How do you start your workday?
I vividly remember my work mornings when my youngest daughter was a toddler. She experienced very big emotions in the morning. These big emotions went above and beyond what I had experienced when my older daughter was her age. Often, I left the house to drop my daughters off at childcare and school after 45 continuous minutes of screaming. What a way to start my workday!
By the time I got to the office each morning, I was shaking with what I imagine was adrenaline. For two hours before I got to work each morning, my life was filled with chaos and noise. By the time I got to the quiet office, I was so wired. At that time, I had no centering practice, intention practice, or calming practice. That’s how I started my workday. I channeled that energy into action and couldn’t understand why I would fall asleep on the couch each night at 8:00 pm, simply exhausted from life.
Consciously choose how to start your workday
Now, the screaming in the morning has stopped, and now I consciously choose how I want to start my workday. I’ve learned a few techniques to do this.
Some people wake up and have a routine that calmly introduces them to the day. Others grab their phones while in bed and start scrolling through email or the news. Others wait until they get into work, whether that is in the home office or a physical office, to set an intentional workday. And others “office” out of where ever their laptop is and dig in immediately.
I’ll ask you two questions: How do you want to start your workday? Who do you most need to be today, for yourself and others? Oftentimes we skip this step and simply start working. Intentional reflection time is critical in the morning. I encourage you to take even 5-minutes in the morning, before reading/responding to emails and texts and ask yourself those questions. If those questions don’t resonate, I have a few more:
- How do I ensure my time is best spent today?
- What boundaries do I need to put in place today?
- How will I stay grounded when I feel overwhelmed?
- What are the most important projects/ priorities I need to implement today?
Activities to help start your workday off right
If reflective questions don’t resonate to help start your workday, find an activity that does. Perhaps it’s a meditation? I love the Insight Timer app for meditation. It always seems to have a guided meditation track waiting for me. Maybe it’s spending 2-minutes taking deep breaths, or a quick walk without your phone to notice nature. It might be stating an affirmation. It could be something related to your spiritual or religious practices. Whatever it is, it should be a practice that means something to you.
The beauty of this reflective time is it can be done at periods throughout the day. Morning is not the only time it can happen. Perhaps there was an intense meeting you just left. Try these things:
- Take two minutes to breathe
- Enjoy a lap around the building or walk out onto your porch
- Take a moment to ask yourself an intentional question. This can shift the energy of your day from stressed/anxious/negative/depleting to something that is more replenishing and positive
Gain control over
Those 5-minutes in the morning can have huge positive impacts on your workday, on the work you get done, on your energy level, and on your interactions with team members.
We might not have a lot of control of the work that has to get done that particular day. There might be an angry client, a big presentation, urgent emails, or a disagreement that needs to be attended to. But, what you can choose, though, is how you show up for those activities.
Quiet reflection time, breathing time, and centering time can help you show up in a way that supports those activities, relationships, and most importantly yourself. These are just a few tips to help you start your workday on the right foot.
Try it. Before logging into or scrolling through your work email, try a few minutes of reflection and see if there is a shift for you. If you’re still struggling, connect with Amy to discuss where we can help!