Ever have one of those mornings where nothing goes right and makes the rest of your day miserable? Does that happen more often than not? The problem may lie in your morning routine; in some cases, lack thereof.
The solution to a calmer morning and more productive day may rely on five easy steps:
- Get your clothes ready before bed
- Pack your lunch and/or get breakfast set up, i.e. setting the timer on your coffee maker, etc…
- Gather all your work related items including laptop, files and any work your brought home to finish
- My personal favorite- put your keys in a place you’ll find them easily in the morning
Although these seem like trivial tasks, once you add up the minutes (specially looking for the keys), you may be surprised on how much time and stress you’ll save yourself with just a little advanced preparation.
2. Get Plenty of Rest and Wake Earlier
Yes, I know….easier said than done. However, as the Lifehacker post Be More Productive by Waking Up Early suggests, “A recent survey found that most morning people were more active and goal oriented, felt more in charge, and more proactive.” The article goes on to give some tips on becoming a better Early Riser, including not hitting the snooze and falling asleep with the curtains or blinds slightly open, that way your body can get naturally accustomed to waking up to sunlight.
3. Add an Exercise Routine to your Morning
It’s no secret that morning exercises help not only get the body moving but also the mind. With all those extra minutes you saved by planning above, why not do some morning stretches, grab your coffee and take a brisk walk around the block, or if you’re really motivated, an early swim! Here are a few more ideas to get you started: Best Morning Exercise Routine
4. Have a Healthy Breakfast
A cup of coffee and something out of the office vending machine does not count! While convenient, starting your day with preservatives and large quantities of sugar will result in a mid morning crash that will ultimately set you back. A breakfast high in protein with minimal sugar will give you the fuel you need to tackle whatever the day brings without the subsequent crash. Not into a big breakfast? That’s ok….how about a some greek yogurt with fresh berries? Make some oatmeal to go and have it during your commute to the office. Even some granola cereal will give you the boost you need to start the day off on the right foot.
5. Create a To Do List
In our crazy, stress-filled days with so much to do and so little time to do it, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with responsibilities. Not enough hours in the day to get it all done and the feeling that we got nothing accomplished is common for many.
One easy way to manage your tasks and gain a sense of accomplishment is to start the day by creating a To Do List. Once you’ve identified your tasks for the day, prioritize them not only by importance but also by convenience. For example, group errands in a general area together. That way, you don’t spend needless time driving back and forth. With a set list of objectives not only will you feel more focused but who doesn’t love the excitement of checking off a list of completed goals!
How you start your day ultimately sets the tone for how the rest of your day will follow. With so much resting on your morning routine, why not take a few minutes and take stock? You may discover that with just a few minor changes, your days will go from harried and frazzled to calm and focused in no time.