For many, mornings are the most dreaded part of the day. Your morning may sound something like this: alarm sounds, hit snooze a few times, roll out of bed, get ready in 5 minutes and rush out of the door. If you aren’t a morning person, it can be quite a challenge just to get out of bed on time…let alone actually getting anything done in the early hours of the day. But mornings have the potential to be the most important and productive part of your day…if you do it right.
The anatomy of the perfect morning routine is different for everyone. But for the most productive people, there are generally common themes you can see in how they spend their mornings. Let’s take a look at how you can maximize your morning routine:
Wake up earlier.
Right now, it might seem impossible to wake up any earlier than you do. But try. In order to have a productive morning, you actually have to make time for it. Wake up a few minutes earlier each day for the next two weeks. Before you know it, you’ll have an extra 30 minutes to an hour every morning. Imagine how much more you can get done. I recently started waking up at 5 a.m. (instead of 6:45 a.m.) so I can workout, read and spend time with family. It’s made a big difference in my mindset and productivity for the rest of the day. By the way, I also wake up early on the weekends so that my early morning routine becomes habit.
Avoid coffee first thing.
The moment you get out of bed, you might head straight towards the coffee machine. Even if you crave for some caffeine as soon as possible, try to avoid coffee first thing in the morning.Too much caffeine isn’t a good thing and you become dependent easily. Limit yourself to one cup later in the morning so that it lasts you longer through the day. Working out first thing in the morning has helped with this. Now, I have a full bottle of water during my workout, and don’t have coffee until I’ve been up for an hour or two.
Meditate & reflect.
You might have never given mediation any thought but you should. Spending just 10 minutes in the morning clearing your mind and reflecting can really help you refocus and recharge for the day ahead. Use this time to think about the previous day, what you accomplished, and your overall goals. This helps keep you grounded in your beliefs.
This can’t be stressed enough but never underestimate the power of exercise. Keeping your body in shape keeps your mind sharp as well. Even a brisk 30 minute walk every morning can help you get a good workout. While you might dread working out, find a fun activity you enjoy doing and stick to it. Further, I’ve found that working out in the morning helps me avoid “decision fatigue” throughout the day — that dreaded thought in the back of my head that I have to head to the gym after a full day of work. Get it out of the way early in the morning to free up your mind for priorities throughout the day.
Enjoy a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. In order to have the most productive day you can, fuel your body and mind. Just make sure you stick to healthy options like fruit and yogurt or a green juice.
As you see, none of these tips involve working. Use your mornings to focus on you, not your job. When your body and mind is happy, you’ll have a much better day.