I’m a creative kid at heart. I love trying new things and exploring new ideas just to see what they turn out to be. My mornings have been full of randomness, strict adherence to protocols and everything in between. If you’ve ever played a sport, you know that how you start affects how you finish. Through plenty of purposeful and accidental findings, I’ve found a sweet spot. The best mornings I’ve ever experienced share a few special characteristics:
1. Making an urgent vs. important list-
Joggin’ the noggin, first thing, may be the most important thing you do all day. List building is huge. Separating your to-do list into urgent vs. important tasks helps you envision your day and leads to less stress, unnecessary multi tasking and better time management. Urgent tasks MUST be completed today while important ones can, although disappointingly, be extended to tomorrow. We all know how plans go, but developing an expectation of execution can at least get the proactive mind out of the way and allow you to act calm, empowered and flexible during times of adversity. I find that a reactive mindset vs. a proactive mindset is much more successful at tackling unforeseen problems, managing time and innovative. Map out your day, determine what’s necessary and let your instincts perform.
2. Do some flow-y movement-
Mindset isn’t a one way street. Your mood is largely dictated by the body’s feedback loops (digestive/mechanical). This includes the operating status of your muscles. Stiffness is a downer and a signal for the noggin to proceed with caution and in most cases, caution leads to rigidity and poor creative performance and problem solving. Through yoga, foam rolling or (possibly) a workout, your brain will be primed for optimized communication with the body and much more ‘flexible’ mindset. If you need a starting point watch this video of our morning Sun Salutation.
3. Eat a protein and fat dominant breakfast-
Feeding the machine correctly, early, is critical. You may hold off for a period of time but timing is purely preferential. Regulating blood sugar early is insanely important. My personal favorite is an omelette the size of a house with a gardens worth of veggies and a couple strawberries. Experiment and find what works for you but you should feel satisfied and powered up for more than just an hour or two.
4. Find your caffeine sweet spot-
I don’t just mean “how much coffee you can tolerate.” What makes you most productive while keeping your appetite normal with no crash. This might mean zero, this might mean a cup. I probably should mention: prioritize water (I feel like that goes without saying but it’s easily forgotten in lieu of coffee). Cold brew is also an excellent alternative to regular coffee. It has lower acidity and is a pretty easy make. Here’s a video: http://allrecipes.com/video/689/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/
5. Go to bed on time-
Duh, right? Sounds obvious but often overlooked. How about trading in an episode of The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt for a shot at greatness? Although staying up late and sleeping in right up until the point of extraction sounds like ‘living,’ it feels pretty terrible to haul ass half-naked to your car just to get mad at red lights. Go to bed early enough to give yourself time to do your morning ritual. You’ll see very soon enough that the other method sucks and won’t maximize anything besides your risk of committing homicide.