On days that I have off, I prefer to sleep in–Just a teensy bit past 6AM. However, whenever I do that, I ALWAYS feel like I don’t get as much accomplished as I need to or I end up wasting my day. Research on how to win your morning has taught me where I was going wrong.
I recently learned that choosing to sleep-in and be flexible with our morning routines DOES actually affect our productivity. This means our discipline in the morning will set the tone for how productive we are each day. If you want to win your morning, make sure you set a morning routine.
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The Morning Routine You Need to Win Your Morning:
1. Wake Up Early
If you remember from the 5 habits of successful people, you need to wake up at least three hours before work. That means if you have to be at work at 8AM, you need to set your alarm for 5AM. And it also means you have to get out of bed when the alarm goes off, instead of rolling over and hitting the snooze for the next hour.
I start my morning routine at 5AM every day. At first it was a struggle, especially if our room is pitch black. About 3 years ago, we bought a sunrise alarm clock, and it’s the absolute best! Essentially, it lights up like a sunrise at the time our alarm is set to go off. No more waking up in a dark room, tempted to stay under the warm sheets. Check out a sunrise alarm clock for yourself.
Another method of waking up on time, comes from the 5 Second Rule we talked about the other day. The author, Mel Robbins, suggests keeping the alarm out of reach so you aren’t tempted to sleep in. It will also annoy you to listen to the alarm go off for minutes at a time.
2. Be Technology Free
I used to wake up in the morning and reach for my phone. It was my way of waking up without actually getting up. However, I’d find myself wasting an hour scrolling through mindless social media and rushing to get ready in the morning.
Researchers say that the first 2-3 hours that your brain is awake is when you’re at your optimal performance for the day. By scrolling through emails, social media, etc., I was WASTING valuable productivity time.
It’s better to fill your first few hours with mindful tasks. Try meditation, doing a bible study, or planning your day. Don’t reach for the phone until you’ve been awake for a couple of hours. It will make your morning routine SO MUCH more productive!
3. Go Exercise
I love my morning workouts for two reasons: I get the gym out of the way and I wake up.
I don’t know many people that actually like going to the gym, but being active is crucial to win your morning. It will help to wake your senses, increase your metabolism, and sleep better through the night.
Set out your clothes the night before, so you don’t waste time looking for an outfit. Or wake your partner up, if you’re trying to find your clothes in the dark!
4. Eat Breakfast
I have a lot of friends that are practicing ‘intermittent fasting’. I’m always starving in the morning, so I applaud their disciplines. However, research shows that there are a TON of benefits to eating breakfast in the morning.
Specifically, breakfast helps lower your blood sugar, encourages you to eat less throughout the day, and to be more attentive at work/school. If you want more scientific reasoning, this is a good article by Live Science you can read.
5. List Your Goals for the Day
Sometimes when we get to the office, we don’t have time to think. So we end up being more reactive to what’s going on throughout the day, rather than proactive.
Use your quiet time, to list out what you want to accomplish today. I have an awesome planner that breaks down each day by hour and allows me to pick my top three tasks for the day. It’s AMAZING how much more productive you will be when you have a sense of direction. True way to win your morning!
With practice, your morning routine will become a habit and less of a chore. I’ve always been told you need to do something for 21 days straight for it to stick. I recommend trying these changes to your morning for 30 days for good measure.
Discipline is the source that will allow you to win your morning. Even on your days off. And read more about the 5 Second Rule here, to help you wake up on time.