There are two types of people in the world, morning people, and the rest of us.
For most of the population, mornings are pretty difficult. We tend to want to hit snooze, throw the blankets over our heads, and pretend the world doesn’t exist. As tempting as it is, we have to keep in mind that the start of our day can set the course for how the entire day will go. If we wake up late, we spend our whole day, seemingly, playing catch up. This is hard on the body and the mind, which can also decrease your productivity during your work day.
It takes quite a bit of mental strength to get up in the morning when we would much rather be laying in our comfortable bed getting a few more hours of sleep, but, if we can get into some good habits, it will set our course for the day and lead us to ultimately be more productive.
Here are a few steps to take in order to build that habit and begin more productively:
1) Wake up early.
Yes. Early. This doesn’t have to be two hours early or even one hour early. The point here is to get into the habit of waking up before your normal alarm setting to begin your routine for the day.
Resist hitting the snooze button. I know those extra minutes may seem like heaven, but, ultimately, they will work against us. There are quite a few apps on the market that track your sleep cycles and gently wake you at the opportune time, given your sleep habits.
The key to waking early also has to do with your bedtime. If you constantly find yourself exhausted and unable to wake up in the morning, take a look at how you are sleeping and what time you are going to bed.
There is much to gain from sitting in silence. A great way to start off your morning is to try some deep breathing techniques, reflection, meditation, or even prayer. The goal is to start your day with peace and calm. Something that cannot be achieved if we are rushing through our mornings.
This is one of the hardest things for most of us. Making time to move our bodies in the morning is extremely important for boosting mental clarity, as well as a plethora of health benefits.
A morning exercise doesn’t have to be 45 minutes of cardio with weight training. It can be as simple as an easy yoga flow routine, stretching, or even a light walk around the neighborhood.
Starting the morning with exercise will get our blood flowing and our heart rate up, which will increase our energy levels, as well as promote healthier eating habits throughout the day.
4) Eat Breakfast.
This is another one of those we tend to want to skip, especially if we are running late. Taking time in the morning to eat a healthy and balanced meal will give us the energy we need to start the day off right.
The key to remember here is that the meal is, in fact, healthy. Stopping in to your local donut shop or going through the drive-through for a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich will have the opposite affect we are aiming for. Try searching for some quick and healthy recipes!
Sometimes it is hard to battle the mental side of waking up and going to work. It is especially harder on those days when we want that extra 45 minutes to just lie in bed. Starting the day with some positive affirmations is a great way to get our mind right for the work day ahead and to remind us of what we are working towards, why we want to achieve certain goals, and why we deserve them.
6) Plan the day/Visualize.
There is not a whole lot more frustrating than not knowing how the day is going to go. When we take a few minutes to plan out our day, we can have a better handle on how the day will flow. This also helps eliminate wasted time and can leave us to be more productive.
There you have it! The best way to get started on waking up early is by increasing the time we wake in increments. We want to set ourselves up for success. Jumping straight to waking up 2 hours early, when we are usually rushing to get out of the house, is probably not going to serve us well. Begin small and work up!