Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Wellbeing Project 2 - morning routines

Setting myself up for success

After reading blogs from life hacks and talking to other professionals, I decided that the first thing I needed to do to improve my wellbeing was to improve my morning routine. The consensus seemed to be that a good morning routine improves wellbeing and improves productivity, both of which were important to me. 

The problem was I associated ‘routine’ with killing creativity and essentially being boring. However, I needed to have a way to ensure I could focus and discipline myself to get on with my work now I was working from home; in addition, I wanted to introduce things into my life that would make me feel better. I already took Korean Ginseng and Gingko Biloba every morning and had a healthy breakfast of blueberries, greek yoghurt and flaxseed all of which was designed to improve my concentration but I wanted to add something more.  

As a starting point, I experimented with meditation as mindfulness is widely advocated as a wellbeing and productivity tool. I found an app to follow but couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I didn’t have enough time - I felt I was being pulled away from my work which defeated the object of the whole exercise. However, I did find that a short burst was really helpful. 

I also found that the NLP peripheral vision technique that I had been practising for improving my listening skills was helpful for building my general concentration as well as for getting me ‘in the zone’ at the beginning of the day. It was particularly useful if I was feeling a bit scatty and jumping from one task to another because I had too much to do.  

One particularly scatty morning,  I started off with the peripheral vision only to switch to meditation part way through which focussed me again and I went back to finish the peripheral vision exercise. And there I had it - my own concoction for success - combine the two by putting a brief one-minute meditation exercise in the middle. 

I also decided to use my positive anchor I had created a few years earlier each morning. Previously, I had used it when feeling aggravated and needing to change my mood to go to teach or go into a meeting. Now triggering it every morning at the end of my focussing exercises means I start my day off feeling on top of the world and I accomplish lots. 

Of course, I’ve found I don’t do all of this every morning, just most of it most mornings. I have read lots of other advice that I sometimes follow to add variety and have included it in a Free to Be routine

View and/or download the routine here!

What routines do you find help you have a great day? And how do they help? I would love to add the best of them to our routine.

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