For years, my morning routine began when I hit the snooze button, over and over. Sometimes it’d be close to an hour before I finally got up to start my day.
That was until my daughter, Emma, now a freshman at Boston University, taught me a valuable morning trick: no snooze. She’s up the moment her alarm rings—not a minute (or 10) later. She has had that routine since middle school.
“Mom, there’s no reason to put off the inevitable, which is that it’s time to get moving,” she told me. “That’s why you set your alarm in the first place.”
Instead of setting my alarm at 5:30 a.m.—and finally rolling out of bed at 6 a.m.—she suggested setting it at 6 a.m. and getting up. To my surprise, it added some easy morning discipline that was missing from my routine.
Jenn Lee, an Orlando, Florida-based small-business coach, has a more unique morning routine: She listens to a TED talk while doing her hair and makeup.
“Those talks, no matter the business topic, always set the tone for a productive day,” Lee says. “The magic of TED makes me want to conquer the world.” I now often listen to TED talks when walking to my office, and Lee is right. They charge me up!
Here are two other morning rituals I regularly call on:
1. Go red.
Call me crazy, but the color red does wonders for my confidence. It’s the ultimate color, a hidden superpower that only I know about. So when it comes to my morning ritual, more often than not my secret weapon for a productive day starts below the belt, with my choice of underwear. I go red.
When I began sharing my secret empowerment trick some years ago, I got knowing nods from remarkably successful women. Then, they trumped me by revealing how they take the whole color-coded underwear regimen even further. Some go green for days when the stakes are particularly high on money matters. Others don blue when they need some tranquility.
The 10 seconds I spend choosing the color of my undies sets the tone for how I live the next 12 hours.
2. Ease up.
My other cardinal rule is to transition into the day slowly; I give myself a full two hours before heading to work. This allows ample time to take a long shower, read the morning paper, walk on the treadmill and check my email.
If you do nothing else, allot sufficient time to get going. Sure, you can get ready faster, and there will be plenty of days when you have to. But minimizing the morning madness makes for a better day.
Related: 7 Easy Hacks for Productive Mornings
This article appears in the May 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.