5 Ways to Make Your Mornings More Productive
Bemoaning the limited number of hours in a day isn't fair if you're not taking advantage of your mornings. If you're just using your mornings to lie around or get even more sleep, then you're wasting time that could be spent gearing up for the day ahead or just taking care of things. These are five ways to make your mornings more productive.
1. Prepare the Night Before
How many of your mornings are spent scrambling for everything you need for work or school? You might be doing a lot of things as you pull your laundry out of the dryer and throw together a lunch, but being productive means thinking ahead. As the sun is setting, you need to be thinking about what you can take care of. You want to make your morning as easy as possible and give your morning self a break. Procrastination tends to happen when we divorce ourselves from our future selves. In reality, we're intrinsically linked to every version of ourselves. Sabotaging your future self is no different than sabotaging your present self. Refrain from trying to get an entire week's worth of preparation done in one evening. Just focus on how you can make the upcoming morning far less stressful. Upon waking, you'll hopefully feel relaxed and more able to focus.
2. Drink Coffee
Many people swear by their daily caffeine fix for helping them get started. They might have a point. Caffeine can help to brighten our minds with an energy boost that carries us through the day. It's also shown signs of improving one's short-term memory. Like with any other substance, you need to be careful with how you consume coffee. Take care to not use it as a crutch or to drink it all day. Otherwise, you might find yourself wide awake when you're trying to fall asleep. If you have a caffeine sensitivity, you might try using decaffeinated coffee. A glass of ice water can also go a long way in waking you up.
3. Wake Up Earlier
Being more productive in the morning doesn't require any sort of complex equation to solve. You just need to give yourself more time. If you're usually waking up ten minutes before you need to be out the door, figure out a new plan. You can't just start waking up an hour earlier than normal tomorrow. However, you can gradually set your alarm earlier and earlier, by about five minutes per day, until you have enough time to be good and productive. Your morning tiredness is likely linked to a lack of sleep. You need to get enough rest so that you're not just reaching for the snooze button right away. Review how much sleep you normally get, and work on choosing a bedtime that will help you wake up rested. To help you fall asleep sooner, stay away from screens for at least a couple hours before bed, practice meditation, and take melatonin supplements.
4. Have Healthy Rituals
Morning people tend to have rituals that they look forward to and which give them the propulsion needed for the day ahead. Some people meditate, others exercise, and others read. All of these are excellent choices, along with any other healthy activities you have in mind. Whatever you choose, it needs to be something you can look forward to. When you wake up, you should light up because you can spend your morning doing something beneficial. Mixing things up can also help. Doing the same thing every morning, in the same way, can become something of a slog. Modifications, such as trying a new breakfast or a new exercise, can get you out of a slump.
5. Get to Work Sooner
Once you're awake, alert, and dressed, you need to get started on your day. A hindrance to morning productivity can be spending so much time "getting in the right mindset" that the afternoon can sneak up on you without you having done anything. Having a to-do list drafted can let you outline what exactly should be taken care of first. Ideally, you should prioritize projects that are near completion. Write exactly what you need to get done for each project. For example, if you're working on a press release, you might write "draft last two paragraphs of press release." Jump into your assignments right away. If you can get into the habit of not delaying work, you can find yourself far more engaged by it. Plus, if something needs to be clarified or done over, you'll have far more time on your hands.
There's no rule that says your mornings can't be satisfying or even the highlight of your day. Having a good morning doesn't mean that the rest of your day will be a disappointment. It can actually enhance your day because you've started it off on the right foot. A productive morning is the key to a productive day, which is the key to a productive life.
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