Mornings are hard. You’re expected to wake up on time, eat something, maybe take a shower, and be ready to tackle the day, all in a matter of hours (or minutes, if you like to hit the snooze button a few times in the morning).
We all dream of having a perfect, productive morning, but the reality can be a lot harder to achieve. Getting on track to a productive morning can be a challenge, but as in all things, baby steps are key. Try a few (or all) of these seven easy steps to starting your mornings, and see if you can feel a difference.
It can be hard when you’re groggy and the alarm clock is blaring, but try to take just a few seconds to think ahead. What would your ideal day be? What do you want to get done, and how will you accomplish it? Having a clear vision in mind can help motivate you for the rest of your day.
We all know water is important, but sometimes in the morning orange juice or coffee is just more appealing. Feel free to drink that OJ, but have a drink of water as well. Staying hydrated means better moods, higher concentration levels, and better cognition, and the best time to start is first thing in the morning.
Okay, this one has to be done the day before, but should only take a few minutes. Breakfast (and lunch, if you need to pack it in advance!) can be an important energy boost for the rest of your day. On the spur of the moment, it’s easy to grab something unhealthy, or skip breakfast altogether. When you’ve planned a healthy breakfast in advance, it’s that much easier to eat right and start your day with the energy you need.
When you see the word ‘exercise,’ you might instinctively conjure up the idea of a strenuous workout. First thing in the morning, that might not sound so appealing. Don’t worry–you don’t need a treadmill. Just a few minutes of exercise can be enough to get you energized and alert. Take a quick walk around the block, or just do a few stretches or squats in your bedroom, and get your blood pumping.
In today’s world, there are more and more opportunities for personal development, whether they be online or in person. Make it a habit to spend a few minutes every morning looking for opportunities that can help you get closer to your long-term goals. Depending on what you’re looking for, that may involve Googling online degrees or networking opportunities near you. Maybe it means asking your boss if there are any potential opportunities for you to practice your graphic design skills on a project, or extra tickets to upcoming hr technology conferences that you might be able to attend. If you make personal progression a part of your morning every day, you won’t lose sight of your goals, and you’ll discover opportunities to improve yourself that you might never have found (or even considered!) otherwise.
If there are a few small tasks that you need to do–texts or emails to send, or a lightbulb to change–do them as soon as you wake up. As small as the task is, getting something accomplished will start you off right and give you a desire to keep achieving.
Alternately, if you have a big task that’s been looming over your head, use your morning to dive right in and break off a chunk of it. Even if you don’t finish, tackling something head on (especially something necessary that you’ve been avoiding) can give you a sense of satisfaction to keep you motivated for the rest of the day. It will also make the rest of your day easier when you start with the hardest task!