How To Take Back Your Morning -- 5 Tips
Mornings have always been sacred to me; I've found comfort in rising with the sun and being present while the rest of the world is just beginning to stir. I find my dwelling place in the silence & simplicity that each morning brings; it holds so much inspiration & promise for my soul. However, the struggle of always wanting to "be connected" or thinking that we MUST be connected for our business' sake is on-going. Technology and social media is trying to wrangle our mornings from us, and that's just not something that I'm okay with happening; I will never relinquish my morning ritual and the peace it brings to my days. I understand that mornings are not for everything out there, and that a lot of you night owls find your quiet time with the moonlight equally as sacred; but this post is directed towards those of us who seem to have lost that hold on our mornings, and are looking for a way to reign them back in. Since I work from home, I get that this may not apply to everyone--especially those of you who leave the house really early in order to get to work, but the beauty of all of this is that you get to create your quiet time to best suit YOU.
5 TIPS THAT HAVE HELPED ME TAKE BACK MY MORNING
1. Sleep with your phone on "do not disturb" mode. I started doing this recently within the past few months and it has REALLY helped me to fall asleep faster and without distraction. If we're going to be stuck in the habit of sleeping with our phone plugged in our our bed side table, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to at least put it on "do not disturb". If you don't know where to find that on your iPhone, just bring up that quick "menu" by scrolling your thumb up on the lock screen. From there you should see your airplane mode, wifi, bluetooth, do not disturb (moon), and screen lock icons. If you turn on do not disturb mode, all of your messages/notifications will come in, it just won't light up your screen, which will therefore be way less distracting while you're trying to fall asleep. **Another little thing that goes along with this (especially if you're middle of the night washroom users like myself) is to not check your phone in the middle of the night simply out of habit. It's best just to leave it be, and keep everything dark whenever you get up throughout the night.
2. Get out of bed ASAP. When you wake up in the morning, rather than laying in bed and checking all of your social media, leave that phone out of your hands for a while longer and just get straight out of bed and start your morning ritual. For me, personally, I've found that if I check my phone as soon as I get up, that it runs the risk of starting my day off on the wrong foot. If I get a "not so nice" email or anything else that could even be the slightest bit negative, it has the potential to ruin my morning before it even begins. Your notifications can wait. Allow yourself these waking moments of peace.
3. Create a morning ritual. This step has NO RULES and is entirely based on personal preference. Ever since I got Mark hooked on coffee a few months ago ;) we've moulded our own ritual that works perfectly for us both in the morning. I've also gotten into the habit of starting the day by jotting down some daily goals or intentions. This doesn't have to be anything super specific or detailed, I just find it calming to organize and sort out my day before it even begins.
4. Stay off of electronics/social media for the first 60 minutes of your day. I know that it's become simply habitual to jump on your phone or computer as soon as you get up (especially for us "work at home-ers", but the very best thing you can do for your mind & soul is to start your day with anything other than social media. Whether it be reading a book with your coffee, journaling, going for a run, walking your dog, stretching, or writing out your daily intentions, just allow yourself some "YOU TIME" before you delve back into the online world. If you REALLY don't think you can start with 60 minutes off of social media time, I challenge you to try 30 minutes first ;) **PRO TIP: Become best friends with scheduled posting on your Facebook Business Page. If you haven't ever used this feature, take a look at how it works here; it's a great way to still have your posts/links go up in the AM without you physically having to post them to your page.
5. TURN OFF your business messages/emails previews from your phone. This is not necessarily a morning tip per say, but it's certainly something that I've found has given me back some control over my life that I had seem to have lost last year while starting out my business. When you're just starting out, the thrill of an incoming message or inquiry is enough to make you okay with constantly checking your email/facebook messages. About 4 months ago, I actually realized that I had become a serious SLAVE to my email notification ding, or my business page new message sound; it was like I would neglect anything and everything that I was doing to read/check/respond to a client's message. It wasn't until just recently when I realized that the NEED to read a message the MOMENT it came into my inbox was starting to interrupt my life, and my family/friend time (not okay!). Since the beginning of May I've turned off my "facebook messages" preview so that I'm no longer notified right when they come in, and I've even more recently turned off my business email notifications.
I'm aware that this might not be something that everyone is comfortable with doing, but it has certainly helped me in keeping my priorities in check. I absolutely LOVE hearing from my clients and getting back to inquiries as soon as possible, but as much as that is important to my business, being present in my day without the constant need to check a message is even more crucial to who I am as a person, and the values that I stand for in my personal life. Plus, I just schedule "email/message" check times frequently throughout the day, so for me it's a win-win!
Do you have any go-to morning routines that help you to start your day off on the right foot? I'd also love to hear if you're a MORNING or a NIGHT person!!? At what point during the day do YOU feel most inspired??