When you find yourself dragging through your morning from the third time you hit the snooze button until your lunch break, you know you’re not accomplishing everything you could be. Mornings don’t have to be a time you suffer through, begging for more coffee and less responsibility. Use six of the best A.M. productivity skills to make the most of your mornings.
Drink a Glass of Water
Unless you drink water while you’re sleeping, you’ve just spent several hours slowly dehydrating. What your body needs most is not coffee or breakfast, but a tall glass of water. The water will help you feel full, so you may eat a little less. It will also help with alleviate constipation, thin phlegm, and revive fatigued muscles.
Improve Your Sleep Smarts
Making sure you get enough sleep at the right time is imperative to having a productive morning. A few quick tips for better sleep:
Shut off electronics an hour before bed. Artificial light can affect your natural circadian rhythm (internal “sleep clock”) and decrease melatonin production, so you don’t feel sleepy when you should.
Workout in the morning, rather than the evening, for a burst of energy right when you need it most.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Your body will ease into waking rather than startling awake when your alarm sounds.
Get some sunshine every day. An hour or two of daylight during the day will help your body know when you should feel wide awake and when you should not.
Minimize the Productivity Apps
Check your calendar, your email, your three productivity apps, and your to-do list. What have you really accomplished after all that time spent? Don’t waste time managing something that is supposed to help you be more productive, but isn’t working. It’s easy to take a minimalistic approach to productivity to immediately save on wasted time.
Spend Your Evening Getting Ready
During your hour of unplugged time before bed, get your home ready for morning. Pick up and put away things that have been left out. Make sure the things you use each morning are where they should be. Set your coffee pot. Select the clothes you’ll wear that day. If you have a family, encourage your kids to join in. It will become a habit that saves time in the morning. When you wake up, the house will be free of clutter, letting you dive into your morning routine without searching for anything or stepping on a LEGO?.
Silence Your Smartphone
Put your phone out of reach and turn off unnecessary alerts. While it may not be possible to do this all day, it is easy enough to turn off your notifications during your morning. You can also permanently turn off sound notifications to anything that isn’t important, such as Facebook or Twitter. Do you really need a tone to sound and pull your attention away every time someone likes that photo of your latte? No. Resist the urge to start your morning by checking into social media sites. That trap can lead you into obsessive social media zone all morning, sapping your productivity completely.
Move Around, Even Just a Little
If you can’t fit in a full workout every morning, remember to move around anyway. When we go from laying in bed, to sitting at a table, to sitting at a desk, we remain sedentary all morning. Not only can this keep you feeling sleepy, but it may set the tone for a whole day of feeling tired and slow. Moving around warms up your muscles, increases your circulation, and helps you breathe deeply. Let this set a precedent for your whole day and you can reap even more rewards.
Sometimes it’s tough to start a new routine or make a new habit. If you practice these simple tips, pretty soon you’ll be enjoying your most productive morning.