Power up your morning: Top Tips for Business Success
Countless renowned business owners, politicians and executives credit their business success to a productive morning routine. American powerhouse Oprah Winfrey starts her day with 20 minutes of yoga followed by 15 minutes of high-intensity cardio and a balanced breakfast. Former US president Barak Obama rises before 5am and drinks several cups of green tea. Entrepreneur extraordinaire Richard Branson loves to exercise bright and early and spend some time catching up with his family over breakfast.
For those of us who regularly snooze the alarm – throw on mismatched clothes rocking damp hair, grabbing a hasty Pret on the way to the office – a productive morning routine may feel like a far-off pipe-dream. Here, we outline five easy steps we can all take to transform those first few hours of the day and make the most of our morning.
Rise and shine
The simplest way to get the most out of those precious first few hours is to add an extra hour or two and setting the alarm earlier. This may mean heading to bed by 10pm to get the recommended eight hours sleep, but it’s worth it. If you know the time you want to arise, helpful apps – like the simple Apple iPhone clock – can calculate when you need to head to bed and alert you when it’s time to don your PJs and tuck in. To really optimise your shuteye why not give a sleep tracking tool a go? The Misfit Ray provides heaps of statistics, including total time and a sleep cycle breakdown.
Take your time
Forget the mad rush of your former routine. The added time you now have in the morning allows you the luxury of taking it a little slower. Use this time to access your needs, you may want to try doing 20 minutes of mindful meditation, take an invigorating shower, spend some valuable time with loved ones or just relax with a cup of green tea in bed and prepare for the day ahead.
Walk, stroll or jog
If mounting the treadmill like Oprah in the early hours doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t fret. Any gentle exercise that raises your heart rate will help boost your energy levels. A study published by Public Health Nutrition revealed that morning exercise can improve mood, focus and cognitive function all day long. Swap a sweaty bus journey for a refreshing walk (or jog) to the train station or if you drive to work, park the car a little further away and walk the last leg of your journey. It will help clear away any left-over drowsiness.
Eat a balanced breakfast
A balanced breakfast is essential for a tip-top morning. Aim for foods that will keep you full and maintain your energy levels until lunch. Eggs are great for keeping hunger at bay and retaining a steady blood sugar level. Porridge is also a perfect breakfast choice, full of fibre and antioxidants. It is also effortless to customise to different tastes, you can add fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds, or even a nice big dollop of honey. It’s a firm favourite at Cherish PR HQ.
The morning is often the best time to work through any creative tasks or projects, as you’re usually in a better mood and still have a full resource of willpower! Neuroscientists have also found that in the time just after you wake, the prefrontal cortex is at its most active – aka the creative part of your brain. The analytical part of your mind tends to kick in as the day goes on, so make the most of this golden time for originality in the morning. At Cherish PR we always try to schedule brainstorms in the morning, as it is when our creative juices are flowing!
It only takes small steps to make a big difference to a morning routine. Not only will you be more alert and relaxed, but your creativity will benefit too. Stick to it and before long the new morning routine will become just that – routine. Business success could be just an alarm clock away!
Written by Sara French, Cherish PR