Waking up to a new day isn’t always the delightful experience it should be, is it? When we only get 25,000 mornings, each one should be jam-packed with energy, a time when anything is possible. Put down the game on your phone and close that cat video, it’s time to start waking up better.
1. Plan your morning activities ahead of time
Start your mornings right by doing some things ahead of time, like choosing tomorrow’s outfit and packing your work bag. You’ll have less to do in the morning and avoid the frantic morning rush everyone seems to have.
Second and more importantly, list down what you need to do tomorrow. Doing so lets your brain think through your todo list while you’re asleep, helping you execute the tasks later on.
2. Wake up earlier if possible
Here’s a challenge: try waking up at the break of dawn. Too easy? How about an hour before that?
The wee hours are actually an excellent time to get things done. There are fewer things to distract you and you’ll also enjoy the sun coming up by your window. Waking up earlier also means you leave for work earlier, avoiding a stressful commute.
3. Start the day positively
It’s always great to start a day off on a positive note. Here are some things you can do to get the right mood for the day:
- Say something positive to yourself in front of the mirror. There’s something about saying it aloud that makes the thought stick with you for the rest of the day.
- Splash some cool water on your face. It’s a quick way to get that grogginess out of you, and it’s really refreshing.
- Drink a glass of water. You’re dehydrated after a long night’s rest and water will unlock some of the energy you need for your other tasks.
- Tune in to some good music to set the mood. It’s also best to avoid any “talk” media like talk radio, news and TV shows since these often distract more than help.
- Do some quick exercises to get the blood pumping. A short walk under the sun is great for anyone!
- Write down some morning thoughts. It can be things you’re thankful for, new ideas that came to you during the night or just something positive to get you going.
4. Build a morning habit
Having a daily habit makes it easier to get your morning going. By doing the same things each day, you’re actually “warming up” for your other more important activities. Get your day’s momentum going by doing simple and easy chores first like making your bed, fixing a light breakfast and taking a shower.
While you might be tempted to slack off during the weekend, stick to your morning rituals even on your days off. It’ll be harder to stick to it on Monday is you don’t.
5. Do important projects in the morning.
Mornings are the best time to do creative work. Your brain’s well rested and ready for anything. That’s why I use mornings to work on my own personal projects and you should too. Working on a passion project at this time will invigorate you for your other tasks for the day.
Your willpower is also highest in the morning so this is a great time to “eat the frog” as Mark Twain said. Do your big important tasks in the morning and the rest of the work day gets easier to do.
6. Avoid tech before sleeping and after waking
The light from screens actually will keep you up at night so it’s best to stay away from technology when you’re about to go to bed. Yes, that includes anything with a screen like TVs and smartwatches. It’s actually a good thing you’ve packed your work bag earlier so the laptop’s already out of reach. As for the phone, keep it in another room.
In the morning, you can start using your devices again but limit it to offline work. Don’t check email or your notifications so that it’s you who decides how your day will go, not some random email.
7. Write down today’s focus
Probably the most important tip I can give is to put your main task of the day in writing. Why? Writing makes it akin to a contract, something you’ll need to do. This also helps you focus more easily since you’ll have your main todo right in front of you at all times.
Whether you’re a morning person or not, I hope these tips have made you at least think about how you can make your mornings better. After all, it’s the start of the day and when you start something on the right foot, nothing can go wrong.