Groggy and grouchy, you drag yourself out of bed to shut off your 6 AM alarm. You might slip back under the covers for another couple minutes to get some shut-eye or you might start scrolling through Instagram. Twenty minutes have passed and now you’re going through the motions of your morning routine, still sluggish and not in the least bit ready to have a productive day. Not a good start to the day.
It’s clear our mornings shape what the rest of our day is going to look like. Here are some things to do before you go to work that will improve your productivity throughout the day.
1. Make your Bed
The book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life explains that this small action can have a major impact on your day-to-day. The author, a retired Navy SEAL, says “if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.”
2. Put Your Phone Away
Want to have an UN-productive day? Browse through Facebook and Instagram all morning and then go to work.
Looking at other people’s posts first thing in the morning is going to put you in the wrong headspace. You’ve got to turn your attention to yourself and what you need to get done. To have a productive day, you’ve got to make the most of your time, especially in the first few hours of your day.
Put your phone by your bag or by your front door. If you rely on it to check the time, make sure you have an alarm set for when you’ve got to head out. Otherwise, the phone stays out of your hand and out of your head.
3. Drink a glass of water
Think about it: you’ve just spent the last 8 hours unconscious. There’s a good chance you’re a little dehydrated. Getting re-hydrated as soon as you wake up will help improve your alertness and jumpstart your metabolism.
Just down some H2O and you’re good to go!
If it’s part of Oprah’s daily morning routine, it should be part of yours too, right?
Meditation has been known to reduce stress and improve focus. It’s no surprise that bad-asses like Oprah do it every morning before they start their day.
If you’re new to meditating, try it for 5-10 minutes- focusing on your breathing and being conscious of your thoughts. You can also download an app like Insight Timer or Calm that have a variety of short, guided morning meditations for you to choose from.
5. Picture how you want to feel at the end of the day
Take some time in your morning and visualize how you want your day to go. Imagine yourself succeeding in each thing you do during the day and focus on how you will feel after accomplishing each task.
Doing this makes the feeling of being productive, or the feeling of accomplishment, a reward. It will motivate you to want to be more productive and prepare you for a day well spent.
6. Write out your to-do list and schedule
Along with focusing on the feelings, you’ve got to make a plan for your productive day. In a previous Lavender Life post, I shared a couple hacks for improving your to-do lists and schedule. It’s important to be detailed and concise, prioritizing the most important and most do-able tasks and making note of the tasks that you may not be able to accomplish today. Set your expectations as well as your boundaries for the amount of work you hope to complete.
7. Make a Gratitude List
PSST… This is a staple in Oprah’s morning routine, too.
Gratitude lists are great for your emotional wellness as well as your productivity. Happier Human compiled the results from 40 research studies on the topic of gratitude and found that practicing gratitude on a daily basis improved participants’ job performance and health.
Creating a list of things you are grateful for will put you in a positive mindset that will help you have a more productive day. Happier = more productive (it’s science)
8. Set out your workout clothes
If you’re someone who wants to work out but never seems to find the time (or motivation) to do it, this one’s for you.
Set your gym clothes somewhere you’ll see them once you get off work.
Maybe on your bed or by your door.
This eliminates any barrier between you and your opportunity to exercise because now you won’t have to take time to find your clothes and get ready. You’ll be able to go straight working to working out without getting distracted or unmotivated.
9. Complete one chore that takes less than 2 minutes
Along the same lines of making your bed, completing a task in the morning will set you up for success later in the day. Plus getting it done now means it’s one less thing you have to do later.
And I’m not saying you have to devote an hour of your morning routine to cleaning your apartment. One simple, quick chore that takes two minutes or less to complete is all you need.
Here are a few suggestions of things you can complete real quick in the morning that will make you feel accomplished and productive:
- Unload the dishwasher
- Clear off the table
- Scrub the sink
Do you have any suggestions for things to do during your morning routine to help you have a very productive day? Comment below.