Rise and Shine: 7 Tips for a Productive Morning Routine
The myOptions Team
Sometimes waking up in the morning can be the hardest part of the day. Especially when you hit snooze one too many times and the rest of your morning is filled with frenetic energy that leaves you feeling frazzled. We compiled a list of tips to help you start each morning on the right foot.
1. Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
You don’t need to wake up at 6:00AM every morning in order to be productive. Everyone’s body is different and some people naturally fall asleep at a later time. The key to starting your day has less to do with the specific time you wake up and more to do with how rested you are. As long as you are maintaining 7-9 hours of sleep every night, you are setting yourself up to slay the day.
2. Think about intentions.
Setting positive intentions for your day manifests and clarifies your goals for the future. Think about 3 large goals or visions you wish to uphold. By spending time, even if it’s only 5 minutes, thinking about your values, you are more likely to make decisions that align with your beliefs. Practice acts of self love by reminding yourself of your worth. By sprinkling kindness and gratitude throughout your day (for yourself and others), you are setting the tone for a beneficial, well-intentioned day.
3. Start the morning by sweating.
You don’t have to run 10 miles at the crack of dawn to reap the benefits of exercise in the morning. It can be as simple as turning up your favorite song and dancing around your room in your pajamas. When you move your body in the morning, endorphins will keep you energized and enthused for the rest of the day. As well as exercising, be sure to also hydrate your body. Your brain is 73% water, so replenishing fluids is always an ideal way to start your day.
4. Prepare the night before.
Every night, pack your bag, prepare your lunch, and pick out your outfit for the following day. That way, you prepare yourself for a simple morning in which many of your decisions have already been made. In doing this, you allow more room in your morning schedule to do things that help you feel inspired: exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling, etc. Also, you will avoid unpleasant, chaotic emotions that could throw you off from your routine.
5. Take advantage of the first 3 hours.
The best time to get work done is within the first 3 hours of your day. After a full night’s rest, your brain is ready and focused. Rather than half-heartedly concentrating on your work for long periods of time, it’s more effective to dedicate shorter spurts of time using 100% of your energy. Throughout the day, you are constantly making decisions. So, it only makes sense that you experience decision fatigue in later hours. Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decision making after a long session of decision making. That’s why it is important to take advantage of the first few hours of the day when your mind is fresh.
6. Focus on the quality, not the quantity.
If you have a long to-do list, it’s best to take each task one at a time and do your best. The quality of your work is far more important than the number of tasks you complete. If you are focused on the numbers, then you will likely rush and make mistakes. If you do a decent job the first time around, you will spend less time going back and refining your work.
7. Take breaks.
Many people think that the most productive people are those who never leave the library and spend all their time working. This isn’t necessarily true. Think of your brain as a part of a larger system that has different needs at different times. When you improve one area of your life, it will likely improve other areas as well. Play is extremely important for creativity and productivity. You will improve your memory, language skills, self-regulation, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Clearly there are a lot of benefits when it comes to taking time to relax and participate in the activities you love.
You may be wondering how you will incorporate all of these suggestions into your life immediately, but don’t stress. Pick a few that resonated with you, and start there. Breaking old habits can be tough, but with a little time and effort, you can transform your daily rituals into ones that will lead to days filled with efficiency and inspiration.