Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
The last 4 years at university have taught me something about myself: I am a morning person. If I expect to do something, and do it well, I need to get my ass out of bed in the AM and just do it. Cuz my brain is useless after my afternoon nap.
But up until recently, I still had issues with having productive mornings.
Even though I’m up and about with the sun, it’s extremely hard for me to actually get anything done because procrastination grabs me by the balls as soon as I get up. Graphic, but true.
As soon as I open my eyes the I’ll-just-do-it-laters start making an appearance. And I fall for them EVERY time.
It seems that the more I have to do, the harder I find it to get anything done!
However, I haven’t had the luxury of putting things off this semester. I’m so busy all the time that I’ve actually had to make use of my mornings and get shit done. And today I’m gonna share how I do it.
The Night Before
1. Make a Plan
You want a productive morning. You don’t want to wake up early only to waste time trying to figure out what you should be doing.
Plan your morning the night before so you’ll be ready to dive right into your tasks.
Also, be mindful of the types of things you plan to do in the morning. If you’re like me, and produce quality work in the morning, go for it. If you’re groggy in the mornings and shouldn’t be expected to think, plan to do something that doesn’t require much of it. Maybe laundry, dishes, a workout etc.
2. Go to bed early
Get to sleep at a reasonable hour and you’ll get up at one too. Simple right? Wrong.
If you’re not used to going to sleep before 11pm, it’ll be a pretty hard habit to pick up. I’ve got a few tips though:
- Don’t workout too late. All those endorphins in your body actually make it kind of hard to sleep.
- Unplug an hour before bed (I should take my own advice)
- Don’t give up. Your habits won’t magically disappear because you will them to. Keep trying to get to bed early and it’ll take eventually.
In the morning
3. Actually wake up early
I know not everyone wakes up at the crack of dawn like I do. If you’re used to waking up at noon, chances are you’re not gonna get up before that without some help. Set an alarm (or fifteen) to help you get up early. And please don’t rely on the snooze button.
If you don’t actually want to get up, there’s no way you’re pressing snooze. You’re gonna turn that sucker off and go straight back to sleep. I generally set multiple alarms on the off chance that I do this.
4. Get out of bed (and the bedroom)
Now that you’re up, GET UP. This one is the hardest for me to do. I fall asleep reading at night so when I wake up, I just pick right up where I left off in the book. Next thing I know, I’ve spent 2 and a half hours reading in bed instead of being productive, or I just fall back asleep.
I also can’t work in my bedroom in the mornings. The bed is too close and looks entirely too cozy for me to not crawl back in. If there’s work to be done in the morning, I head out to the living room or even go outside.
5. Get ready to face the day
Wash your face or take a shower to help you perk up and clear away any lingering sleepiness. It also helps to dress the part.
Even if you’re just working at home for a couple hours, you’ll be more productive if you get out of those jammies and into ‘real clothes’. You probably don’t need full makeup and heels but changing into something that doesn’t encourage lounging around or heading back to bed is a good idea.
6. Eat well
Have you ever tried to work while your stomach screams at you? It’s not fun, so don’t do it. Have something to eat before you get started so you can fuel your productive morning properly. Breakfast will also end up being something you look forward to, and it might be a little easier to get out of bed. Oh, and remember to stay hydrated!
>> Need some breakfast ideas? <<
While you work
7. Stay away from social media
It would suck if you got up early, all ready to be productive and then pissed away your morning on Facebook. Unless the work you planned to do requires social media or checking your email, stay away. It’s so easy to get sucked in and lose track of time, so avoid it! Same goes for your phone and the television.
8. Have proper posture
I mentioned working outside of the bedroom earlier, but please don’t move from the bed to the couch and expect to have a productive morning. You’ll probably just fall asleep again. Sit up or better yet, stand up, while you work. You’ll be more alert and probably more productive. And proper posture makes it easier to breathe, which is always good right?
9. Take Breaks
Studies have shown that we can only concentrate for sort periods at a time. Break up your work into chunks to avoid getting stuck or bored by what you’re doing. I like to take breaks every 30 minutes or so to walk around, grab some water and give my eyes a rest. When I get back into it, my brain is a little rested and I’m more alert and ready to get on with my productive morning.
What about you?
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have productive mornings? Anymore tips?
Share in the comments below!
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Originally Published in July 2014