Time and energy are precious commodities, and the internet is filled with productivity hacks to maximize what you can do with your limited resources. But did you know that what you do first thing in the morning can set the stage for your entire day?
Here are a few suggestions to maximize your morning routine.
Prepare the Night Before
If you’re like most people, mornings are a bit hectic. Remove as much stress and chaos as possible by getting everything ready the night before. Make breakfasts and lunches, set the timer on the coffeepot, put your briefcase by the door, and double-check that your kids and spouse have everything they need.
Spend Some Quiet Time
Whether you meditate or spend 15 minutes sipping coffee, it’s important to have some quiet time each morning. It will help you feel calmer and more proactive about facing your day. Focus on the idea that you control your destiny, and you have the choice to make the day a great one.
Hydrate and Eat Protein
A lot of people aren’t “breakfast people,” but your body desperately needs to replenish after seven or more hours of fasting. Eating and hydrating signals your brain that it’s time to start the day. Drink a glass of water and eat something with protein in it. If you don’t like traditional breakfast foods, a protein shake, or even a handful of nuts can get your body and brain going.
Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your mood and increase your productivity for the entire day. If you’re not a morning person, it has the added benefit of shaking off the grogginess and helping you more fully awaken.
Create a To-Do List, But Skip the Email
Mentally review your priority list for the day and make an action plan. Fight the urge to make it too long or detailed, though, or you’re likely to get stuck in the weeds before your day even begins. Likewise, your email can wait until you get to the office. Reading it first thing in the morning is a sure recipe for putting you in a reactive rather than proactive mood.
Whether you’re a morning person or not, creating a morning routine and sticking to it every day can dramatically boost both your outlook and your productivity. Don’t give up if it seems tough at first. Like anything else in life, you will get better at it the more you practice.