Gain & Maintain A Morning Routine That Serves Your Business
Before I start this post I just want to slip in right at the beginning that I am not what would be considered a Morning Person, so if you’re holding your breath waiting for the dreaded moment I’ll tell you to get up at 5am, you can exhale now. Sometimes early mornings have their place (I’ll be touching on that later) but the most important thing about how you start your day is how you start your day, not what time you do it… I’m sure this post will give you some great ideas, and challenges, of how to get your morning routine working for you in a way that it serves what you want to create in your business.
Allowing Yourself Head Space & Family Time
My daughter’s now 18, so doesn’t impact on my time in the morning so much, but I was sole-parenting when she was small, so totally get that if you’ve got family, particularly young children, then they will take most of your energy first thing.
This can leave little time for any personal headspace BUT my guess would be that you probably fill that headspace with unnecessary distractions and a pull to be responsive to others, long before you’ve even started your working day.
My number one tip for getting the day off to a good start would be to turn the wifi and mobile data (4G) off on your phone until you’ve allowed yourself and your family the energy and attention you all deserve.
This idea of this often sends people into a bit of a state of shock, but you’d be amazed how much time you save yourself in the morning by not checking in on your social media, emails, WhatsApp etc while the rest of the world is waking up. I always turn them off when I go to bed at night, and turn them back on once I’ve had my quiet time in the morning… my world hasn’t ended yet! My phone is still on so that I can receive calls and texts, but my mind is kept clear of all the distractions, and other pulls on my time.
Believe me, especially if you have younger children, they’ll also be super-thankful to have some undivided attention, rather than have you scrolling on your phone while you’re spending time with them in the morning.
If You Struggle To Wake Up
You are not alone! But getting up at the last possible second so that you’re super-rushing not to be late is definitely not a good way to start your day on a regular basis. Of course the simplest thing you could try is going to bed a little earlier, but that’s also not always possible (or enjoyable!). Luckily there are other things you can do that will get you shifting first thing when you’d rather be curled up under the duvet.
Try moving the alarm clock to the other side of the room, so you literally have to get out of bed to turn it off – this makes the snooze button feel a lot less worthwhile, as you’re already up and shifting.
One of my favourites is something that I do at night, rather than first thing in the morning – I get the kettle ready. I literally leave it with enough water for one cup of tea (so it will boil as quickly as possible) and put my tea bag in the mug on the side, all ready to go. When I did shift work this was literally a life-saver in my eyes – getting to work for 7 am in the morning was a serious challenge for me, and I never wanted to get out of bed a nano-second before I had to.
Although many of us reach for the caffeine first thing, rehydrating quickly in the morning after a night of no fluid intake can make a dramatic shift to your energy levels in the morning too – why not try having a glass of water or juice while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, and see if you notice the difference?
When You’re Most Focused
Once you have woken yourself up then the morning is usually the time most people are most focused, so often the best time to take on the most important jobs.
When I started this post I said I wasn’t going to nag you to get up early if that wasn’t your thing BUT if you are working another job alongside building up your coaching business then I would STRONGLY recommend that you get out of bed early and work on your own business before you head in to the day job. This is the best chance you have of giving your own business your best time. It may feel like a huge sacrifice, but the results will speak for themselves, and make it so worthwhile in the long-run.
This also means that if you can spend this time on your own development, you’ll get maximum results – with minimum time involved – leaving you filled-up and in a great place to be of service to your clients and your business.
Your Quiet Time
Whether you get to do it very first thing, or are waiting until you’ve taken the kids to school, having a time of quiet for yourself in the mornings is probably the best thing you can do for yourself to get you in a great headspace to take on the day – I’d wholeheartedly recommend that you don’t turn your wi-fi and mobile data on, on your phone until you’ve dedicated at least 10 minutes of your morning to some quiet time. This can feel counterintuitive when you’re trying to build your business, and are in a place of being very responsive to every last comment on your posts on Facebook etc, but it’s actually a great discipline to allow you to serve yourself to make sure you have what you need to serve your clients – try it.
What you do during your quiet time will probably depend on how much time you have, and what personal development tools work for you, but the only way you’ll find that out is by mixing it up a little and then looking at the results. Things that are most useful to me include –
- Literally some quiet time – if you already meditate then that’s great, if not, why not try out a mindfulness app that will guide you through some simple meditations that only take a few minutes. My Recommendation: The headspace app.
- Some movement – people so often think that their quiet time in the morning has to be sitting still, all serious like… this most certainly isn’t the case. 5-10 minutes of hard exercise might be right for some people, but for me, I like to start the day a little calmer, with some stretching and deep breathing. Yoga is a great one for in the mornings too. My Recommendation: The Beginners Yoga Club online classes.
- Journaling – the way journaling works best for me is to write an affirmation in the middle of a page, then to doodle around it to see what comes up. Have you tried it? What works best for you when you’re journaling? You can get some beautiful journals these days, that will guide you through the process, but my favourite is still just a notebook and some coloured pens. My Recommendation: Stationery from The Works.
- Active reading – there are some great books out there that will support both your personal and professional development, but reading them while there are 20 other things going on it the room, or last thing at night when you can’t keep your eyes open, will just make them ineffectual. Spending your focused time focussing in on them gives you the best chance of gaining maximum benefit from what you read. My Recommendation: I wrote a post the other week about some books I recommend, you can find it here.
- Music – music is a fantastic way of setting your mood. Whether you need your energy firing up, some calming down, or some spiritual connection, music is a brilliant way to acheive it. The great thing about music is you can also have it on through your headphones while you’re tidying the kitchen, or putting the bins out. Everyone has time to get their music on, and get their mood set, first thing in the morning. My Recommendation: Any top tunes you know resonate with you.
Whether you decide to follow the same routine daily, or try something different every day of the week, setting up a quiet time that you want to stick to is a great way of increasing your energy, positivity, and focus, before you start the day – a great service to your business that will help it develop and grow without distraction.
Maintaining Your Good Habits
Just like our clients, us coaches can find ourselves not sticking to our good intentions in the way we may have planned – changing your morning habits is not always easy, and we can all find ourselves slipping off track, and snoozing once too often!
To help you to maintain your good morning routine you’ll find it alot easier to have some accountability in place. Why not get a mate involved to be an accountability buddy for you? Or join us in The Hub where you can link up with other coaches on the same journey.
Our bodies need different things at different times, so if you find yourself missing the odd day don’t forget to be kind to yourself, and just remind yourself that it doesn’t mean you’ve failed and you can jump back in tomorrow.
Finally, track your results, see what difference you notice within both yourself and your business when you’ve got your morning routine in place and you’re showing up for yourself and practicing it regularly.
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