Here are five ways to maximize your morning and set the stage for a more creative day.
1. Fuel with purpose
Choose foods that help you perform your best.
Karla recommends topping Greek yogurt, which contains B vitamins that increase focus and stimulate the brain, with berries and a touch of cocoa, both of which are full of antioxidants that improve cognitive function. Add walnuts or pecans to stock up on omega-3 fatty acids that improve circulation, enhancing blood flow to the brain.
2. Find the fun
Approaching the day with a playful attitude can help with more than ideation. A study in the American Journal of Play found that, being playful can generate possibilities for applied creativity and help develop a more versatile, optimistic, and creative outlook on life.
Improve your creativity and outlook on the day by enjoying upbeat music during your commute or sharing a comedy skit with your team before a meeting.
3. Find your flow
Scheduling time for movement in the morning relieves stress and clears your mind. Plus, it can help you fight the afternoon fog, which we’ll talk more about next week.
Whether it’s a quick walk, a group exercise class, or subtle movements such as painting or drawing, the important thing is to give it your undivided attention.
“When you engage in movement that demands your full attention, you’ll find the benefits of the flow state spill into the rest of your day,” says John. “The neurochemicals released in flow states not only impact your physical performance, but also your creativity and ability to solve problems through focus, pattern recognition, and lateral thinking.”
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4. Change your scenery
“Changing scenery helps break down the boundaries that keep you from feeling inspired.”
If you have a flexible work environment, Tiffany suggests taking your work outside. Being in nature can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost creativity. It also removes limitations from your mind, helping align it with natural rhythms, which are liberating, fluid, and creative.
If you can’t head outside, explore spaces within the office that are more open or have large windows. “Just make sure the space you choose is free of clutter,” reminds Tiffany. “The more stuff you surround yourself with, the more stuff you’ll have in your mental space.”
5. Listen to a playlist
Silence may be hindering your creative process. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that listening to happy music “facilitates more divergent creative thinking compared to silence.”
Maximize the impact by creating a playlist for your commute to work that improves your mood and inspires you to move, create, and think outside the box. For inspiration, check out this sample playlist and learn more about the benefits of listening to music.
Now it’s time to put these ideas to the test. Which change do you think will have the biggest impact on your morning?