How you start your day is how you start your life” – Drew Canole
Some of the most successful people have one thing in common: they have a strong morning routine. I know you have probably heard it a million times, but I’m going to tell it to you again: how you spend your early morning hours set the tone for your entire day. Think about it: on days that you hit your snooze button, skip breakfast, and rush to work, do you feel like you are playing catch up the rest of the day? Do you enjoy feeling disorganized and overwhelmed? Of course not! The truth is that productivity and good morning routines are connected.
A morning routine is all about creating and committing to good habits. In order to live life to the fullest, you have to work smarter, not harder. As mothers, we have so much going on. Between our children, our homes, our careers, and our relationships, we probably all find ourselves wishing there was more time in the day. If we can boost our productivity with a strong morning routine, we will be able to get our work done quicker so that we get more hours back in our day to spend with our families, friends, and ourselves.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. — John C. Maxwell
The morning is the time when you are most rested and fresh. Your productivity levels, focus, and will-power get drained as the day goes on. Here are a few things you should consider including in your morning routine.
1. Go to Bed Early
Why am I talking about sleeping in a discussion about morning routines? It is simple. Starting your day off right actually begins the night before. If you don’t get the rest that your body requires, the following day will suffer. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. How much are you getting?
Even an extra 15 minutes of sleep will help improve your productivity the next day. If you are used to hitting the sack at midnight or later, you may have to take baby steps in order to work your way up, but you can do it. Try going to bed a little earlier each night.
2. Get Up Early
Time is precious. For most people, the early morning hours are the only hours of the day we have complete control over. Once the kids get up or we get to the office, the demands of everyone else start to creep into our day.
Try to wake up an hour or so before you actually have to. You will love this quiet time that is for you (and only you). It may be hard at first, but if you commit to it…I guarantee you will never turn back.
3. Start Your Day with Water and a Healthy Breakfast
If you have time for nothing else in the morning, at least eat a healthy breakfast with a glass of water. This is the one item in your morning routine that you cannot skip. A healthy diet and hydration are key for your body to perform at its best.
If you miss breakfast, your productivity will be down all day. A recent study done in the UK found that skipping breakfast is the equivalent of cutting out 82 minutes of productive work that day. Wow! Can you imagine what you could do with an extra 82 minutes a day?
Water fires up your metabolism while it hydrates you. You have been sleeping all night, and you would be surprised at how dehydrated you actually are in the morning. Drinking a glass of water is quick, and it will help flush out toxins from your body.
4. Plan Out Your Day
If you don’t have a plan for your day, you absolutely will not be as efficient as you could be. Creating a daily to-do list is one of the most important time management tools you should carry on your productivity tool belt.
Remember a time (or many) when instead of doing something productive, you surfed the internet or vegged out in front of the TV because you weren’t sure what you should work on? If you had a prioritized list of things you should have been doing, you likely wouldn’t have wasted all that time. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever peruse Facebook or watch your favorite show on TV. What I’m saying is that if you plan out your days and work efficiently you will have time for the things you enjoy doing.
Your to-do list can be simple or detailed. As long as you have a list of tasks prioritized in the order they must get done, you will be miles ahead in your daily game.
Your mental stamina (and thus your productivity) depend on your physical energy. Your physical energy depends on how fine-tuned your body is. If you wait past the morning hours to exercise, it can easily fall off of your list of priorities. Something else will jump up or your energy levels will be down later on. Your willpower is highest in the morning!
If you can convince yourself to jump on that treadmill or engage in a quick yoga session, you’ll benefit from increased energy that will last all day long. And if you are more energetic, we all know you will be more productive.
Believe it or not, the success of each day begins with how you start it. You can choose to make the most out of each day by starting with a morning routine. Incorporating even one or two of these habits will make a big difference. Give it a try and let me know if it makes a difference in your life!