• Advice, Health

6 morning habits that will help you slay the work day

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

The reality of freelancing rarely lives up to the fantasy of working in bed while wearing pajamas after waking up whenever. Let’s face it: freelancing requires discipline, routine, and self-care. If you are rolling out of bed late every day, chances are your work is suffering. Productive days start with productive mornings, so here are six ways to upgrade your morning routine for success.

Get a groove on

One freelancer’s Bach is another’s Beyonce, so don’t worry about genre, just focus on how a song, album, or playlist makes you feel. Whatever is on your plate, starting your day on the right note can make it easier to get up and get moving in a way that feels joyful instead of dreadful.

Connect with nature

The life of a freelancer is too easily spent indoors, so incorporate some outdoor time into your routine. Start your day with fresh air and sunlight to elevate your mood, clear your head, and get you started on the right track. Even if the weather is uncooperative, opening the curtains and just taking a few minutes to appreciate the view can help get your day off on the right track.

Move your body

Working some movement into your morning routine is a great way to energize yourself and get your blood flowing. A brisk walk or jog is a vigorous way to get some exercise and kick-start your endorphins, but you can also reap huge benefits from a more gentle qi gong routine, a little yoga flow, or just some basic stretching. The key is not athleticism, but rather to energize your body and set the pace for your day. If you can combine Nos. 1 and 2, even better.

Mind a garden

Planting and maintaining a small garden can give some structure to your day and help you accomplish a few morning-routine essentials in one fell swoop. Stepping outside first thing with your morning cuppa while you water and observe your garden is good for your mind, body, and soul. The grounding you can gain from watching your plants grow and change is a perfect way to get into the swing of a new day. Not to mention, if you’re growing herbs or vegetables, you can incorporate them into your breakfast!

Nourish Yourself

Programmers have a saying: GIGO, or “Garbage in, garbage out.” If you want to begin your day well, you can start by feeding yourself something high-quality, fresh, and organic if possible. Sure, if you’re gardening you may have some fresh greens or herbs to throw in a smoothie, but if you aren’t producing a huge amount of food you can always take advantage of your local farmers market to keep the fridge stocked with fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Feeding your body well also feeds your brain, which can keep you going strong for those long days of self-directed work.

Commit to paper

Starting your day with a little light journaling or list-making can help direct your focus and help you stay on-point as you move through a day of work. One of the most significant challenges faced by freelancers is organization, and writing out your tasks each morning is a highly effective way to clear mental clutter and map out the course of the day ahead.

No one said freelancing was easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Starting your morning on the right foot can have a tremendous impact on your workflow and attitude for the rest of the day. Start smart and see how much your days change for the better.

Geoff Gohlke is an avid writer of all things; from screenplays and short stories to blogs and web content. When he’s not plucking away at the keyboard, he’s tending to his vegetable garden or running through the Michigan backcountry he calls home.