If you go to the gym or you do some kind of sport, you know why pre-workout rituals are so important. Pre-workout rituals prepare you for the actual workout of the day and ensure that your brain and body are ready for the challenge you’re about to undertake.
A pre-work ritual functions in a similar way. It tells your brain that it is time to focus and gets you ready for the work to come. With a strategic pre-work ritual, you’ll be able to boost your productivity, maximise your workday and crush your to-dos. Plus, it’s gonna make starting actually enjoyable.
When it comes to pre-work rituals, you want them to be as simple and easy as possible. The worst thing you can do is distract yourself at the beginning of your workday when it is so crucial to get the important work done. This is, after all, the time when your brain is at its peak and you want to squeeze as many innovative ideas during the first two hours of your workday as much as possible.
Not sure how to get started? Here are my favourite pre-work rituals to prime my day for success.
1. Prepare your work drink
Hydration is so important for your brain to function well. Being well hydrated can improve your mood and cognition, not to mention improve your skin texture. Having a tumbler on your desk is a good reminder to hydrate throughout the workday, but I like taking it up a notch and making a ritual out of it.
Making tea is a calming activity that allows me to slowly prepare myself for work. There are some mental-boosting teas like peppermint or green tea, or if you need a kick of caffeine, you can go for oolong or Pu’erh. I make a big batch at the beginning of the day and just put it in the fridge for when I need a cool drink.
2. Clean your desk
Have you ever stopped and wondered how many hours you spend at your work desk? Especially during the pandemic, when people started working from home, we spend not only our working hours at our desks but sometimes also our lunches, and even the occasional Netflix and Youtube.
Designing a space that encourages you to be your most productive self is one of the most important career investments you can do. Considering you spend possibly more time at your desk than in your bed, you want to make your work desk as comfortable as possible. If you haven’t gone down the desk setup and productivity rabbit hole on Youtube yet, a good ergonomic chair is something you might want to splurge on this holiday season.
3. Organise your todos
Know your top three most important tasks and separate them from your other minor tasks for the day. You want to focus on those three tasks at the beginning of work so it’s good to write them down on a sticky note and tack them on your tumbler or the side of your screen.
The rule is: you have to do them before you do anything else. Procrastinating on important tasks is a big no-no if you want to deliver your best results. As you go through your day, your mental energy goes down and you’ll lose your mental sharpness.
If you’re dreading to start on your big projects, just think that you can rest earlier if you finish your important tasks earlier. You know what they say: work hard, and rest harder.
4. Add some movement
Making movement a part of your pre-work ritual is also a great idea. Movement wakes the body up, improves your focus, and boosts your mood and energy.
Recently, I’ve been loving taking Cino out for a morning walk. Exploring our area and getting my much-needed Vitamin D has definitely done wonders for my mood and health. Walking your dog, scheduling morning yoga classes, or hitting the gym in the AM are all fantastic rituals you can add to your workday.
You can also set an hourly timer on your phone to remind you to get up from your seat and take a little stretch. The human body is not designed to be stationary for long hours and I truly believe we as a society need to add more movement to our lives.
I’ve talked extensively about why exercise is the #1 thing you can do to optimise your brain before and I firmly stand by it. If you notice, my keynotes and workshops also always involve some kind of movement.
If you got to the end of this article, go and stand up, put down your phone and take a few stretches for me.
Thanks for reading!