Some mornings seem like we are very productive and have everything on track: eating a nutritious breakfast, fitting in your morning workout, and even reading your favourite section of the daily newspaper. Other days, it’s a mystery how you even got to work on time. Trust us, we have all been there.
Having a great morning is not magic, it is actually a science that you can apply to your morning routine. Here are some important elements you should be including in your day that will ensure every morning is as productive as your last.
Productive Morning Habits
Wake Up At The Right Time
We have all heard that if you want to be productive you should start your day at 5am. Although, it is true that those who wake up earlier are more productive, it does not mean that night owls can’t have productive mornings as well. In fact, the time you wake up isn’t the most important part – it’s getting in tune with your internal clock. According to sleep.org, your body knows what it should be doing and when. So, forcing yourself to wake at 5am if you aren’t a morning person is actually counterproductive. Instead, here are three habits you should include in your morning routine:
- 1. Get enough sleep – Waking up when your body is ready will lead to a more productive day than forcing yourself out of bed before your brain is ready.
- 2. Drink enough water – Drinking 16oz of water right when you wake up will give your brain fuel, help your body flush out toxins, and fire up your metabolism.
- Eating breakfast – When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low. If you don’t have time to make breakfast each morning, here are some great portable breakfast ideas you can make ahead of time.
Eliminate Decision-Making Tasks In The Morning
Many productivity experts and successful people spend their evenings preparing for the next day, which makes their mornings that much easier.
American Express CEO, Kenneth Chenault, ends his day by writing down three things he wants to accomplish the next day.
Planning the night before will help you stay on track, organised, and keep your mornings productive. Having too many decision-making tasks in the morning will slow you down and drain your brain for the rest of the day. Benefit from higher energy levels by just simply preparing in the evenings. Here are some helpful tips:
- Prepare your daily to-do list
- Pick out your outfit
- Pack your lunch and your bag for work
- Place any reading material for the morning in an obvious area
- Prepare your gym bag and wear your workout clothes to sleep
Getting in a workout in the morning can seem difficult – even impossible – to accomplish. The thought of spending an hour at the gym makes you want to crawl right back into bed. Plus, who has time to spend an hour at the gym every morning?
What if I told you that your morning workouts don’t have to be spent at the gym or even last longer than 20 minutes? What’s important is to get your blood flowing with some movement. In fact, many successful people start their mornings with some movement and here’s how:
- Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, does 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill.
- Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, jogs every morning.
- Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks, bikes in the mornings.
- Congresswoman and House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, power walks.
- Entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk, breaks a sweat with the help of his personal trainer.
- Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary, likes to get moving on his elliptical or exercise bike.
- Starwood Hotels CEO, Frits van Paasschen, runs 10 miles each morning.
Plan Your Routine
Every productivity expert recommends a morning routine. Don’t stress about what is in your routine, instead keep your focus on planning a routine that works for you.
According to Claire Diaz Ortiz, productivity expert and author of Design Your Day, the secret to being productive is to create your ideal morning routine. She explains that how you start your day influences your energy levels and keeps you focused on what’s important. You don’t need a lengthy routine. You just need something that will keep your mind focused, and set your heart and mind with the right attitude for the day. Remember, consistency is key to achieving your highest level of productivity.
Do the Hardest Task First
Brian Tracy, author of Eat the Frog, bases his morning philosophy on a quote from Mark Twain:
“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”The “frog” is the most important and biggest task of the day – the one you are dreading to complete. Making a habit of tackling the biggest task first will give you a big motivational boost and a sense of accomplishment. So, choose your “frog” for the day and make it a priority to complete this task before moving on to other tasks.