least

Meditation is about keeping focus on one thing such as the rhythm of your breathing or sound of the ocean and blocking out any other distractions. It has been proven to bring so many benefits, including reducing stress, increasing focus, boosting memory, enhancing creativity, and strengthening a sense of inner peace. So meditate for five short minutes, at least. It can have a big impact on your life.

3. Take deep breaths, smile and thank the sun for rising

This ritual is about being aware and acknowledging the many blessings that we so often take for granted, such as the rising of the sun. It’s about taking a moment to remind yourself of the gift of life and the beauty of the natural physical world, including plants, animals and landscapes. If you are a religious person, this is also a great opportunity to count the blessing in your own life and thank God for them.

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4. Write a gratitude journal

Don’t just say you are grateful for the blessing in your life. Write it down in a gratitude journal. Writing has a soothing, calming effect on the mind. It reassures your brain that you have recorded the blessings in a permanent place, and it can now safely move on to other things. Simply write out three things you are grateful for. Be specific and use details. For example, rather than simply writing, “I love my kids,” list something special and quirky the kids did recently that you love. It doesn’t have to take long.

5. Review your goals

Once your mind is free to focus on other things, sit down and review your goals. We all have specific things we want to accomplish in life, whether big or small. The morning hours are a great time to review them and see how far along you are in accomplishing what you set out for. This ritual can help you stay on track on your goals and allow you to make necessary adjustments to fulfill your deepest desires in life.

6. Drink a glass of lemon water

Pour water into a glass. Add a few drops of lemon juice, stir and drink. A glass of lemon water in the morning will freshen your breath, help you shake off any residual sluggishness from the night before, inject a healthy dose of vitamins into your body, reduce the feeling of hunger and aid your digestive system. It’s a refreshing and energizing way to start your day.

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7. Do 7 minutes of simple yoga exercises

Just seven minutes, not 10, of yoga exercises in the morning can bring many benefits. Seven minutes is short enough that it won’t discourage you before you even start or disrupt the rest of your morning routine. The benefits you’ll get include keeping fit, increasing your lung capacity, lowering your risk of heart disease, easing anxiety and getting you out of your head for a while. A superb routine!

8. Drink an antioxidant smoothie

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’re not disputing that. But, why not try a delicious smoothie at day break and see how you like it? A healthy juicing requires little time to prepare. Just blend your fruity ingredients together (for about a minute) and you are ready. Make it as thick or smooth as you want by adding or subtracting water, and then enjoy your smoothie. It tastes great and will provide essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs in a simple and tasty form.

9. Chew some mint gum

Chewing mint-flavored gum can do more than just freshen your breath. It can also increase your mental alertness and help with cognitive function. Moreover, mint is a natural stimulant that can temporarily quicken some vital processes in your body. It can arouse you into action and have you roaring and ready to go.

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10. Rock out to your favorite song

Music has a big influence on our moods and how we interpret the world. Everyone knows what it feels like to find that perfect song that gets you in the right mood. That’s exactly what you’ll want to aim for when picking and playing your favorite song(s) in the morning. Mind everyone in the vicinity, but don’t be afraid to let loose and have a good time. You’ll lift your spirits and be happy you did it throughout the day.

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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