“Arise! Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
Do you consider yourself organized? If so, can you identify with any of the following ten morning habits of the orderly?
Here are those habits:
1. They Achieve a Small Win
Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, SEAL officer and author of Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life, gave the 2014 commencement address at the University of Texas. He gave the following advice:
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
2. They Have a Simple, Effective Routine
Founder and president of Supreme Organization, Jodie Watson, says “Your routine should be the bare-bones basics that you need to complete to keep life running smoothly before you rush out the door. If you have other must-do tasks … think about how you can simplify or spread them out differently based on your schedule.”
Set a simple morning routine and stick with it. Doing so will help ensure that you have the energy to make it through the day.
3. They Forget the Cell Phone
It’s super-tempting to reach over and start tapping and swiping away. But this isn’t a good idea, as it’s so easy to fall into a black hole of email, news headlines, notifications, and text messages.
“I recommend not keeping your cell phone in your bedroom when you go to sleep,” says Fay Wolf, author of New Order: A Decluttering Handbook For Creative Folks. Wolf makes it a habit of sitting up in bed and practicing deep breathing for at least 30 seconds. “Every time I follow that principle I’m happier, and it’s an amazing alternative to picking up the phone,” she adds.
4. They Do a Few Things They Love
The attitude with which you approach the morning may just carry with you throughout the day; so try to perk yourself up during these wee hours by doing a few things you like.
Wolf says “I give myself permission to do the things I want to do – like meditation, yoga, or music – in very small amounts of time in the morning, for five to 10 minutes.”
5. They Habitualize Must-Dos
Casey Osmundson, the founder of PrettyOrganized.com, says “It’s the same theory for the rest of your routine: The more you practice completing a task, the less you’ll have to consciously think about each step. What once seemed like a challenge will soon feel like second nature.”
Making habits out of small chores (prepping breakfast, brushing teeth, cleaning up, etc.) commits them to muscle memory. You do them without thinking – and this conserves vital cognitive energy.
6. They Identify Key Targets
Laura Vanderkam, the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, says “Organized people think through their days. At the beginning of the day, they ask, ‘What do I need to do to make this a good day? If nothing else happens, what three things would make me feel like the day was a success?’”
After figuring out what three things need to happen, put them on your calendar and resolve to finish them regardless of what happens.
7. They Declutter Their Workspace
Working in an unorganized space can lead to unnecessary stress and wasted time. Prevent this by taking a few minutes at the beginning of each morning (or evening) to do a bit of decluttering.
Personal organizer Rebekah Saltzman says, “All this accumulation does is hold us back from getting the things in life that we need and want. We simply don’t have the mental and physical space for the things we want and need.”
8. They’re Smart With How They Use E-mail
If you’re an office worker, you know that there are the typical “click, scroll, close” emails – and there are the “URGENT!” emails. It goes without saying, but the latter should be responded to quickly.
When you first get to the office and fire up the e-mail server, scan through the subject lines and look for the important stuff. If a response is needed, respond. If not, breeze through it and move on.
9. They Have Their Food Prepped
Planning out what you’re going to eat for breakfast or lunch the night before frees up some extra time to do something else. Wolf says “I personally am now in the process of starting food prep … and it’s revolutionary and helpful to know what you’re going to eat each day.”
If you’re not a chef, keep things simple! Get a loaf of bread, deli meats, cheese, veggies, and fruit. Make a sandwich the night before, and toss the sandwich, fruit, and veggies into a to-go box. You’ve got your meal for the next day.
10. They Eat The Frog
It was Mark Twain who said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, do something that you don’t want to do first thing in the morning – whether or not you have the energy.
Here are some ideas: work out, clean the dishes, take out the garbage, clean the sink, organize the closet, or tackle something you’ve been procrastinating on. Doing something hard early on has a way of powering you through the day!