I love reading self-help sort of articles. You know the ones that claim they'll change your life if you just do these 10 things every morning? Part of me recognizes the low likelihood that I'll actually implement each change, as it's really hard to stick to a new habit. However, I do take a few of the ideas into account and makes at least one change for the better.
That latter part of me was inspired to write a post for marketers. I examined the morning habits of myself and read a few studies and here's what we have! Tuesday Tip: Try out this morning routine for the digital marketer.
1) Wake up.
Preferably after a full night of sleep. Adults age 26-64 should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep, according to The National Sleep Foundation. If you're not getting this amount right now, don't stress out! Just try to adjust your bed time 10 minutes earlier and your alarm 10 minutes later. Keep this up until you reach at least 7 hours. NSF has some tips on sleep hygiene: find them here.
Think about how long you're sitting throughout your day, hunched behind a computer. With the trend of fitness these days, it may seem like everyone is working out, but truth is, only one third of adults actually are (Thrive Global).
And if you want to be successful in your marketing career, it's vital you become one of them as "exercise has been found to decrease your chance of depression, anxiety, and stress. It is also related to higher success in your career" (Thrive Global). You may intend to work out after work, but we all know it's easy to skip that. Ensure you get at least a short burst in each and every morning.
Everybody, non-athletes included, can get moving – go on a quick walk, do a 7 minute workout or perform some sun salutations.
3) Meditate, pray or get grateful.
As a marketer, once you get to work you're being pulled in several directions. You lose track of your goals and why you're at work in the first place. With a busy morning, the last thing you want to do is stay still and delay getting to your work.
However, sitting still is just as important as getting active. Even just 5 minutes of mediation or prayer can help you keep that mental focus through the entire day. If meditation and prayer don't work for you, you can review what makes you grateful. Performing any of these activities make you more mindful, with mindfulness simply defined as, “a state of active, open attention on the present” (Psychology Today).
I tend to do this after exercising, otherwise I find it hard to stay awake. After getting my heart rate up, I feel much more alert and am able to find focus more easily.
It's tempting to skip breakfast and race off to work, but hold up! Not eating breakfast can be a distraction later on as your tummy rumbles all day – even after lunch. Your best bet is something with protein, as it can regulate your hunger for several hours. In The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferrissrecommends 30 g. of protein within 30 min. of waking up.
5. Get to work & plan your day.
On average, "we are truly focused on our work for a mere 6 hours per week" (Your Brain at Work). If you can take 5 minutes in the morning and find your focus, you'll likely be more focused throughout the day. Try writing out how you'll structure your day.
I find that if I pick a top priority – usually a longer, more intimidating task – to focus on in the morning, I both get that task done and feel more productive later on in the day. So rather than responding to each email and getting through several small tasks right away, I save those for around lunch time, when I can only handle short bursts of productivity. I use Evernote to manage my to-do's, but here are a few other apps our team likes.
6. Get on track
As marketers, we heavily rely on data. So before I dive into my top-priority task, I review our numbers and goals. We have a beautiful dashboard setup in Analytics of our top metrics, so it's easy to quickly see the numbers about which we care the most. I also quickly look back on our goals for that quarter, which I took the time to hand-write in my notebook. It's nice to find ways to turn away from your screen a few times throughout the day, so I track a few things on paper.
We hope this helps you restructure your morning for the better. If you have more ideas to add, message us! And be sure to follow our tips each week with the signup below.
For an in-depth look at the various factors that can effect sleep as well as the negative impact a lack of sleep can cause in ones daily life, check out The Sleep Advisors Guide.