Setting yourself up for the best start in the morning is something that will differ from person to person.
You may be a single mother trying to get three kids off to school to then start your hectic commute into work.
Maybe you’re a single, twenty something living in a city where no two days are ever the same.
Perhaps you’re a new father who’s juggling interrupted sleep and an intense work schedule.
Whoever you are, the importance of a truly great morning routine is something you shouldn’t underestimate.
Many Recruiters will know the benefit of a plan. Not just planning your year, but planning your weeks and days. A plan you can stick to every day will mean you’re prepared and have actions you can tick off for proof of productivity.
Therefore, for the best start to your morning, make a list of at least three things you want to accomplish the following day.
It doesn’t have to be regimented. But guidelines and agreeable actions will help.
To achieve true clarity and routine in the morning, it’s possible to split your practice into different categories. You need to be doing something that’s physical, something for your mental health, something for your personal goals, and something that prepares you for your specific day ahead.
Once you’ve broken down this routine into categories it’s easier to achieve something for each one. However small that may be.
The first thing you should do when you wake up, is drink water. Fairly obviously, even for the new parent who’s waking up at all hours, you’ve just had a long period of fasting. Including liquids.
Refreshing your water balance will do many things. Re-hydration is the most obvious. But it will also kick start your metabolism, flush out toxins, help you to eat less and increase mental capacity (your brain is 76% water).
After this quite easy task comes a more strenuous one.
Scientific research has shown that your will power is at its strongest in the morning. Therefore harnessing this is the best course of action to kick start your physical day. You don’t have to go and lift weights for an hour and a half. Just a small period of strenuous activity will have a dramatic impact.
Walk the dog, do some push ups, burpees, star-jumps… skip. Whatever you enjoy.
If you’re one of the people reading this who almost laughs out loud at the prospect of meditation in the morning due to your three kids, crazy dog, two cats and significant other all needing attention, then I’ll agree this step is harder than the others.
If we assume finding time is the biggest part of this, let’s explore it.
You’re (probably) alone in the shower most mornings. Rather than winning imaginary arguments, take time to think about things. Anything.
Have a moment to yourself and prepare mentally for anything that you’ve got on. Meditation doesn’t have to be sat cross legged in a yoga studio ommmmm’ing.
It could well be on your commute. There are countless apps out there that can assist with this. Take 20 minutes out.
Do something for your mind. It’s the only thing keeping you sane.
Doing something for yourself is another great habit to get into in the morning. Reading a book is without a doubt a great thing. And working on yourself is the gift that keeps on giving.
Read an article. Listen to a podcast. Listen to an album. Write something. Be creative. Once again, you need to set time aside.
The last thing you should be doing on your morning routine is re-affirming your plan for the day.
Running over agreed actions and thinking through the best way to implement them will add significant value to your morning. It will help you to hash out any problems, and re-order things in the best way.
As you’re a Recruiter, you’ll probably have a slightly altered plan to the one you made 12 hours earlier. Four people probably pulled out the process and you may have had two offers and two interview requests. If you’re a true Recruiter they’ll all be the same people.
One of Mark Twain’s most famous quotes was “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
I’m not suggesting you eat a frog, obviously.
That would be a tad polemic. But the saying means, if you perform your hardest and most gruelling job first thing in the morning, the rest of the day will seem easier.
Find your frog from the day plan you made yesterday and eat it… again, metaphorically.
For examples of morning routines from the most powerful people out there, check out this page.
Once you’ve got something sorted for each of the categories above, try changing it up and tailor your own. The best routine, after all, is whatever works for you.
Finally, bear in mind, a routine is something that’s stuck to over a period of time, but for something to become habit only takes 30 days.
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