3 Research-Backed Ways to Make Your Morning More Productive
Despite its everyday occurrence, the sound of an alarm clock disrupting a sound sleep is something many people dread. As such, mornings are often met with a range from mild annoyance to full irritation. Yet, mornings are actually when you are at your most productive and finding a morning routine that starts your day off right to maximizes that productivity is a great strategy in leading a more time-efficient and healthy life.
According to research, the first three hours of your day are going to be the most focused. If you waste these three hours, the remainder of the day is going to also suffer, as you may find yourself catching up during a time when your brain is just not as capable as it was before lunch. So, how do you ensure that you make the most of those first three hours of the day? Follow these three simple tips to establish a morning routine that will get you moving in the right direction straight away:
1. Get a good night's sleep (seriously, though)
As obvious as it may sound, most tend to forget that a good morning starts the night before. According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, sleep is vital to brain function, emotional well-being, and overall health. And although the amount of sleep you need is somewhat individual, 7-8 hours remains the recommended amount for most people. Ways to get a good night's sleep include going to sleep at the same time, limiting electronic use just before bedtime, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption before bed (or all liquids for that matter), and practicing ways to clear your mind.
2. Wake up at the same time each morning (and preferably early)
Like going to bed at the same time, establishing a standard time to get up helps your body and mind develop a routine that allows you the time to practice the next tips below. Of course, this only works if you get up early enough to where you are not rushing out the door at the last minute while eating a breakfast bar. Determine how much time you need in the morning to get ready and add 15-20 minutes and do not hit snooze. The extra time provides a cushion that will keep you peaceful and centered.
3. Be positive and mindful (right when you wake up)
Think of the morning as setting the stage for the rest of your day. Starting off with something positive and mindful places you on a pathway to engage with your tasks with more enthusiasm and energy. Focus on yourself and enjoy your surroundings. Read an inspirational book or listen to your favorite music or podcast. Regardless of what you choose, take the first 15 minutes of the day to put yourself in a positive and ultimately good mood.
Ultimately, how we approach the morning is as individual as we are. However, by just following these 3 simple and effective recommendations, most of us can capitalize on our mornings and develop a routine that will make us the best we can be at work or at home. Now, it's time to act.