There is nothing better than starting off your day right. There is nothing worse than starting your day off wrong. You have the power to choose. Are you strategic about your mornings?
If you want to be intentional, you have to do it first thing in the morning. Bottom line. Take working out as an example. I personally hate working out in the morning. However, it is the only time in my day when I have the fewest interruptions.
My ideal time to workout is lunchtime. I like dividing up my workday. Since I work behind the desk most of the day, it is nice to divide up my time. Yet, there is not a single week that goes by that my lunch plans don’t change.
Plans don’t change first thing in the morning.
The point I am trying to make is for you to strongly consider doing your most important stuff first thing in the morning. You will be more intentional and have fewer interruptions.
What are the best habits to do first thing in the morning?
Well, you can choose to do anything you want with your time. I personally like to do anything that has to do with sharpening the saw. My day flows better when I have given time for the physical, mental and spiritual.
3 Habits You Should Do Every Morning
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The concept of sharpening the saw was first introduced to me in the book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
When you take care of yourself first, you have the ability to be more productive. The analogy of an axe and a tree is a good example.
With a dull blade you have to work twice as hard to cut down that same tree with a sharp blade. Here are a few habits that help you sharpen the saw.
Habit #1: Give Time for Exercise (Physical)
While working out in the morning is not my favorite, I love the feeling of having checked it off my list. I start my workday with a spring in my step feeling good that I have taken care of myself.
Another good reason to try and workout in the morning is to create a buffer. If for some reason I am unable to exercise in the morning, I still have a few available slots in my day. I usually try to target lunchtime as a backup if I miss my morning exercise time. I didn’t have that buffer when I was focused on exercising in the evenings.
Habit #2: Allow Time for Thinking (Mental)
You will be amazed at how much stuff is swirling around in that brain of yours. You have ideas, thoughts, and to dos that need to be nurtured. The first step is to get it out of your head. I have a morning habit known as Morning Pages (read about the concept here). It is unstructured writing or journaling. The goal is to write at least 750 words first thing in the morning.
You can write about anything. Let your mind wonder and write down whatever comes to mind. Once I get it all out, I go back over it and look for:
- Items I need to add to my to do list
- Reoccurring themes I need to deal with
- Ideas I need to nurture
- People I need to reach out to
It really is amazing how much stuff comes bubbling to the surface when you just sit down and write. It is good for the mental side of you. You can also choose to read a good book as a way to feed your mental side as well. Another option is to listen to a podcast while exercising in order to doing something for both the physical and the mental.
Habit #3: Offer Time for Devotions (Spiritual)
The spiritual side of me is extremely important. It is a reminder to me that I am a part of a bigger story that just my little world. There is a God that has created me. He desires to spend time with me.
I do this by reading Scripture, praying, and spending time just being thankful. This also helps me to not only start my day off right, but to have the right attitude, perspective, and thought as I go throughout my day.
Like I said before, you will need to determine the right habits for you. My encouragement is for you to choose things that sharpen your saw. All of these habits recharge my batteries so that I have the capacity to give to others the rest of the day. Never forget the principle that you have to lead yourself before you can lead others. You can’t give out of what you don’t possess.
Question: What habits/rituals do you do first thing in the morning that sharpen your saw?