Hot Tea and the Importance of Ritual
Every morning, I wake up around 7 a.m. Well, my cat wakes me up then because she wants her breakfast. The first thing I do, after I feed her, is put on a kettle of water. I place a teabag in a favorite mug, along with a little sugar, and empty the dishwasher while I wait for the kettle to boil. Once it does, I pour it into the mug and set the timer for four minutes. At this point, I make breakfast and wait for my tea to steep.
Once my tea is ready, I can sit down at my desk and start my day.
There’s a reason this ritual is important. It marks the liminal space between waking up and working. When I worked in an office, my morning would have started with my alarm. Then I would have showered, dressed, and grabbed all my things before commuting 45 minutes.
I’m grateful every day that I work for myself and I have control over my time. But I still need a ritual to get myself in the right mindset to work. Here are a few reasons ritual is important even if you’re working from home.
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
I don’t use an alarm these days unless I have to. But I generally get up with the sun or the cat. That does mean I get up a little earlier in the summer than I do in the winter, but I’m okay with that. Winter is all about hibernation.
Most days, I wake up at about the same time. If you don’t use an alarm, you can establish a pet’s feeding time around the time you want to get out of bed. They won’t let you forget. But waking up at the same time each day helps keep your schedule consistent when you work from home.
Check Social Media but Not Email
They say you shouldn’t check social media first thing in the morning, but if we’re being honest all of us do it. The trick here is to limit your time just to checking up on anything you missed while you were sleeping.
The most important thing is to hold off on checking your emails. Emails are a part of your workday and they can wait until you’re at your desk ready to start working.
Do Something Just for You
To get off on the right foot, do something just for yourself in the morning. This could be exercising, like going for a walk in your neighborhood. Or you could meditate for 20 minutes in the morning to ground and center yourself.
My ritual is making tea. It allows me to take about 10 minutes just to myself in the morning as I wait for the water to boil and then the tea to steep. I enjoy my tea and a small breakfast before digging into the work for the day.
Map Out Your Day
The single best practice I have for staying in a routine and not letting things fall through the cracks is mapping out my day. I use a weekly planner so I try to map out the whole week by the Friday before at least.
As new things come up, I can add them to the calendar wherever they fit the best. By mapping out my day, I know exactly what I need to accomplish and I have the satisfaction of crossing things off when they’re completed.
I’d love to know your daily rituals to stay motivated and productive. Tell me in the comments.