7-Minute Morning Routine

Start the day off right


First, you need to find a quiet place. You might have to arrive earlier in the morning to make this work. You'll also need a journal. Make sure you have one, and that you have a pen. Also, wear a watch. You will want to time yourself and finish up within seven minutes.

Minute one: Clear your head

Be present as you prepare for the day.

Minute two: Breathe a little

Sit quietly and just breathe. Breathing deeply creates a calming effect in your brain and helps you focus. Intentional breathing is important at all times of the day. For this routine to work, you have to stop and settle your thinking and get into the right frame of mind.

Minutes three through six: Write or draw notes

Write down the first few thoughts you have after you've arrived at work but before you've started on the day's tasks. Draw a picture or doodle an idea. It's a way to figure out what is important, and what is stressing you out. It is a record of your preparation and a way to help you look back and see, for these seven minutes, what was really important. Make sure you don't get too focused on the writing and not enough on the thinking.

Minute seven: Debrief

Look over your notes. Think about what you wrote and why, and make a brief plan--in only 30 seconds--to act on one of the items on your list. Just one. Make sure you are intentional about addressing it.

Adapted from the work of John Brandon