While it’s tempting to spend your commute or warm up time at work on Facebook or other distractions on your phone, that habit can often lead to a lack of focus and energy as you tackle the rest of your day. Instead, take advantage of morning time to do things that wake up your brain and get you into a thinking, positive mood. Here are a few ideas!

Listen to a podcast

Great podcasts can be fun, informative, and inspirational. The type of podcast you listen to doesn’t matter. What matters is that listening to a podcast gets you into a thinking and talking mood. It’s a little easier and more effortless than reading and helps you get over the morning fog.

Finding and downloading podcasts is simple. Use your favorite media player, like iTunes, or download a podcast app (we recommend Pocket Casts to search, subscribe to, and download interesting podcasts. Pre-load some podcasts onto your smartphone as you’re sipping your morning coffee to have them ready to go once you hit the road.

Here are a few great podcasts to get you started:
This American Life
Comedy Bang Bang
The Tim Ferris Show

Write something

If you commute by bus or train, then you can take advantage of the travel time to do a bit of writing. Whether it’s a personal blog post, a project idea, or a piece of fiction, it’s a great habit to start.

The simple act of writing gets you into a productive mindset for when you get to work. You’ll also have the side benefit of an ongoing personal project that you might want to publish or return to each morning, allowing you to finally begin writing that book or starting that blog you’ve always talked about.


Do a morning stand-up

When you get to work for the day, instead of sitting at your desk and surfing the web for a half hour, try a morning stand-up with your team. It’s a great way for everyone to take stock of the previous day and to set out the day ahead.

A stand-up has members of a team standing in a circle and sharing their accomplishments for their previous day and what they plan to tackle today. It’s an opportunity to offer or receive help and input and promotes team cooperation.

If your team doesn’t do this already, talk to your supervisor about it. It’s a proven management methodology that gets everyone more involved in the bigger picture at work.

If you don’t want to involve your manager, find a friend or two at work to join you for a more informal morning stand-up. It can definitely be an interdisciplinary crew, too! You might find that the finance guy can help you out in your struggles with a marketing project, and you may give the IT guy an assist on working through a technical issue. If you do this and it’s effective, people will notice and thank you for it, and it’s a great way to stand out as a leader.

Begin each day with a positive mindset and activity. Your work and attitude will reflect it.

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