We all wake up in the morning. We all have our rituals. If you’re like me, you’ll hit the snooze button one more time or avoid putting that to-do list together. But, what if I told you there is a better way to kick off your day? A better way to feel more alive and ready to conquer what life throws at you. Today we’re talking about how to have a successful morning routine.
People seem to have this understanding that we are currently living in the last days. I will say this, even though evil is on the rise, I believe that we are getting close to what the Bible declares as the last days. We find in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus says there will be wars and rumors of wars and that people will be lovers of themselves.
Today, we’re seeing cities burn. People lay in streets, disrupting society, just to make a point. We see the sad reality of murder on live television. And my heart breaks for those families and those affected by this senseless crime.
As I was reading in Revelation the other day, I came across this passage in Revelation 6. God gives people over to their sin and they kill each other simply because God has removed Himself from humanity. But what are we as beleivers called to do in a dark world? How do we be God’s Light?
- We are not called to sit idly by. Get up and be light in a dark place. Be that positive influance to those around you.
2 We are called to go to the byways and highways declaring salvation of our God. Share your faith, don’t allow anything to stop you from telling others about Jesus.
- It’s time for the Church to rise up and show the world what it truly means to love. We are not called to judge. We are called to love. Take time and show people you come in contact with each day His love and what it truly means to be loved.
TIP OF THE WEEK:
Have you ever had a headache when you wake up in the morning? It’s nasty. I know, I suffer from migraines. But, I’ve recently learned a new trick to starting my days. Now, today I didn’t do my routine until just before doing this podcast, and I tell you it works wonders.
Every morning when I wake, I do these three things.
- I stretch. Stretching helps release toxins that have been stored in your muscles during the night hours. To release these toxins and allow the body to flush them out, we have to stretch. I push out my chest, raise my arms, arch my back and allow my weight to rest on the balls of my feet. You’ll feel better and it allows your body to know it’s time to prepare for oxygen and hydration.
- Oxygenate. This is what helps for most mild to moderate headaches. It simply takes breathing. Take a breath in, hold for 4 seconds and exhale for a couple of seconds. When we learn to breathe deep our bodies will take that oxygen and put it right to our brain. How do you breathe deep? As you draw air in through both mouth and nose, allow your belly to fill with air. This means the lower part of your lungs are getting filled. When you hold your breath for a few seconds, your body draws all the oxygen into the blood stream. Then exhale the carbon dioxide. If you feel light headed, that’s a good sign, because you’re body is drawing in oxygen and releasing toxins.
- Hydrate. This is the third most crucial part of my morning routine. I drink close to 16 oz of water every morning. Now, you can drink only 8 – 10 oz, which is the average glass size. When we hydrate, we’re telling our body it’s time to wake up and get ready for the day. When we sleep, we are depriving our body of water, which it needs to function. In sleep, toxins fill our body and we have to flush them out. By drinking a tall glass of water every morning, your body begins to replace toxins with h20. Then you’ll simply flush those toxins after your body has replaced them.
These three things will create a more alert mind and will cause headaches to dissipate. But more importantly, you’ll find you are more ready to conquer your day.
For a lot of people mornings are difficult. They arrive at work, and sit at their desk wondering what to begin first. Sometimes the tasks before you could be daunting, or simple. Now, I’m mostly speaking for myself, but I believe that my routine will help others figure out how to structure their mornings at the office or at home if you work there.
1. Check your email.
I wrote about this a while back about productivity, and this podcast is partially from that post. You can read that at jbsisam.com/productive. I find email to be frustrating. I get so many, and a large majority are junk mail – but I still have to sift through them all. They are sitting there waiting to be read. It’s easy to have over 1,000 email daily for me. Now, 90% of them are junk – but that still leaves at least 100 emails I have to sift through.
Go through your In-box daily! Take ten to fifteen minutes each morning and sift through your emails. This is where so many people get bogged down by the details. “I’ll simply do it later.” But, that later turns into the next day or even next week. By then, for me, I can have close to 6,000 emails to sift through, not counting the current day’s emails that are coming in.
So what do we need to do?
- Does the email in question require a task? With a simple key-stroke I can assign it to a task. Maybe it’s better tomorrow, or later in the day.
- Can I delete the email? That means, if it’s not important, delete it – don’t save it.
- Do I have to respond right away? Can someone else respond? If it needs a response, I’ll take the time to shoot back a response, but normally it get’s a task and I take care of later.
- Once I’ve gone through the in-box, I move all emails to a new folder called “processed.” Once done, my in-box is clean, ready for tomorrow.
2. Take care of Big Projects First.
Other than email, I like to work on my big projects right away in the morning. This way, I’m most alert and awake for the task. If we focus on projects that are simple and routine first, you won’t have the energy to begin a big project. For me. I took two hours this morning to type up my notes for this podcast. This way, if I were to do something else, and one back, I would not have the brain power to accomplish this task. Aren’t you glad I did?
- Make sure you know what you need to do before you begin. Have you task management system open. This way you know what needs to be done for the big project for the day. I make sure I have all the information I need before I begin. Otherwise, I will need to track stuff down, and that takes more time.
- Just do it. Take the time and do the project. If you know you won’t complete it during the morning hours, set it aside and come back to it after lunch. But, by the time we get to 1 or 2 pm, our brains are tired. So, put it aside and work on something else. Allow your mind to rest and come back tomorrow to finish.
3. Turn distractions off.
So, you’re working on your big project and you get an email. Or Twitter goes off. Or Facebook lights up with messaging. Or maybe your phone rings. These are all distractions that keep us from accomplishing the tasks we set before us. When we are distracted, things fall through the cracks, and work takes twice as long to complete.
- Turn off your email. I place my email offline. Now, I know I won’t be distracted when new emails come through. Once I get to lunch, I turn it back on and answer the emails I need, then turn it back off. Once I get to the last hour of my day, I check them one more time.
- Turn of Social Media. Face it. We are all so distracted by those little apps and websites. We want to see what our friends think of our morning breakfast. But, it’s distracting and it will keep you from focusing on the task at hand. Now, if you’re working on social media, then obviously you can’t, but for the average worker, they don’t need social media buzzing their phone every few minutes.
- Place your phone on Do Not Disturb. This is difficult. We forget to, or we simply will take any phone call. But, if you’re working on a project, it’s vital that you are not interrupted. A simple phone call can set you back an hour or more. Why, because usually we have a task associated with phone calls. So, we get out our apps and schedule our tasks and next thing you know an hour has gone by and now it’s time for lunch. So much for the project.
If you do these three things, I guarantee you’ll find yourself more productive and achieve more in less time.
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