This isn’t the long-form version of all those LinkedIn posts we love to hate. The chief takeaway here isn’t wake up at 4.30am and you’ll immediately be better than anyone else with the good sense to stay asleep.
But having a solid routine down will improve your morning. Get the first part of the day right and there’s every chance the rest of it will follow. Chain a few good days together and hey presto you’ve got yourself a decent life. Nice!
And in recruitment, that means a more energised, focused, prepared you. Can’t hurt business, can it?
We’ve written about The Best Recruitment Morning Routine before. Where we advise doing something good for your physical health, your mental health, your personal life, and to plan for the day ahead.
So here are 8 specific habits that’ll have an impact on your morning. None of which take any longer than ten minutes to action. A few even involve no effort at all.
Funnily enough having a good morning all starts the night before.
This is easier said than done. Because life. But there are things you can do, or not do, that make getting your head down easier.
● Avoid alcohol. Booze sends you off quicker but your quality of sleep will be rubbish.
● Have a hot bath. Your core temperature increases by about a degree and the subsequent cooling down makes you sleepy.
● Prep for the next day. Checking your schedule and plotting a to-do list the night before eliminates the need for decision making in the morning and gives your brain less to process as you drift off.
● Drink Valerian root. It sounds like something from Game of Thrones, tastes like mud and acts as a mild sedative in humans. Warning: give this to your cats and they will straight up murder you and everything you own – it sends them loopy.
● Put down your phone. If you can, avoid looking at a screen entirely. This can be potentially very damaging, long term.
● Sleep with the curtains open. The natural light coming through in the morning will reset your circadian rhythm.
Reading about the lifestyles and morning routines of the ridiculously successful in preparation for this piece and I’m always struck by the simplicity of Barack Obama’s. This is from when he was in charge of America.
Obama would start his day two hours before the first calendar event. What does he do with his time? Proper dad stuff. He watches ESPN, eats breakfast and reads the paper.
Because waking up early shouldn’t be the daunting ordeal it often is.
This is your time. Make the most of it.
Starting your day in control will allow you to take things at your own pace. So you’re already in a proactive mindset, instead of reactive one.
Social media’s usually the first thing we’re drawn to after group chats and texts. But for the sake of your mental health, don’t benchmark your day by immediately consuming the best bits of someone else’s.
As far as work’s concerned, we’re advocates of using emails sensibly at Hunted. If it can’t wait, they’ll call. If it can, it’s best dealt with at your desk where you can actually do something about it.
Retired US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven puts it brilliantly in this short video:
“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. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made – that you made – and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better”.
You don’t have to thread daisies anywhere hair grows on your body. And you don’t have to balance a stack of crystals on your spine. But tuning out your stray thoughts first thing in the morning can give you amazing focus during busy working days.
And 5 minutes of meditation, even for the abominable stress-head, works like a tranquiliser. Quite literally.
Get the Headspace app and do the first few days of free content to see how much it makes a difference to your mental clarity.
Humans are one of the only members of the animal kingdom that don’t habitually stretch following a period of unconsciousness. And yawning doesn’t count. Even your cat does yoga when it first wakes up.
A few minutes of proper stretching gets the blood going to your limbs and brain. The resulting boost in energy works wonders at dispelling grogginess. It’s also good for your posture, particularly if you’re about to spend the majority of your day sat down.
Just don’t be one of those people that does it on planes.
The lad at your office who looks like Jay Cutler? He goes to the gym before work. The lass who looks like she could run 5k without breaking a sweat? She can. And does. In the morning.
Being super fit takes time and money. The good news is short periods of relatively high intensity exercise burn more calories throughout the day. So if you can’t bench a metric tonne, at least move about a bit. Your body will thank you in the long run.
Or you could do what Anna Wintour does and start each day with an hour long tennis match. She’s in her late sixties, Editor in Chief at Vogue, Artistic Director at Condé Nast and is likely busier than I have ever been, ever and STILL makes time to serve aces while the rest of us are getting served morning lattes.
Dave Asprey is an entrepreneur and bio-hacker. And an advocate for the health benefits of knocking the temperature in your morning shower as cold as it will go.
The intense shock tricks your body into thinking it’s dying. Lovely! Why on earth would you subject yourself to this awful experience?
● You’ll wake up IMMEDIATELY
● It burns fat
● Increases disease-fighting cells
● Increases antioxidants
● Increases circulation
Cold showers are utterly horrible to begin with. But you come out of them stronger. Which promotes brilliant resilience for the day ahead.
Challenge: see if you can do it for the last thirty seconds in your next shower, if only to prove to yourself that you’re a Siberian-level badass.
Talent Acquisition Specialist at Panda International
Consultant / Financial Services at Oakleaf Partnership
Managing Consultant - Technology at Harrington Starr
Senior Consultant - Sales & Marketing at Michael Page Dubai
Head of Contract & Interim - Home Based at DNA Recruit