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  • Writer's pictureNat Harrison

Why A Morning Routine Is A Game-Changer For A Successful Day At Work - (So you Remain Calm and Self-Regulated All Day Long)


Image of coffee mug, with breakfast cake and journal! Why A Morning Routine Is A Game-Changer For A Successful Day At Work (And Remain Calm and Self-Regulated All Day Long)

Do you wake up and start going about your day without stopping to think how you are feeling?


Maybe you are one of the 70-80% of people who reach for their phone within the first 15 minutes.


I used to GET UP and GET BUSY, nailing as many tasks as possible before my working day started and then ploughing right on through work without stopping to check in with myself and ask how I was feeling. By midday, I was on the brink of overwhelm and emotionally dysregulated, often with nothing to show for it, after an unfocussed and unproductive morning.


These days, taking SOME TIME FOR MYSELF and having a morning routine (that I do at least 70% of the time) has been a game-changer.  I have massively benefited from taking the time to listen and communicate with myself. I feel calmer for the entire day, and my emotional regulation has been much better (not just a benefit for ADHDers!), helping me be more intentional and productive at work whilst caring for myself, my body and my needs.


If that sounds good to you, read on, here’s what I cover below:


Image of The Miracle Morning book in sunrise circles
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod




In his brilliant book, The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod explores how different routines can improve your daily productivity and transform your life. 


Why does a morning routine improve focus, reduce anxiety and boost emotional regulation?


It’s all about “programming your conscious, your subconscious and your behaviours to align with your vision for what you want in life”. 


Throughout the day your subconscious is working in conjunction with your conscious mind, however, at night, our mind is entirely controlled by the subconscious and anything stressing or worrying us can rise to the surface, leaving you feeling pretty rubbish when you wake up. 


If you leave your emotions and nervous system unchecked, they will continue to show up throughout the day. This can leave us already pretty dysregulated, decreasing our focus, memory and emotional management capabilities and ultimately causing a dip in productivity and increasing anxiety, and before you know it, your day didn’t turn out the way you had intended. 


Before I happened upon this great book, I had already worked out that sitting in silence for the first 10 minutes of the day was what I needed to reconnect with my emotions and try and process them, then intentionally journaling to clear the decks for the day ahead. So it was very affirming to find someone that agreed with me. Elrod recommends reconnecting with yourself and facing the day with a clear mind using his (life) SAVERS method. Introducing the SAVERS technique (a game-changer for me)


Elrod’s method using the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S


Morning coffee with a pile of books with an alarm clock sitting on top with a cup of coffee next to it
Morning Routine starts at 5am!
Silence - sit in silence to give yourself 10 minutes of peace
Affirmation - affirm what you want from the day and yourself
Visualisation - visualising your day ahead sets your intention
Exercise - move your body to boost oxygen and circulation
Reading - to spark the mind and get the creative juices flowing
Scribing - journaling your thoughts and ideas or writing a gratitude list

“Morning is the most crucial part of the day because that is when we can start anew. Fresh from the night’s sleep, we still have both our conscious and subconscious psychological layers actively working. Thus, things we fear, loathe or feel icky about might become more apparent, meaning that we will find the tools to transform them or eliminate them" - Hal Elrod.


Something we’re all guilty of when we wake up feeling groggy and dysregulated is snoozing our alarms or staying in bed until “we feel like it”, which can end up leaving us feeling worse. When you have a ritual in place, not only does it give you something to look forward to, but knowing it will calm your nervous system, which will lead to a more successful and enjoyable day ahead, is incredibly motivating to help you bounce out of bed. 


I’ve used this method to tailor my morning ritual, and it works incredibly well for me. As I said some of these techniques I already did naturally but doing this ritual daily I’ve seen a huge change, not just how focused I am in my work, reducing procrastination but in my relationships and home life too. 


The SAVERS method is a 5-step ritual


I recommend trying the ritual as Elrod describes for a couple of weeks and seeing what really resonates with you and then you can create your morning routine. I personally have to have 2 cups of tea on the go at the same time and I often look at the sun coming up or light a candle before I start (depending on the time of year).


I also do this in the same spot on my sofa and keep my journals close by so I don’t get derailed from starting it. 


Silence

Take a minimum of 10 minutes to sit with yourself in SILENCE. You can do this in a darkened room or just close your eyes. Think about how you’re feeling, lean into it and allow yourself to process anything that’s risen while you slept without intellectualising; this can take however long you need.


Starting your Morning Routine - An cup of coffee sitting on a bedside table
A Morning Routine: Wake up and Smell the Coffee

What thoughts, feelings, or emotions have you woken up with? How do you want to tend to them? According to Elrod, we need to release them CONSCIOUSLY. 


If you feel agitated while sitting in silence, you can listen to a meditation. If meditation is difficult for you, listening to 12 minutes of Alpha Beats music can have a similar effect—find out why this works here. If you have children, it’s a good idea to wake up at least 30 minutes before they do.



Affirmation 

There are so many different ways to affirm. Firstly, identify what you need to hear. Maybe I am good enough, I am loved, and I am successful. Some common techniques involve repeating affirmations to yourself over and over until you feel a shift and relax into them, as well as listening to affirmation meditations! Think Up is a great app to find affirmations to listen to, you can even record them yourself, or write them down - keep reading to find out how writing can help you reach both your daily goals and long-term goals.


Visualisation

Use your quiet space to visualise a great day ahead; what joyful things will happen to you? What great interactions do you want to happen, and what action will be taken to move you towards your career goals (I have a great post on Instagram with a technique I like to use for myself and my career coaching clients you can try to get you motivated - check it out here). Think about what you see, what you hear, and how you feel, and take deep breaths to help calm your nervous system.


You can even combine your affirmations and visualisations through meditation. A great app to use, and two of my personal favourites are Head Space and Insight Timer. Both have so many different options to choose from; just choose a meditation that suits you.


Exercise

Regular exercise is a MUST for all of us in desk-bound jobs. If you don’t want to think about it, there are some great apps out there that will give you five different exercises to do each day. For me, I prefer to connect and let my body tell me how it needs to move. Doing a simple body scan is a great way to find this out - just stretch into any aches and pains. I have also found repetitive circular movements are incredibly soothing. Start by doing small circles from your ankles and wrists, then make large circles with your arms and legs, and finally, hula hoop those hips!


Reading

Elrod includes reading in the morning for self-discipline and because it provides a workout for your brain. For me, I read non-fiction books that help to expand my knowledge and expertise and I find that first thing in the morning without interruptions is a great time to absorb information and ponder concepts.  Elrod recommends 5-10 pages each morning to help focus your mind. 


Scribing (aka Writing)


I use a journal to put my thoughts onto paper and write down any ideas that come to me to help me keep track throughout the day. If you have heard of The Artists Way, a book and course run by Julia Cameron, she recommends writing three morning pages every morning (it doesn't matter what it is, just a stream of consciousness). Maybe you would prefer to write some words of gratitude to help you notice the positives and good things in life. 


Image of someone writing in their journal with a cup of coffee next to them

This time of day is particularly good for writing and writing down your thoughts and feelings or identifying what action you are doing to take towards positive habits that day.


If you’re unsure where to start journaling, I recommend a structured approach. I have a one-page downloadable journal you can use to get started; print it out and handwrite it.


Handwritten goals are much more likely to be achieved - check out why here: Neuroscience explains why you need to write down your goals if you actually want to achieve them (Forbes)



Test this out for yourself!


Why not test this method out for a couple of weeks? and I encourage you to make it your own


How I organise my morning ritual is slightly different from Elrod’s. I prefer to write and journal immediately after being in silence, while the thoughts are still fresh. I can easily project them onto paper and then add some compassionate words to support myself. It’s all about finding what works for you.


If you haven’t already, I recommend putting together a morning routine 


I will be using this method for a long time to come and I highly recommend you try it. Tailor it to you, try different ways of doing things and play with it until you find something that makes a difference. If you’re an ADHDer like me, trust me, this is something that can help with your emotional regulation.  If you would like to do this in bed, you could give it a try, but make sure you are awake enough and don’t drift off back to sleep.


You can even start this tomorrow!! Go ahead and don’t forget to let me know how you get on!


If you need support with ADHD and finding ways to manage and regulate your symptoms or you’re ready to take your career to the next level, reach your goals, or fall in love with your work then get in touch and let’s have a chat about my coaching services. You can book a complimentary call just here.


Does Hal Elrod sound like an interesting guy?


Hal technically died when he was 20! He was in an accident when a drunk driver hit his car head-on at 70mph; he died for 6 minutes, broke 11 bones, suffered permanent brain damage and was told he would never walk again. Now, he is an international speaker, host of Achieve Your Goals Podcast and author. It didn’t stop there though because at 37 he suffered from heart, lung and kidney failure due to a rare form of cancer and given on 20% chance of survival, once again beating the odds. What a man! 


You can find out more about Hal here. His follow-up book to The Miracle Morning is The Miracle Equation (a daily process for Goal Achievement).

Or what about an interview with him where he explains more about why The Miracle Morning Works. He also has a great Podcast ‘Achieve Your Goals’ which you can find just here. It's worth a listen.



 

ABOUT CAREER COACH NAT HARRISON OF AYAMA COACHING


Career Coach Nat Harrison
Career Coach Nat Harrison of Ayama Coaching

Hi, I am Nat. I help people become more fulfilled and happy in their working lives by aligning their career or business with their skills, values, and interests and helping them overcome their barriers to making the change they desire.


I am also a trained ADHD coach. I work with neurodivergent people who want to harness their brains for the better and improve their relationships with themselves. Book a FREE consultation below if you would benefit from some coaching on your work life.






 

SET YOURSELF UP FOR A SUCCESSFUL DAY BY BECOMING AWARE OF YOUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND DAILY GOALS EACH MORNING!


Image of Ayama Free Morning Journal One-Page Download with link to download

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