Maybe you jump out of bed each morning like the energizer bunny. Or maybe you think mornings are just plain evil. They say that “to win the morning is to win the day”, so if you want to be productive throughout the day, it has to start with a productive morning. Here are 5 ways to be more productive in the morning (even if you’re not a morning person.)
Wake up earlier- just by 15 minutes.
This might be the most cliche productivity advice but stick with me for a minute. It’s not about waking up at 4:30 in the morning (although that does work well for some people). It’s about giving yourself a little extra time at the start of your day to set yourself up for success.
If you’re a night owl, waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t going to help you. It’s probably just going to frustrate you and make you less productive. However, waking up just 15 minutes earlier than usual gives you an advantage over your day. It’s also be a much more doable change.
Eliminate decision making in the mornings.
Mornings are hard. Don’t make them harder than they have to be. If you’re looking for a way to make your mornings more enjoyable and less stressful, get rid of as much decision making as you can.
You know that feeling – lying in bed thinking “Ugh, I have to pick out what to wear today.” and “Oh man, what am I gonna take for lunch?”. It makes it so much harder to actually get out of bed and get moving.
Try to eliminate those decisions by planning them the night before, or even earlier in the week! I pick out of all my outfits and plan my meals on Saturdays for the next week. This saves me tons of time about thinking about decisions in the morning. It helps me get out of bed and let myself run on autopilot for a bit.
Just get moving.
Everyone says “work out” in the mornings, but that’s probably not the best advice. It just doesn’t work for everybody, and it’s also not always an option. While there’s definitely merit to that advice, it’s not mandatory. The principle is that you should get moving in the mornings, and that’s something you can do in a variety of ways.
You can do yoga, walk the dog, do a few sit-ups, go for a ten-minute run… whatever you want to do, even for just a few minutes! There are so many options. Moving around definitely helps get your day started, but it doesn’t have to be an hour long work out at your gym.
Write your to-do list.
If you start the day in charge, you’ll find that you’re more likely to finish the day in charge. If you start with a plan, you’re less likely to let anything interfere with your most important tasks.
But the only way you can prevent those interruptions and distractions is to know what your most important tasks are! Spend a few minutes in the morning thinking about (and writing down!) what you’re going to focus on for the day. For bonus points : Visualize yourself actually doing those things, and they’ll be even more likely to happen.
Pause and reflect for a few minutes.
You might think the word “meditation” sounds too new-agey and not something you’re into. I didn’t think I was into it either. But then I tried it. I found that spending a few minutes in the morning to pause and focus actually helped me gain clarity throughout my entire day.
You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just spend a few minutes focusing on your breath, or “watching” what you think about. You might be surprised by just how busy your brain is.
Having a busy morning and tempted to skip? Experts say that those are the days you should spend even MORE time meditating. Those are the days you’ll need it the most.
By waking up earlier, removing willpower and decision making from your morning, and focusing on your day, you’ll propel yourself into the best day possible. And you can do this every day!
So now that you know how to be more productive in the morning, make sure to use that extra time to achieve your biggest goals. Make sure that you’re making the most of your time all throughout the day and not just in the morning.
Brittany Joiner is the founder of Project 1440, a resource that helps people be more productive so they can reach their goals and make every minute count for something great.