8 Steps to Having Wildly Productive Mornings
The average adult will have roughly 25,000 mornings in his or her life. That is twenty-five thousand opportunities. The biggest aspect to productivity is mentality.
How you view yourself, and how you view the things you want to accomplish, in addition to how you view the time you have to accomplish them.
Alexander Hamilton, whose face is imprinted on the $10 bill, was known for injecting an extreme sense of urgency into his every-day life. The musical ‘Hamilton’ put this into great perspective with the line: “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”
This line has special significance to me (as a writer) because, with only twenty-five thousand mornings, I have to write like I’m running out of time. To accomplish the things I want to accomplish, I inject a sense of urgency and import into daily, simple tasks.
If you want to make the most out of morning you have, you’re going to want to find ways to be productive.
And I know, mornings can be tough. Sometimes it’s just hard to wake up. Sometimes, you can be tired for hours before you wake up. Sometimes, that cup of morning coffee just doesn’t do the trick.
And that’s okay. But if you want to set yourself up for general success, you might consider implementing the following tips.
#1 Prepare Your Mornings at Night
I, for one, operate fantastically with a to-do list. Every Sunday night, I write down the work I have to accomplish during the week. And every Friday night, I write down the work I have to accomplish during the weekend.
If I wanted to take that one step further, I could spend just ten minutes every night before bed, organizing my thoughts and jotting down a to-do list. This could be for the morning, this could be for the day, or it could be more long-term.
But by preparing yourself at night, you save a lot of time in the morning. That means once you roll out of bed, you don’t have to waste time getting your thoughts organized and figuring out what needs to be done and in what order.
You can just get started.
#2 Get Away From That Phone
I don’t think there has ever been a distraction as great as the iPhone. I know, because I am subject to it. Having my phone close on-hand while I’m working is never a good thing.
Inevitably, I will eventually take my fingers away from my keyboard, pick up my phone, and slide down the rabbit hole that is social media. There are a few ways around this.
You could just turn it off or put it on airplane mode, and then turn it face-down on your desk. This is a direct challenge to your willpower, but, as long as it’s off, you won’t be receiving notifications – there goes the urge to pick up.
Or, you could leave your phone in a whole different room. Soon, you’ll find yourself forgetting about it completely. Oh, the freedom.
#3 Work Smarter, Not Harder
I know that my mind goes through different stages throughout the day – this makes me more open to performing certain tasks at certain times.
If you know yourself, don’t force yourself to do a certain task at a time that you know you would be better suited doing something else.
If you’re particularly creative in the evenings, write in the evenings. If you’re in the workout-mindset in the mornings, work out in the mornings. Play to your strengths. Be efficient.
#4 Keep the Temperature Down
If you’ve ever tried to do work in a very warm room, especially early in the morning, you might have noticed that you feel groggy and sluggish. This happens when the temperature is high.
If you work in a cool room, or maybe open a window or turn on a fan, you’ll be much sharper, and much less likely to feel sluggish and slow. And, if you’re really cold, just hold a mug of tea.
#5 Posture, Posture, Posture
Oxygen, as we all know, is very important to life. More than just granting us blessed breath, oxygen allows our brains to function well. If we don’t get enough oxygen, our minds will be working slower.
If you sit hunched over a computer, the hunch limits the amount of oxygen you’re getting. Instead, try to move around every so often, or try working standing up.
If you really must sit, keep your back straight. This will aid your concentration.
Human beings crave routine. Once we get set in a routine, our days work much more smoothly.
If you get a strong morning routine going, your odds of having a productive morning will soar. My morning routine, for example, involves brushing my teeth, drinking water, and a short workout before my shower. After that, I know I’m ready to go.
#7 Eat, or Don’t
Everyone functions differently. For many people, myself included, I need to start my morning on a big, filling breakfast. The time that goes into this is well worth it.
For others, intermittent fasting is a good option. It may not work for you, but it might be worth it to try out – you might find that skipping breakfast saves you so much time that your productivity blows through the roof of the possible.
#8 Don’t Open Your Email
This does not go solely for email. In general, do your best to stay away from social media for the first few hours of your morning.
Without looking at emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or the texts you may or may not have received in the night, you are able to maintain focus.
Once you’re going, you might want to check your phone to make sure nothing urgent happened, but still try to stay away from email until the morning is nearing its close.
I know, for many people this is not doable. But, if possible, it might increase your focus.
Productivity is just a few steps away; that means it is fully within your grasp. You have twenty-five thousand opportunities.
What are you going to do with them?
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.