You know that your habits are the foundation of your success. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when they’re unproductive.
We often form some behaviors unconsciously, and even if they are seemingly unimportant and may take less than 5 minutes from our day, they ruin our focus and keep us from managing our time effectively and getting things done quickly.
The consequences are even worse when we start our day with such habits, though. Because how we begin the day defines how it will go, and – ultimately – how it will end.
So instead of starting it with stress, being in a hurry, and bad mood, let’s kickstart each morning and fill it with productive activities. Before that, however, we should get rid of our bad morning habits. Here are some of them and what to do about each:
1. Not waking up with the first alarm.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll sleep in, but still, getting up with the second or third alarm is a surefire way to start the day on the wrong foot. And from there on, even the most organized daily schedule can be ruined.
To make sure you leave bed with the very first alarm, follow some of these tips:
- go to bed with the decision not to hit the snooze button in the morning;
- put the alarm away from your bed. Getting up to go get it makes it easier not to go back there again, and to activate your brain and body;
- know what you’ll do first thing in the morning – if you have no idea what you need to do when you wake up, it’s easier to just skip that part and sleep in. But a list of actions to take once you open your eyes helps you have a reason to get up;
- immediately do something – when you hear the first alarm, wake up and do something so that you don’t close your eyes again. Be it making your bed, going to the bathroom, stretching, or else. It builds momentum and after that, you easily move onto the next thing you’re supposed to do each morning.
2. Not optimizing your environment.
Environment matters a lot. So if you want to have a productive morning every day, you’ll need to change some things in your surroundings.
For instance, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or a pile of clothes in your bedroom. Beginning the day with this view will put you in a bad mood, and that affects your attitude and actions for the whole day.
Instead, finish such quick tasks the night before. Even declutter your desk and the whole room, so that you can see order first thing in the morning and thus have peace of mind.
3. Not preparing in the evening.
The preparation for a productive morning starts the night before.
That’s when you plan out the next day, get ready anything you’ll need in the morning to save yourself time (like your clothes, meal, etc.) and prepare mentally to welcome the next day and get even closer to your goals.
Don’t underestimate your bedtime routine too. It’s a wind-down period. So instead of spending too much time online, eating or drinking prior to bed, engaging your mind, getting emotional, or else, turn that into the most relaxing and peaceful time of the day. Do things like taking a bath, writing your to-do list for tomorrow, reading a good book, meditating, or else that will let you calm down.
That’s closely related to how well you’ll sleep, and whether or not you’ll wake up energized and positive in the morning.
4. Not having a morning routine.
A morning ritual can bring you contentment, peace, clarity and focus, and keep you healthy, productive and successful in the long run.
It’s the ultimate solution to jumpstarting your day and making the most of the early hours. Decide what habits you’ll include, and stick to it every time.
Some might not work that well for you, so you can easily replace them with more effective practices.
Do anything from journaling and having a workout, to drinking a glass of water, reading something inspirational and saying positive affirmations out loud to get motivated and stay focused on your goals.
Soon you’ll do all these on autopilot. And don’t consider it a hassle, as each such habit can take no more than 5 minutes.
5. You try to get a lot done.
You might think that keeping yourself busy in the morning brings results, but in reality, multitasking is an enemy of productivity.
Why is that?
Mostly because you’re in a rush and that rarely ends well. Also, when working on more than one thing at a time, you can’t really focus on anything and pay your whole attention to it, which means you don’t do a good job.
You’re thinking about many others things too, feel pressure and aren’t mindful.
Don’t do this. It leads to a stressful and anxious start of the day.
Wake up earlier if you have to just so you can have enough time to get things done, but to work on one at a time.
This way you can be present, concentrate, and finish quickly. In the end, you feel accomplished and don’t get overwhelmed.
6. Your attitude is negative.
If you approach something with a negative mind, you can’t enjoy it and it becomes something you prefer to avoid.
Such is the case with people who claim to hate mornings, to dread weekdays because they need to wake up early to go to work, or to keep saying they’re not morning people.
But you can change that. Even if anything else in your life remains the same, you can think positively about mornings, because they are actually a great thing.
For that to happen, don’t wake up just to go to work. Do it to enjoy the early hours of the day, when you can do some creative work without being disturbed when you can clear your mind, drink your coffee in peace and appreciate the opportunities of the new day.
Accepting each new morning as a gift is a fantastic way to begin the day. Believe it or not, it will make getting up early easier too.
Now that you’re aware of all that, what can you do today to make your mornings more productive?
Featured image copyright: Lifehacker