They often say that the way you start your morning is the way you'll spend the rest of the day. A fresh start is often key to a successful day, but the recipe for a productive morning is different for everyone. Whether it's an oversized mug of coffee or a brisk walk around the block, it's important to find what works best for you.
So, how do you find the right spark of creativity to get you started on a great day? I can assure it's not through the snooze button. An early wakeup is a great way to get prepared for the day ahead -- from there, it's up to you to determine what works best.
Just do you
Stay away from work-related tasks until you've checked in for the day. Your mornings should be for you and only you -- the rest can wait! "The biggest thing for me is to not look at my email first thing in the morning," explains Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services. "I find that when I do, I get lost in emails for the rest of the day. Wait until you're in the right mindset to get through your inbox effectively."
Prioritize the necessities
Some people can't roll out of bed without the jolt that comes from a cup of joe, while others have their mind on a hearty breakfast. "Stick to a routine," stresses Araceli Vizcaino-S of Azazie. "For me, coffee is essential to all of my mornings. I always start my day with a good cup of coffee before tackling my emails and to-do list." The morning is a time to take care of yourself so that you don't have to worry about fatigue later on -- have you ever tried working on an empty stomach?
Do you find motivation from reading inspirational articles? Does tending to your garden make you smile? "I wake up every morning and get down on the floor to play with my dog," shares Christi Lopez of Bergerons Flowers. "Taking time to be with her gives me a bit of levity before the harried day before me begins!" Find a way to carve out a bit of time in the morning to lift your spirits and get on the right track. A positive mood is fundamental to creativity!
Before getting to the actual work, take a few minutes to really get yourself organized for the day. "Creating a to-do list is crucial to having a productive and efficient day," explains Vizcaino-S. "At the top, place your three most important tasks that you must accomplish that day and add the rest to the bottom. This will help you prioritize the most urgent tasks."
Dive in -- but only if that's your style
With that said, the morning may be your most creative time of the day. If that's the case, jump in headfirst and get the ball rolling, even if it takes some ingenuity and time to reflect. "I like to watch movies and observe fashion designers, tourists, and artisans in the market to take in ideas of what people are loving," shares Fabrice Orlando of Cocoon Events Group. "I'm often up at 5 a.m. with a vision in my head, so I may even head over to a venue and spend hours visualizing and drawing up the details before I even get to the office to meet with my team. I'm inspired by others, so it helps to be out and about when I need to be creative."
Make it work
Not a morning person? Find ways to feel productive without putting in too much effort. "I've started listening to my favorite business podcasts while playing fetch with my dog -- it makes me feel like I'm getting something done," expresses Alex Chalk of Taylor'd Events Group. By the time I get home, I'm ready to dive into my work." Whether it's a podcast or an interesting read you've been saying, it's time to give it a shot.
Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, the morning is a great time to be productive -- why do you think they call it 'the golden hour'? Try out different things after waking up until you find the best routine for yourself and allow the creative juices to flow in!
Linda is the founder of burlap+blue, a space dedicated to helping women live life more creatively. She is inspired by creativity, good books and the everyday. She lives with her husband and kids in Richmond, VA. Read more on her blog, shop her new Printables Shop, and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.