7 Morning Practices to Set Up Your Mind
for Daily Productivity
By Scott Mathews
Lying in bed for hours or barely waking up is not a promising start for a productive day. To be fully engaged in your activities, keep a peaceful mind, feel grounded, and thus, become productive, you must first take care of your own self. Morning routines help us set the right pace and make the right calls during the day. Morning rituals are an excellent way to prepare for an organized day ahead and to carefully plan out our goals.
“Waking up early, connecting with nature, and having my quiet time are priorities to me, and they are non-negotiable,” shares Danette May on My Morning Routine. Let’s see how you can effectively boost up your mood by practicing these seven simple routines.
If you try to master everything at once, there’s a high chance you won’t be able to master anything at all. You’ll burn out quickly enough and spend the rest of your days unhappy. If, on the other hand, you care about your happiness, you’ll choose to take time for your own thoughts and emotions. Journaling every morning is an excellent way to release stress, anxiety, depression, and anything else that might be bothering you.
Here you can find some examples of what you could expand upon. Ask yourself the following –
- Am I happy with my daily activities? Do I feel like I need a break?
- Am I inspired enough to achieve my goals in due time? Should I revise and rethink my objectives? Do they make me happy?
- What scares me the most and why? What am I afraid of losing?
- Am I satisfied with my decisions and life pattern? Do I like my job?
- When am I the most productive and why?
- In case you’re dating, how is my relationship going and is there anything that we should fix?
Deep down we all have the answers. The key is opening the door into our minds and souls and finding them. Answering these questions in your journal will help you perform a thorough self-analysis, you’ll see.
Studies have shown that meditation is the perfect remedy for stress and anxiety, enhances self-awareness, promotes emotional health, lengthens your attention span, and can even reduce age-related memory loss. Benjamin Shapero, Psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School, shares his opinion. “Antidepressant medications help many people. But it’s also the case that many people don’t benefit from them as well. There’s a great need for alternative approaches.”
You should consider integrating this practice into your own life to boost your productivity and not only.
- Concentration is one of the toughest things to accomplish when meditating, so you should start with that. Meditate for just a few minutes. Set your timer for five and go up from there.
- Next step is becoming mindful. You can accomplish that by focusing on your breathing. Breathe in, breath out, focus your mind on nothing. Whenever a thought pops up, observe it, and let it pass. Instead of focusing on your thinking, focus on your breath again. Start counting. 1, 2, 3, 4 breath in, and breathe out counting up till 6.
There are other meditation techniques available, so you don’t have to stick with Mindful meditation. There are a million videos online that you could choose from. Start a 21-day meditation practice to see how it goes. Observe how you feel; you could track your progress by noting your emotions down on your journal.
3. Work Out
Science shows that working out early (before having breakfast!) can help your body burn fat quicker and more efficiently. There are numerous exercises that you could practice, but the best ones include tonification and stretching. Here you can find a morning workout plan example.
- 3 x 10 Squats plus holding
- 3 x 10 Knee Push Ups
- 4 x 5 Knees Front Plank
- 10’ Standard Training
- 2 x 20 Front Lunges
- 20’’ Energic Punches
- 2 x 20 Bench Dips
Do this every morning to tonify your body. You cannot start your day stressed out by practicing these exercises. They will give you a boost of energy and confidence. You should take short breaks between rounds. You can find alternative morning workout plans to consider.
4. Eat Well
Eating well is another important habit to your productivity. If you don’t eat enough or overeat, your energy level could drop before noon. Having a proper breakfast is crucial since it helps you burn calories throughout the rest of the day and builds up the motivation to get things done.
Does peanut butter, bananas, and chia seed toast sound good? How about savory oatmeal with an egg aside? If you are not a great cook, there are millions of cooking apps online that could help you out.
5. Make a to-do List
Some people prefer making to-do lists in the morning, while others like planning their days one night ahead. If you’re part of the first category, here are some tips that could guide you through the process.
- Brainstorm your tasks for today and write everything down; use your Notepad application if that’s easier for you.
- Outsource the tasks that can be performed by someone else – asking for help or simply delegating tasks should be one of your top priorities.
- Now organize your tasks into categories and create separate lists for each one of them.
- Prioritize – which assignment is the most important and why? If you are unable to come up with a response, ask yourself this question: if I could fast-forward to bedtime, which task would I necessarily must be finished with?
- Put time estimates next to your to-dos and try to respect them.
Going with the flow carelessly and not planning out your day can become an obstructive habit. It can quickly drag down your productivity and overall efficiency. Make sure you start working on your plan right after waking up (or soon after)!
6. Get Informed
“To maximize your productivity, one must stay informed about current events. So, keep yourself updated by watching the news or reading the newspaper,” writes Cathy Guzman, manager at Brillassignment.co.uk. Choose channels that avoid biased interpretations. Some of our recommendations are BBC, Al-Jazeera, NPR, New York Times, Huffington Post, or Washington Post.
7. Do Whatever You Like
Last but not least, you should take time for yourself in the morning to do whatever you enjoy. If it’s having a hot coffee and watching the sunrise, so be it. If it’s dancing and singing throughout the house, do that. Making sure you take proper care of yourself will also boost your productivity. As Jenn Proske once said, “Love yourself. It is important to stay positive because beauty comes from the inside out.”
One last tip: don’t try to implement everything at once. Start with taking time for yourself in the morning, then try meditation; develop a workout plan soon and start reading in the morning right after. If you are unable to get everything done in one morning, alternate. Meditate one day, work out the other, and so on. Good luck in becoming highly productive! You got this.