Mornings used to be one of the low points of my day. Long story short: I’m not a very graceful person in the morning. A friend of mine has a saying that I’ll adapt: I don’t even believe in God until around 10 am.
In college I used to wake up and drag myself down to the dorm’s diner, and every morning the lunch lady would take one look at me, and without saying a word would start chuckling to herself. Without a word! This should give you a little bit of a hint as to what mornings are like for me. Picture a bear coming out of hibernation. Hungover.
Now, things are different. I no longer stumble about in the morning, taking a few hours to really wake up. I start every day with a little bit of quiet time. This time is reserved for reading, meditating, and just focusing on what I have to do that day. This time is absolutely mission-critical for the rest of my day, and without it I feel completely worthless. Here’s why:
1. I get up easier. Ever since I’ve starting morning quiet times, I’ve been able to get up refreshed, without hitting the snooze, and ready to start the day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. This is directly because my day doesn’t start with the grind. It starts with the knowledge that I have around an hour of my day dedicated to Me. That can change anyone’s perspective in the morning.
2. Less stress, relaxed to the max. My morning routine of meditation and reading is just what the doctor ordered for curing stress. Sometimes I’ll go on a run, incorporate stretching and breathing exercises for maximum stress-relieving activities. It’s virtually impossible to start the day stressed out with a routine like that!
3. A clear mind. Meditation really helps the mind sweep itself of its own clutter. I’ve found that while I’m thinking about the day, I usually have lots of great ideas and remember little things to do throughout the day. I’ve since started having my moleskine handy to capture everything that’s running through my mind in the mornings. You’ll find that this is a great way for your mind to process the day and make sense of what needs to be done.
4. Now you can really get stuff done. Because your mind has been primed for the rest of the day by thinking about what has to be done, you’re in a perfect position to be uber productive. It’s easy to follow productivity systems like GTD when your brain has worked out the details of the day.
5. I’m a happier person. Who wouldn’t have a better attitude when you’re starting the day on top of your game? I’m a much better person to be around in the mornings, that’s for sure.
While there are many other reasons why I’ve found that morning quiet times have improved my day, these are a few of the main ones.
In order for the morning quiet time to happen, there has to be two constants:
- It has to be FIRST thing in the morning
- It has to be uninterrupted
This can be difficult for people who have children and other activities in the morning. But in order to make sure it absolutely happens every day, it has to be the fist things in the morning. Odds are you’ll have to start your day earlier in order to squeeze this in to our busy lives. However, once you make the change, you’ll never go back.