November 21, 2015

Morning Ritual


Months ago, I found a podcast by Todd Henry called Accidental Creative. It's a podcast for people like me who are 'accidentally creative', and it's filled with tips and advice for structuring your work day, finding your voice, and interviews with professional creatives. I recommend adding it to your podcast library, and I highly recommend listening to this episode:  The Power Of A Morning Ritual.

It's either in the podcast or on the cheat sheet, but Todd describes the morning ritual he goes through before the start of every work day. I didn't realize that since starting my own business and working from home, I no longer have a morning ritual. And I really need one. So I created one!

Morning Ritual:

wake up
turn on coffee
10-minute meditation via Headspace
make a cup of coffee
20-minutes reading something business-y
10-minutes reading something inspirational
10-minutes free writing
5-minutes prep for the day
breakfast

At this point, most days I drive to a work-out and then come back home and start working. Sometimes I even take a shower and put on pants!

I've been doing this morning ritual for three months and I can tell a difference in both my mood and productivity. You'll notice that "check email" is nowhere on this list. That's on purpose. I do not get online or look at my phone until after I've done my morning ritual. In fact, I set my phone to Do Not Disturb until after breakfast. Gone are the days of waking up, looking at my phone and letting whatever is in my inbox or on Twitter dictate my mood for the day.

What am I reading? Glad you asked! Turns out, it's hard to find business books, so I'm stretching the boundaries there. Also, by "inspirational", I mean self-help. Help yo' self! No? Okay. Here's what I'm reading.

Business:

Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

Louder Than Words by Todd Henry

*You're My Favorite Client by Mike Monteiro

How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Elements Of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

On Writing by Stephen King

*Everyone who works with clients should read this book.

Inspiration:

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Do-It-Yourself Guide To Fighting The Big Motherfuckin' Sad by Adam Gnade

Introduction To Yoga by Richard Hittleman

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle

For the most part, I've enjoyed all of these books. Feel free to find me on Goodreads to see more info, and my ratings/reviews.

Let's talk about free writing. I'm probably not doing it "right", but here's what I do:  today's date, 3 content ideas, and a list-form brain dump. The lists look something like:  Anxious About, Excited About, Proud Of, Grateful For, Reach Out To, etc. It helps to clear my mind before my work day starts. I highly recommend doing this, and there are all kinds of guided free writing workbooks and notepads on Amazon. I'm using blank Moleskine notebooks, but if my free writing well runs dry, I may try one of the guided ones.

So this is what I do every morning! I love it! I start my day in a great mood, inspired, and with a list of ideas I can get creative with later. Listen to Todd's podcast -- create a morning ritual -- report back!

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