I give workshops on leadership including a Women in Leadership Course at the Wharton School of Business and I recommend a few morning rituals to help you be successful and to balance your life
Here are six morning rituals of a successful person.
1. Post a positive photograph on your mirror and on your computer home page and phone that makes you happy and inspires you to your greatest goals. It can be a photo of you playing with your children to inspire you to have work/life balance, a photo of an audience applauding when you are working on a speech, a mock up book cover of the book you are working on to inspire you to write.
2. Another morning ritual to help you be successful is to clear your mind of clutter. When you first wake up in the morning, take five minutes to write down anything that is muddying up your head. Write in a stream of consciousness any thoughts or feelings that are clogging your brain. This is not a journal or a "to do" list. It's junk. Dump thoughts out on the page the way you dump out the trash. Now your mind is clear and you can accomplish much more in your day. Julia Cameron calls the pages, morning pages and describes the benefits in her book, “The Artists Way.”
3. Brush and learn. Buy an automatic toothbrush with a timer (most are two minutes) and while you are brushing your teeth, read poetry, motivating quotes and affirmations and other positive messages that you've taped to the bathroom mirror
4. Ask yourself in the morning - Are you doing what is most important or are you doing what is easy or urgent? To make sure follow these steps: Set a timer on your phone to go off every hour. When it goes off, ask yourself, "Am I doing what is most important?", "Am I doing something that is making me a better person?", "Am I doing something that is making money or is furthering my career?" Do this every day for a week and you will see a pattern of what you are spending most of your time on.
5. Read your e-mails in priority order. Our tendency is to read and respond to our e-mails from most recently sent down. You may waste time on something that is not urgent. Get into the habit of quickly scanning all your new e-mails for anything that may be urgent and important and respond to those first. Let others know that it helps to be clear about urgency and importance in the subject line of the e-mails they send you.
6. You can do anything for fifteen minutes. If you are procrastinating on a task set a timer/alarm on your phone for fifteen minutes. Do the task until the buzzer sounds. Typically starting an unpleasant or difficult task is the hardest part of the task. Once you start something, the momentum can keep you going. If it doesn't get you going, set the timer again tomorrow. So if you need to exercise, meditate, clean, work on a writing project, play with your kids, set an alarm and do it.