The power of a morning routine is well known – some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs credit their success to starting their days deliberately and positively, setting the tone for the entire day. But which habits helped them establish themselves, and what can the rest of us glean from them?
If your morning routine consists of hitting the snooze button several times over before scrolling Instagram for the next 25 minutes while in bed (just us?), then you might want to read on for Brooke’s pearls of wisdom.
International keynote speaker and creator of the global Social Club Community, Brooke Vulinovich explains her five-step morning routine for success:
1. Early to rise
“I get up when Karlo gets up, which is anytime from 5-6.30am,” Brooke says.
Waking up early gives you that time to spend on your new morning habits. It also prevents last minute rushing around, which helps to keep your mind clear for the day ahead.
Just make sure you wake up around the same time each day – and lay off that snooze button! Having an irregular sleep schedule (and snoozing for short periods of time) throws off your circadian rhythm, which will muck up your future sleep and make you feel foggy and sluggish later.
“I also put on my gym clothes the moment I get up,” Brooke adds, “which is my number one tip for making sure I do my morning workout!”
2. Morning workout
We all know it – daily physical exercise is a game-changer.
Exercising relieves stress (and improves your ability to handle future stresses), increases your energy, clears away the brain fog, improves your mood (and your metabolism!) and even helps you sleep better.
“I create my own workouts easily thanks to my serious relationship with F45 – I was at the gym five days a week for four years, so luckily I have a large library of workouts in my head!” Brooke laughs. “Squats, push ups, ab work … I don’t focus too much on arms, thanks to carrying around Karlo all day, every day – they are more toned than ever before!”
Remember, consistent exercise improves your overall wellbeing and in turn, your productivity, so try to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes exercising per day, whether it fits into your morning routine or not.
“Since I had Karlo, my workouts have changed,” Brooke admits, “so now it’s more like whatever I can squeeze into ten minutes. Even if I’ve been up all night with Karlo, I KNOW that a ten-minute workout will make me feel better than doing nothing all day.”
If an hour-long routine sounds too daunting, or if you have kids at your feet, Brooke suggests simply walking around the neighbourhood. “If I have 30 minutes or more free, I’ll usually walk with the pram … but it’s been a bit too hot this summer to do that consistently. Basically, do whatever works!”
3. Shower / self-care
Taking the time to shower, dressing for work (even if your office is the family room) and having hair and skin care routines not only makes you feel fresh and energised for the day, but also pushes you into the mindset that it’s ‘business time’.
“Showering and getting ready for the day is what turns me from feeling like a ‘feral troll’ into a successful businesswoman,” Brooke laughs.
She especially loves her morning skin care routine, which is a mixture of “cleansers, serums, moisturisers and a tinted SPF.”
4. We are what we eat
What we put into our bodies can have a powerful influence on our physical health, our energy and our mental wellbeing.
Food with little to no nutritional value causes energy levels to peak and crash throughout the day, which affects motivation, concentration and mood. A healthy breakfast helps us feel alert and focused, and adding protein ensures to keep those dreaded ‘crashes’ at bay.
“Every morning I have Chobani Greek yoghurt topped with whatever fruit I have in the house,” Brooke says, “followed by a Nespresso coffee, of course!”
5. Transfer your brain to the whiteboard
We’ve all heard that the start of our work day should involve tasks that take a lot of focus and/or elbow grease to complete, and to leave the easier tasks for later. This is because as the day moves on, we experience both a psychological and physiological decrease in our motivation and ability to get work done. Basically, we only have a certain amount of self-control to spend each day. So spend it wisely.
“The first thing I do is write my to-do list on my whiteboard, so I can be super productive in the time Karlo is napping,” Brooke says.
Making a list of your priorities for the day is a MUST to maintain productivity. It’s all too easy to find yourself constantly reacting to new demands and distractions.
“When Karlo goes down for his nap and I dive into work, I hit my money-making tasks first, then the rest gets done in his second nap, later in the day,” Brooke explains.
Move the things that will move your business ahead and make you money to the top of the list, saving the tasks that require less concentration for later in the day. If starting the day with your biggest task is too daunting, clearing away a few small tasks first can give you the momentum to tackle the big stuff.
Small wins lead to more productivity in the long run. Experiment, and find your perfect mix!
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