Why Your Remote Team Needs a Meaningful Morning Ritual

Colleen Shifflett
Colleen Shifflett
July 29, 2021

We’ve all heard about the benefits of an intentional morning routine. These rituals shape our mindset for the rest of the day. When a group of people come together virtually for work, they could be in many different places mentally based on how the morning’s going. 

Some people have been awake for hours, and some are just out of bed. Many are already busy working, while others are just getting started and will work later into the evening. Kids are running around in the background in some houses, and cats are walking across keyboards in others. 

Coming together for a morning routine sets the tone for better communication and productivity. That’s why every morning at 9:30 a.m. our team gathers on Zoom for a 15-minute “miss it only if the house is on fire” call. 

We call this our “Daily Courage” and we’ve been doing these for a few months now. Since we’ve started our team has doubled. Somehow, we’ve still managed to stay in the groove and keep these calls meaningful. Here’s how: 

Keep it Consistent

Everyone preps for the call by adding their 3 “daily courage” items to a Slack channel that we use only for this purpose. These are things we’re going to accomplish, with the first being our “Courageous Task.” 

We each add our tasks to Slack whenever it makes sense each morning and the only set order for the meeting is we start with the first person’s daily courage and work our way down in the order the messages were posted. Miscellaneous comments and announcements are saved for the end to make sure the call goes swiftly. (Our team of 7 only needs 15 minutes and we often end with time to spare.)

Make it Meaningful

Why daily courage? Courage is so important to us that we made it one of our core values. To us it means pushing outside of our comfort zones and learning from mistakes. 

The courageous task usually isn’t earth-shattering. A lot of times it’s not the most urgent thing we’ll do that day. It’s something we’ve been putting off. Something we need to do but keep shoving to the bottom of our list. That’s because we have to build up a little more courage to do it. Tomorrow morning we’ll review whether or not we completed it, so it’s high on our priorities. 

Sometimes we have to keep ourselves honest about what we really need to do and often we ask for help. These daily interactions help us learn more about each other and open up opportunities to talk about time management, efficiency, and productivity. This has inspired conversations about the pomodoro technique, time blocking, and even good old-fashioned procrastination. 

Make it Measurable

We should be able to say whether we did something or not very clearly. That means each task has to be specific and simple to measure. Sometimes it’s completing something fully and sometimes it’s working on a project for a given amount of time. 

Since we keep things clear and measurable, we not only stay accountable for what we need to accomplish, we learn about ourselves and the team. We become better estimators of time, which helps us plan better. And we think of questions for each other and discussions we may need to have. 

If your team doesn’t have a morning ritual yet, I’d strongly encourage you to explore possibilities as a group that will fit everyone’s lifestyle and time zones. No matter what you choose to do in this grounding space, make it your own and keep things consistent, meaningful, and measurable. 

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