Change Up Your Morning Routine and Improve Your Productivity

Change Up Your Morning Routine and Improve Your Productivity

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Even small changes in your your morning routine have the potential to increase your productivity throughout your day. Research shows that self-control and energy are linked intricately, and needless to say, you’ll need both to finish your daily tasks.

However, energy is finite, and you will tire throughout the day, as your body acts like an individual muscle. The more tired we get, the more difficult we find exerting self-control to focus on our work, which in turn makes us perceive our tasks to be more difficult. This makes our morning hours the most important part of the day, and it’s crucial to use them wisely.

So, here are a few tools to change up your morning routine to improve your productivity.

-Preparation. Waking up and not being prepared for the workday will cause unnecessary stress, as well as eat up precious time and energy. Remember that your morning hours are the most productive, and you don’t need to waste them on figuring out what to wear for a meeting or how to get there.

Waking up, you should have your schedule laid out for the day and sufficient time to complete it. Start your morning the night before to limit the amount of tasks you need to complete when starting the day!

-Light. Flipping on your light switches or opening the curtains will help you wake up. This is because light sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to be awake and to stop producing melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

For the very same reason, don’t keep your phone near you when you sleep—the same goes for artificially lit screens such as televisions, iPads, and iPhones right before bedtime or during your sleep. You may even consider turning your alarm so that the light faces away from you. After all, you can only wake up rested and alert after a good night’s sleep.

-Rise early. There are an abundance of reasons to get up early in the morning. Our modern day working lives seem to naturally cater to early risers, who get a head start before the rest of the world wakes up. It’s easier to carve out personal time in the morning than it is to do so after work. Studies suggest morning people are be more proactive and agree with statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself.” A proactive attitude leads to more productivity, and you’ll end up getting more things done.

You’ll also have time to eat a proper breakfast when you rise early, which will give you the energy needed to keep going. Studies have even shown morning people to be both happier and healthier, although the health component makes a lot of sense just by having enough time to eat breakfast, cater to your personal needs, and exercise.

-Exercise. Start your morning with some yoga, a run, or a brisk walk—really anything to get your blood moving—and you’ll start the day refreshed, energized and ready to take on the world. Entrepreneurs not only tend to be early risers, but also tend to use their morning hours to exercise.

There are numerous examples of successful people getting up early to work out, such as former FLOTUS Michelle Obama who starts her day at 4:30 a.m. to squeeze in some exercise before her kids wake up. GE CEO Jeff Immelt gets up at 5:30 a.m. for cardio work out, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey rises before dawn for a 6-mile run, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz manages a bike ride with his wife before getting to work at 6 a.m.

-Be Positive. Now, when you are rising early and properly preparing for the day, have enough time for exercise, breakfast and personal time, you should already feel calmer and more focused to tackle the day’s challenges. But, you might want to add a simple morning routine to embrace the day fully, which is making a list of three things you’re thankful for. If your repeat this list every morning, you will start the day on a high note, which will help you set the tone for whatever challenges the day will bring.

Don’t forget, it’s the choices that we repeatedly make each and every day that determine the life we live, and to a large degree also the health we enjoy. And most importantly, as we spend the largest slice of our waking hours at work, it determines the work we create and the legacy we leave behind.

The personal time included in your new morning routine will also help you stay tuned with your inner self. Since all of us spend most of our time working, we all need to check in with ourselves regularly to make sure we are focusing our time and energy on the right causes. To end with an inspirational Steve Jobs quote:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

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