Your morning will more often than not set you up for your entire day.
If that morning is rushed, chaotic or groggy from lack of sleep, your productivity will most likely suffer. Use the following ideas for morning routines to create some new habits and get the most out of your mornings.
1. Write down what you want to get done
American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault ends every day by writing the three most important things he wants to achieve the next day. The next morning, he uses that list to start working. Writing down what you want to achieve can help focus your mind in the morning and keep you on track.
2. Do your hardest or biggest task first thing
Mark Twain famously said: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” If there’s a task that seems rather large, or difficult, putting it off will only make it seem more arduous to complete. If you tackle it first thing in the morning, you’ll get it done, and the rest of your day will seem much easier by comparison.
3. Get some exercise
You may want to stay curled up in bed in the morning, but getting up and exercising first thing has multiple benefits. Hitting the gym first thing can set you up for the day with an accomplishment already under your belt, and it helps kick start your metabolism. Exercise tells your body it’s time to get up and get going for the day ahead.
4. Have a good breakfast
Nearly everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While it might be tempting to skip breakfast to get more sleep or get to work earlier, resist the urge. Choose nutritious foods such as whole grain cereal, eggs and fresh fruit to keep your energy levels steady until lunch.
5. Get up at the same time every day
Routine is incredibly important to making sure you wake up with a spring in your step. Set your alarm and stick to it. It’s tempting to keep hitting the snooze button, but it’s not beneficial because you’re not getting any good sleep by doing so. When the alarm goes off, get up and do something straight away, such as putting your running shoes on, to signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up.
6. Wake up earlier
Once you’ve mastered getting up with your alarm, you can try getting up earlier. Being awake earlier in the morning means you have more time to get ready and work on important tasks, making the day less rushed and much calmer.
7. Track your habits
Do you find yourself constantly running late in the morning, or feeling harried as you try to get everything done? Try tracking your morning routines for a few days. It may feel a bit strange using spreadsheets or notebooks to chronicle your routine, but soon you’ll spot patterns and places where time can be used more constructively.
8. Avoid checking your email first thing
It’s easy to sit at your computer as soon as you arrive at work and start going through your emails and checking voicemails. It might feel productive, but it can actually be something of a time suck. Instead, try coming in and tackling a more pressing project or task. If it’s important, people will contact you by phone or in person, rather than email.
The morning is the perfect time to be productive and make the most of your time. If you follow these tips, you’ll have more energy to undertake important tasks, and make the most of your day – starting with your morning routines.
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