This week we share a guest post by best-selling author and Life Coach Adam Rockman. Enjoy :-)
Does your morning routine start with dragging your feet like a zombie to the kitchen...
Forcing a cup of bitter coffee down your throat to feel remotely like a functional human being? Or do you not even have the willpower to get out of bed most mornings?
If you hate waking up early, you should seriously reexamine your morning routine. This will set up your attitude, mood and mindset for the rest of your day.
There are many excellent morning routine activities you can try. Many life coaches suggest you do something you enjoy. Such as practicing guitar, painting a picture, doing some yoga poses, or listening to a specific song that you can associate with high energy and conquering the day.
These are all great ideas to try. They help you associate positive feelings with waking up in the morning. This is important if you usually would rather sleep in than start your day. However, enjoying the morning doesn’t necessarily mean you will be productive all day.
The following 4 tips will help you create a morning routine that gets you focused on producing results immediately.
1. Wake up at consistent times each morning.
Which hour do you consider too early to wake up? 5 am? 9 am? The truth is - there is no such thing as too early. There is only too early for you. If you’ve built the habit of sleeping in until noon, then waking up at 9 or 10 may seem way too early. But that’s only because you are forcing yourself to interrupt your usual habits.
You can be productive throughout the day as long as you sleep and wake up at consistent times. This lets your body adjust to a specific circadian rhythm. It helps you figure out exactly which hours of the day you will be most productive. For some people it’s the morning. For others it’s the evening.
By having a regular sleep and wake up time, your body will naturally wake up when you are ready to be productive. You won’t need to force yourself out of bed in the morning and maintain a caffeine addiction to get anything done.
2. Plan your morning out the previous night.
One reason people fail to build effective morning routines is that they wake up without any plans or goals. They might have read an interesting article about morning routines and decided to start their day with exercise, meditation, and singing a rock ballad. These activities can be very relaxing. But that good feeling will quickly melt away as they give in to distractions.
Instead, have your day already prepared. Start with your morning routine, followed by specific tasks you fully intend to work on. Try to write them down and keep them next to your bed as a reminder in the morning. Then take the plan with you to your work station.
There are two important benefits to this:
By focusing on what you really care about accomplishing today, you will be less likely to waste time on distractions. If you are often distracted, you might end the day stressed out about all the tasks you left unfinished. This stress can impact the quality of your sleep.
Also, if you start your day debating about what goals to focus on, it drains your energy. This is called decision fatigue. The less decisions you need to make in the morning, the faster you can start focusing on the goals you have planned. And consequently, you will have more energy to complete these tasks because you didn’t waste an hour debating on which goal should have priority.
You can apply this concept to anything you need to do the next day. In the evening, you can prepare the food, clothing, books, or any other essential items you will need the next day so you don’t need to waste time or energy making decisions about them in the morning.
Also avoid thinking, “That sounds like too much work. I’ll just do whatever I feel like tomorrow.” That is just a trap of the lazy mind trying desperately to hold onto unproductive habits.
3. Use a morning routine that helps you focus.
Your morning routine should help you remind yourself of both your daily and long term goals. This helps you avoid distractions and focus on what is important to you.
Here is an example:
- Drink water
- 5 minutes stretching or yoga
- Review long term goals
- Look at your to-do list prepared the night before and get started as soon as possible!
Notice how this routine gets you moving your body with some stretching, encourages relaxing your mind with some meditation, followed by returning focus back to your real priorities.
Though basic, this routine is effective at cultivating focus. Overtime, it will become habit to start your day focused on your goals. Feel free to add more activities as you wish.
4. Exercise and drink water.
According to this study from Medical Daily, 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration.
Water is necessary for all the functions of your cells and brain. Dehydration can lead to headaches and poor concentration. It’s a signal that your body is in desperate need of water. By drinking water in the morning, you will be capable of concentrating on your goals throughout the day.
A little exercise also helps your body prepare for taking action. It wakes up your mind and body. Instead of feeling lethargic and reluctant to move, you are ready to go do exactly what you need to do.
It doesn’t even need to be an hour long training session at the gym. You could jog for a few minutes, do a 10 minute ride on a stationary bike, or practice some shadow boxing. It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, as long as you spend at least a few minutes moving around.
Your mornings are only as productive as you make them. The first step is realizing how much you could actually improve your morning routine. Commit to a new morning routine for at least a week and see if you notice any improvements in your productivity.
What morning routines do you use to increase your productivity? Share with the community below!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.