How does your morning begin?

Open Bible by Ryk Neethling
Image by Ryk Neethling

Chris Brogan wrote today about “setting your plate” for success. Inspired by his reading of Deepak Chopra, he points out that if you’re checking your iPhone first thing in the morning you’re letting reaction to others’ thoughts/ideas/demands begin your day.

Until today, I’ve been doing this. Telling myself I’m jumping into being productive, I turn off my alarm and turn on my phone in almost the same motion, instantly encountering the ping-ping-ping of incoming emails and Facebook notifications. It is nice to be productive, but what have I done? I’ve let others’ priorities influence the first moments (or hour) of my day.

Now, I don’t have this off-centered approach to my whole life. I follow detailed, prioritized to-do lists to keep my days on track. I use the time when I’m most creative and productive– the evening– to my advantage. I get more done after 4pm than most people do all day (after I’ve already finished a “day’s work”)! I am doing the 3650 Challenge this year and I’ve been reading (or listening to) ten chapters of the Bible during my lunch break. I have prayer and devotional time at night before bed (when normally my brain is much more engaged than first thing in the morning). But how am I beginning my day?

Now that I am freelancing full-time and can get up at a more natural time for me, I’m not groggy and useless first thing in the morning.  So what thoughts should fill my mind? I have been filling it with others’ thoughts. Brogan suggests filling it with  my own. I’d rather fill it with God’s. So this morning I read today’s ten Bible chapters first.

I know this isn’t very mind-blowing (millions of people make quiet time their literal first priority), but this method is new for me. What about you? Whose thoughts should occupy your mind in the morning?