Do you ever feel like mornings are the most stressful part of the day? Most of us do, and it’s often because we don’t start our day with a clear mind. Instead, we wake up feeling hazy, snooze our alarms, and barely have time to think before we’re rushing out the door to get to work.
After the rush, sit at our desks frantically trying to figure out how we’re going to get everything done. By lunchtime, we’re left wondering where the morning went with nothing yet crossed off of our to-do lists.
Instead of rushing around every morning, let’s aim to start our days with more clarity. Why? Because waking up with clarity leads to more positivity, productivity, and peace of mind.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
The first step to waking up with a clearer mind actually begins the night before. By planning a few simple things before you go to bed, you can wake up with a clearer focus for your day. Here are a few things to do before you go to bed:
- PLAN YOUR TO-DO LIST
Get a clear idea of what you need to do tomorrow by writing your to-do list before you go to sleep. Use this time to empty your head of any idea or task that might be floating around in your head. After you’ve written your to-do list, choose your top three priorities from the list. These are the three things that must get done, either because of a deadline or because they’ll make life easier in the long run. The rest of your to-do list then becomes an ‘if I have time’ list. Now you know exactly what you need to work on when your day starts tomorrow.
- MINIMIZE THE STRUGGLE
Save time in the morning by minimizing the amount of work you need to do when you get out of bed. This might include preparing your breakfast or lunch, choosing your outfit, and getting your bag ready to go. You can also reduce distractions when you wake up by leaving your phone in airplane mode or do not disturb mode while you sleep.
- DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE
If you wake up to a cluttered room, chances are your mind will feel cluttered too. Before you go to bed, declutter the space around you (put clothes, papers, products, etc. away) so you can wake up to a clear space and clear mind. This small step can make a huge difference in your mornings since your environment can impact your mood.
IN THE MORNING
Now that we’ve established what you can do the night before, let’s talk about what to do when you wake up to start your day with clarity:
- REVIEW YOUR GOALS AND PLANS
Break the habit of checking your phone in the morning by replacing it with a new habit: reviewing your plans for the day. You’ve done the work of planning your to-do list already, so make sure you remind yourself what it is you’ve set out to do. Take a moment to review your to-do list and top priorities for the day before doing anything else in the morning.
- START WITH A SIMPLE MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
Often we hear about elaborate morning routines that sound wonderful, but in reality, are too time-intensive for a lot of us. Instead of an elaborate practice, choose something you can do for 10 minutes to help clear your mind. This could be journaling, meditation, yoga, music, drinking a cup of tea/coffee, saying affirmations, reading, devotions – whatever you like that will start your day on the right foot.
- IDENTIFY WHAT YOU’RE GRATEFUL FOR
Identifying what you’re grateful for is one of the best ways to start your day with more clarity. By remembering the good things that are going on in your life, you can start the day on a positive and thankful note. Plus, the act of thinking of what you’re grateful for gets your mind into a focused state. Before you get started with the rest of your day, think of or write down three things that put a smile on your face.
The key to a stress-free morning is to get clear on your priorities, reduce distractions, and centre yourself with a grounding practice. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s going to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed in the morning (and the rest of the day). Now that you’ve started your morning without distractions, a clear plan for the day, and a grounding practice, you’re reading to take on the day!
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤