Have you experienced fleeting moments of inspiration but aren’t sure how to hold onto them? Do you feel like the days are going by and you aren’t achieving what you want to? Well, it may well be down to a poor morning routine. Getting off to a good start to the day could hold the key to stopping procrastination, improving your cognitive abilities and ultimately achieving what you want to every day.
These top tips to improving your productivity aren’t big secrets which will turn your mornings upside down, but rather a few small changes you can make to help your days run smoothly. Tackle your tasks head-on and find out how you can make your mornings as productive as possible.
1• Prepare the Night Before
One key step to making your day as productive as possible is by planning it out the day before. So, say for example that you want to have a super productive day tomorrow and are reading up on how it’s done. Well, if you start by planning it today then you are off to a great start!
Arrange a schedule and plan out what you want to achieve; putting your most important task at the top of the list (you’ll find out why in the next step!) and jotting down your goals for the day. Preparing breakfast or having what you need for the following day is also a great time saver and leaves you going to bed feeling prepared, as is making sure you have a clean and tidy workspace. Getting an early night is a must and making sure you get a good night’s sleep ensures the following day isn’t spent trying to stay awake! Check out our Guide to Getting a Good Nights Sleep to see how you can prepare your evening to ensure you have a smooth wake up routine.
2 • Wake Up Ready to Go
If you are a night owl, you will likely have encountered the morning blues more often than not. As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm” but for those of us who aren’t up bright and early at 6am every morning, simply waking up starts our day off with a groan and unwillingness to leave the comfort of our beds. However, you don’t need to wake up in the wee hours of the morning in order to be productive. According to a study into circadian rhythms by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, it’s actually having the same sleep routine which helps productivity rather than the time that you go to sleep and wake up, so ensure that you are sticking to a certain routine and not lying in too much at the weekends (no matter how tempting it may be!).
3 • Exercise and Eat Breakfast
One of the best ways to wake yourself up and get your day started is by moving. Wake your body up with some morning exercises, whether it’s an early morning run or just a few laps up and down the stairs. According to Make Your Body Work, there are many benefits to exercising in the morning, including boosting your metabolism, keeping you fit and healthy, improving mental energy and cognition (twice as effectively as caffeine!) and helping you get better sleep.
As well as getting active in the morning, eating breakfast is essential to having a highly productive day. You have probably heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that is certainly true when it comes to boosting productivity. The Food Research and Action Centre conducted a study on medical students and the impact that breakfast had on learning. They found that not eating breakfast was significantly related to poor concentration and fatigue, and resulted in reduced attention during class.
4 • Stay Hydrated
The majority of people don’t drink enough water in general, and if you are aiming for a productive day then drinking water when you wake up is a must. Start your day hydrated and keep drinking water throughout the day and not only will you feel and look healthier, but you are likely to see great improvements in your cognitive abilities too. According to the Natural Hydration Council, hydration can greatly improve work performance and alertness, and reduce fatigue and tiredness. The benefits of drinking water are widely recognised, and if you feel like you want a bit of extra flavour in your morning drink, you can always add a slice of lemon too. Lemon water has known benefits such as helping your immune system to fight off disease and maintaining the body’s pH balance.
5 • Tackle Your Biggest Task First
Prioritising is a key aspect of getting the things you need to do, done. The “eat the frog” philosophy is a well-known way to help tackle procrastination and ensure that your day always begins productively. According to Brian Tracy, writer of the book “Eat That Frog!”, “the key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity…is by tackling your major task first thing each morning”. By taking on your most difficult or time-consuming task first, not only will the rest of your day seem easier in comparison, but you can be sure that you have at least accomplished your most arduous task that day rather than putting it off and having the stress of it on your shoulders.
Hopefully, you now know how to make the most of your mornings and use them to keep you motivated and productive throughout the day. Check out our courses to kick-start your productivity some more!