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Metaphorically speaking, waking up on the wrong side of the bed is a real thing. While we commonly associate that sentiment with solely a bad mood, a morning started on the wrong foot affects so much more than just a grumpy disposition.
Our routine and how we structure the first few hours of the day greatly impact our work and personal lives, and like a domino effect, this particular time shapes the way we act, think and function for the rest of the day. When started on the right side of the bed, you will feel an uplift in productivity and boosted energy levels.
Yet so many of us struggle to hop out of our cozy bed when the alarm goes off, rely heavily on the magic of caffeine, or repeatedly stroll into the office like a zombie in the night. In turn, our work suffers, our temperament shifts, and simple tasks become cumbersome.
These negative patterns morph into habits, ones that we grow accustomed to and give excuses for. But they are merely culprits of our choices. So, instead of familiarizing yourself with the subconscious mantra, “this is just how I am”, remember that you are a reflection of who you choose to be. And who you choose to be in the morning will echo who you become in the day.
Of course, we’re all built differently, some are naturally early risers, and some are born night hawks. But no matter which category you fall under, we all must begin the day at some point and what you do in those first few hours after waking up will make all the difference.
To help ease you into a productive morning, here are some encouraging suggestions:
Morning schedules build a form of structure and inspire a ‘get up and go’ mentality. They help us build reliability with ourselves and when steps are repeated each morning, they become second nature.
Write your ideal productive morning down on a piece of paper or in the notes app on your phone and try your best to follow it for one or two months. Jot down every detail, from the moment you get out of bed to the minute you get to work. If you find that some of your initial aspirations are difficult to follow long-term, adjust the schedule and start again. With time, you’ll notice a constructive transformation in yourself and the relationships you have with both work and the significant people in your life.
Water is like medicine to the body and mind. Start your day with a tall glass of it or buy a reusable bottle that you can fill up in the morning and refill throughout the day.
Before you wander over to the coffee machine, with your eyes tired and your body sluggish, give yourself the hydration you’ve been lacking throughout the night. This will help to initiate alertness and improve clarity before you pump yourself with caffeine – which can actually have adverse effects when overconsumed.
Facts are, we’re not all natural athletes who can wake up at 5:00 am and go for a mile-long run before work. And that’s ok. But getting your body moving, in some way, will induce liveliness.
Try walking the dog around the block or doing a 20-minute yoga video on YouTube. Whatever it is you like to do as a form of exercise, doing it in the morning, even for a short time, gets your blood flowing. Like a countdown for a race, any type of movement sends a signal to your brain that you’re ready for action.
It’s no surprise that the food we eat influences how we feel or that our intake of vitamins and minerals is necessary for a healthy existence, especially in the morning. So, even if you’re not a breakfast person who wakes up starving, get your metabolism moving with a yogurt or some kind of protein. Having food within the first few hours of waking up nourishes your body and sends the message – it’s time to start the day and it’s going to be a good one.
Hint: chocolate pancakes with caramel syrup probably won’t relay the same message.
Proper sleep is the magic genie you always needed. If you’re waking up exhausted and struggle to keep your eyes open, it’s extremely difficult to motivate yourself in the morning and accomplish anything you set out in your routine. So, fluff up those pillows, turn off your TV and light that lavender candle. Do what you can to get a restful and deep sleep, so you can wake up ready to take on the day ahead of you.
Rolling over and grabbing your phone, as soon as your eyes open in the morning, diminishes productivity. Before you know it, that limited time before work is filled with TikTok videos and silly games, and suddenly you forget to eat breakfast with the kids, wash your hair or go on your walk. So, if you continually succumb to this damaging, yet intriguing practice, chances are you’ll waste valuable time and instinctively follow that pattern for the rest of the day.
If you need help tracking your productivity in the morning or limiting certain apps, TimeIvy can be a real lifesaver. This unique app calculates your unproductive time and highlights addictive tendencies, using a digital tree that you either nurture or let perish.
Set your alarm at least two to three hours before work. If you take longer to get ready in the morning, add in extra time. If you’re setting your alarm 15 minutes before your first zoom call or a half-hour before you need to get into your car, you leave very little room to feed your energy levels.
These simple tips aren’t anything out of the ordinary and are probably recommendations you’ve heard or read about before. They probably won’t immediately redecorate every aspect of your life either. But these simple changes are stepping stones, helping you to flourish from morning to night.
When you commit to regular productive mornings, you’re saying to the world, “I’m awake and ready to take on anything”. Hear me roar!
So, no matter how you spend your early hours, or whenever it is you rise, I hope you choose to wake up on the good side – the side that leads to a productive day, accomplishments you’re proud of and a life that is nothing but meaningful and filled with zestful oomph.