7 Habits to Make the Most of your Mornings
1. Prepare the night before
Before you head off to bed to get your much-needed beauty sleep, spend 5 minutes picking an outfit for the next morning so you can save yourself time and stress before getting on with your day. It is also useful to make a list of everything you need to get done the following day, so you can have a restful night’s sleep knowing you everything you need doing, will be completed the following day. It could also be helpful to write down things that are troubling you so that these issues don’t interfere with your rest. Writing things down doesn’t just help with your recall, it helps to make your mind more efficient by focusing on the most important things and can also be a good way of rationalizing your thoughts.
2. Leave your phone and alarm on the other side of the room
The further away your alarm is from your bed the more efficient you will be at getting up. The physical act of getting up to go and turning your phone off is much more likely to keep you awake and much less likely to let you press snooze. Similarly, keeping your phone away from your bed will prevent you from going on it right before you sleep, which can improve your quality of rest. Going on your phone as soon as you wake up can also be a very negative start to your day. Seeing gloomy news headlines or filling your brain with heavily filtered social media posts can have a much bigger effect on you than you may think, and so leaving your phone charging on the other side of the room overnight and leaving it there when you turn off your alarm in the morning will allow you to be much more productive.
3. Make your bed
Making your bed, although a simple task can help improve your productivity as you’ve started the day off completing a task that gives you a sense of taking charge, allowing for better decision-making skills throughout the day. One study found that people who make their beds in the morning are 20% more likely to have a good sleep. Equally, the term ‘tidy room, tidy mind’ comes in here as having a made bed makes your entire room more pulled together, and at the end of the day will make getting into bed even more appealing!
4. Move your body
Getting your body moving and blood flowing first thing in the morning can improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. If you are not the sort of person who can wake up for a 6 am spin class that is not a problem. A 10-minute dog walk, a 20-minute yoga stretch, or even doing some squats whilst brushing your teeth can shift your whole mood for the day. Activating the larger muscle groups stimulates the blood flow to the brain and will help to get those creative juices flowing.
5. Practise gratitude whilst having your breakfast
Firstly, eating literally breakfast means, ‘breaking’ the ‘fast’ that your body goes into overnight, fuelling the body is essential to waking up and kick-starting the day. Whilst having your morning coffee and meal, this is the perfect time to journal and practice gratitude and greet the morning with an optimistic attitude. By doing this, your positive outlook will follow you throughout the day and you can create a visual representation of what to anticipate. The best way to greet your coming can be answering questions such as, ‘what are you grateful for this morning?’, ‘what are you excited about today?’.
6. Make your commute mentally active
Whether you drive, walk, or get public transport to work, people tend to listen to music on their morning commute. This can be mentally stimulating but nowadays, there is an abundance of educational podcasts and audiobooks that are highly entertaining. These can help you get motivated for the day or even help you learn more about something non-work-related. This will also make you feel a little more proactive and allow you to make the most of the little time you have in the mornings.
7. Eat the frog
In other words, start the day, work-related or not – with the task you consider the hardest, without distraction. If you don’t give yourself chance to put it off, you will feel less overwhelmed when it comes to completing the job. If you repeat this process every day, consistently, you’ll be amazed how quickly you achieve big accomplishments. ‘Eating the frog’ requires us to push back against interruptions and brings us closer to our goals. Adding this to your morning routine ensures we are taking advantage of the best part of the day.