The morning is one of the most beautiful times of the day. It's when we're greeted by the refreshing warmth of the sun as its rays are cast upon our bedroom walls, and when we're getting ourselves prepared to tackle the tasks of the day.
But, before each of us jump right into the things on our to-do lists, we tend to have a run-down in our brains of what is most important, what could be completed the fastest, and what might be a more long and drawn out task. What matters at the end of the day, though, is what we have completed in the 24 hours that we were given. Efficient daily scheduling is highly important, and we know that when we don't prioritize our time or plan out our days, then things can run amuck. When we come in from a long day at work, we might sit down and consider the tasks that we completed in our day and what we could have done differently. Since productivity is at the heart of our blog, we want you to ask yourself--what is the most productive way to start my day?
As two schools of thought when it comes to tackling projects, one might argue that "eating the frog" or completing the hardest task first is more productive; however, another might argue that completing the most important task, which may not always be the hardest, should come first. Personally speaking, the most productive hours in the day for me are the morning hours. I know that my focus is better and my energy levels are up. So, as I share these different morning routines with you, I want you to consider which hours of the day are you at your best? During which hours can you focus, commit, and contribute without much distraction. Here some different routines that you could try to start your day in a more productive way:
To increase your alertness, consider exercising at the beginning of the day. Exercising at the beginning of the day, as Mitzi Dulan of The Huffington Post suggests, helps to raise your metabolism, increases your productivity, and could help you to avoid having scheduling conflicts since you're up early and already on the move.
Put it into practice:
Go ahead and book a slot on your online calendar for morning exercise at the beginning of next week. Here's a routine to try:
- Monday - 15 mins. of your favorite Youtube cardio routine
- Tuesday - 30 mins. with a mix of cardio and HITT exercises
- Wednesday - 15 mins. of abdominal exercises
- Thursday - 30 mins. with a mix of cardio and toning exercises
- Friday - 15 mins. of strength training exercises
2. Meditation & Thankfulness
Try meditating for several minutes in the morning and be thankful for another day of life. Having a thankful mindset helps you to view things in life from an optimistic standpoint. Instead of saying "why me" or "woe is me", take those challenging moments and consider your ways and how you could change. Most times, we are standing in our own way and need to step back and assess our motives and behavior.
3. Healthy Eating
If we're honest with ourselves, sometimes we eat too much of the things that we want for breakfast. Instead of gratifying yourself with the things that you tend to normally seek, try to hold back on those foods for some days or weeks at a time, and instead, try healthier options like fruits (apples, mandarins, grapefruits, etc.), vegetables (avocado, onions with an omelet, a smoothie, etc..), and nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, etc.). By doing this, you will teach yourself discipline. Wake up to a healthier and more productive morning, by eating healthier.
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE:
Pull out a sticky note or create a new note on your phone and categorize your healthy eating days:
- Mondays - "Lean & Green Day" - try a fruit and green veggie smoothie as an add-on to your breakfast mains
- Tuesdays - "Fruitday" - add one of your favorite fruits to your breakfast mains
- Wednesdays - "Crunchday" - eat a reasonable portion of either almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, or another type of nut in addition to your breakfast mains
- Thursdays - "Go with the Grain Day" - instead of going against the "grain", add some whole grains like wheat or millet to your cereal or even consider having a protein bar for part of your breakfast
- Fridays - "Protein Day" - amp up your protein intake on Friday with eggs, nuts, or even a choice of meat for breakfast to help boost your energy
4. Checking Updates
Checking updates after you've prepared yourself for the day is another way to start off a productive morning. That might include seeing what emails have come in since yesterday evening, any messages that you've received, and any reminders that are on your plate for the day so that you can begin planning accordingly. One thing to keep in mind, however, is to not become the update junkie--constantly checking updates until the point of being uncomfortable if you're not able to look at your phone or computer every 30 minutes. Check your updates early so that you can sort out the day's priorities from least to greatest, and work your way down the list.
5. Sharing a Kind Word
This is something that we might not do until we get into the office, but you could share a kind word with someone before your leave the house whether that's with your spouse, mother, father, grandparent, or another family member. We never know if we will see each other or hear from each other at the end of the day--life is not guaranteed. Start your day off on a positive note by leaving a positive touch on someone else's life. You don't have to call and have a long conversation, but a simple "I love you" or "I hope that you have a great day" text just might leave a smile. *And, if you're bolder, try singing to yourself at the beginning of the day as another way to get geared up and ready to go.
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE:
On Sundays, think of 5 individuals that you would like to contact in the upcoming week, add their names to your wall calendar, online calendar, or a note app on your phone and contact those individuals at some time during the morning hours. By reaching out, you'll likely feel refreshed as you anticipate a response or hear from them, and they'll likely feel refreshed as well.
Have you considered the time of the day that you're most productive yet? If you have, try one of these productive morning routines to ready and steady yourself for a progressive workday. Mornings are a beautiful time of the day; take advantage of those hours to put together a plan that will help you rise to success.
Are you considering trying one of those routines? We'd like to hear how it's working for your productivity! Give us a shoutout on Twitter and let us know how you prepare yourself for the day ahead.