I’ve talked before about the 3 daily routines freelancers must do to stay well, and moving is a huge one. Our bodies were meant to be used on a daily basis, and if you’re not giving yourself at least 20 minutes a day to get physical, you’re doing yourself and your business a grave disservice.
There are many freelancers or solopreneurs who say the first thing they do when they wake up is roll out of bed and go to their computer. I understand this completely, my brain is also at it’s most active when I wake up refreshed and ready for a new day, and it takes all my effort not to launch into whatever is spinning in my head. However, I know that when I do this I will feel cranky and groggy in a matter of hours if my body hasn’t moved along with my mind. I’ve structured my morning routine to exercise right when I wake up for at least 20 minutes before taking a shower, putting on big girl pants, and having breakfast with a green smoothie.
Having a routine like this has helped me get my days started on the right track for years even when I had a full-time job, but is much more important to keep up now that I’m a freelancer.
I understand there are a lot of you who have a different routine than this, and that’s great! I wish I could be the type to stop work at 3pm and workout then, but I know myself and that this would never happen because I get too focused on whatever element of my business is going on that day.
These are the 3 main reasons it’s always worked for me to get moving in the morning first thing, whether it be some cardio, pilates, yoga, or walking the dog. I hope the benefits from my experience can help you develop your own routine.
1. Aligns your body with your mind and vice versa
When your mind is racing, it is usually not the best choice to go right to your computer (or chosen medium) and implement. Taking the time to think it through is beneficial for doing it right the first time, not diving in and making mistakes. When you slow down and let the idea come together while you sweat or stretch is the best plan. You will have thought it over and know your angle of attack when you’re done.
*Tip: This is also the basic foundation of meditation, which I also advocate. I usually try to meditate for 10 minutes or so after my workout. Then I’m more grounded and clear when it’s time to work.
The flip side is that your body is still in sleep mode for awhile after you wake up. Just moving to the computer is not enough to bring it up to speed with your mind and get them working together. After your blood starts pumping you are in a much better state to execute whatever it is you were going to do.
2. Gets it out of the way
This is the biggest reason I start first thing in the morning. I never understood working out at at a gym because it always seemed like such a… THING. I know the norm is to sign for a gym membership or take yoga classes, but this seems like a cumbersome approach to me. By the time you’ve gotten dressed, packed up gear, driven to the gym, worked out for an hour, taken a shower, driven back home, and unpacked, a good chunk of your day is gone.
My strategy, even when I had a full-time job, was to roll out of bed without even thinking about it and get moving immediately. When you do this, you’re not quite coherent yet and it’s like it all magically happens without you knowing about it! By the time you shower and have coffee, that part of your day is done and you have more time to focus on work. I do however take periodic breaks to do exercises like jumping jacks, high knee march, or pendulum swings while at my desk to get my heart rate up. This will keep you going in the afternoon.
3. Gives your day a jumpstart
You know that sense of accomplishment you get after you make it through a workout? Why not start out the day with that feeling? Exercising first thing will give you a huge mood boost that will carry over into your projects. Research shows that our brains work better after moving our body.
You will also have completed one big task for the day and nailed it! This sets a productive course for the rest of your projects. It also means you won’t be sluggish and brain-fried in a couple hours because you didn’t take care of your body’s physical needs.
Again, I know this isn’t the best approach for everyone, but is an easy way to get started if you’re not already. I hope you found these tips helpful and if you did, don’t forget to share this article below!