With our hectic lifestyles that are fast-paced, yet sedentary, there’s always too much to be done and too little time, not to mention, too little energy left to power you through the day. It seems like no matter how productive you plan to be, you hit a slump and all those plans start to derail pretty rapidly. This is most often because of our flawed approach to being productive and the lack of importance we give to early morning routines.
How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day and we’ve noticed that the most successful people tend to share a few common elements when it comes to morning routines.
Dos & Don’ts To Stay Productive Through The Day
Keep That Phone Away
“When you begin your day on your phone, you’re diving into work, relationships, & other tasks that are endless, when instead you should be clearing your head & setting your own schedule”
Yes, this is a conscious effort to not do something, but we feel that it’s a top priority because it’s how most of us begin our day. From repeatedly hitting the snooze button to then checking work schedules, messages, mails, and tasks, it’s the biggest mistake that almost all of us make.
When you begin your day on your phone, you’re diving into work, relationships, and other tasks that are endless, when instead you should be clearing your head and setting your own schedule for the day. If you can’t wait for a full hour before picking up your phone, at least start by giving it 15 minutes and gradually increasing it to an hour.
Timing Your Morning
“Consistency is more important than the specific timing, as you need a disciplined routine”
How you start your day really is more important than when you start it. Listen to your body clock and don’t force yourself into sleep patterns that are not natural to you. Some of us are morning people and some are night owls. Forcing yourself in and out of bed before you are ready is a recipe for disaster, as you won’t get quality sleep and will burnout faster during the day.
Instead, follow a sleep schedule that is attuned to your body clock, but be consistent with the routine, whenever your morning begins, even if it’s 12 noon!
Music & Meditation
“Meditation lowers stress levels, while enhancing concentration, memory, & cognitive skills”
You don’t need an hour or two to meditate and reap benefits. Simply getting into the practice for five to ten minutes a day will help you stay focused, energetic, and productive through the rest of the day. Studies over the years have shown that meditation lowers stress levels, while enhancing concentration, memory, and cognitive skills.
Perhaps meditation just isn’t your thing though, in which case listening to uplifting or peppy music can work almost as well. Try playing your favorite tracks after you wake up, while you get ready for the day and observe any mood changes.
Work It Out
“Physical activity actually boosts mood & energy levels through the release of endorphins, keeping you going through the day”
It’s one of the most important elements of any morning routine, especially if you are looking forward to a productive day. While many productive people wake up and launch into a quick exercise routine, you should start with a few gentle stretching exercises to warm up, to reduce muscle and joint stiffness that follows sleep.
Exercise may seem tedious and a sure way to exhaust yourself when you wake up, but it does the exact opposite. Physical activity actually boosts mood and energy levels through the release of endorphins and these effects will help you breeze through your day at the office.
Take A Cold Shower
“A cold shower has a powerful stimulatory effect on circulation & muscular stimulation, keeping you energized through the day”
You don’t have to plunge yourself into an icy cold tub of water like some celebs do, but simply showering with water that is cool will help to improve cardiovascular circulation and stimulate the muscles. Although it can be unpleasant at first, your body will soon adjust to the temperature, and most importantly, you’ll find yourself invigorated and energized once you’re done.
Draw Up A Plan
“Creating a plan & prioritizing targets helps to clear your mind & give you clear direction”
Once you’re done with your exercise, meditation, and shower, take note of all the things you need to get done and prioritize tasks, setting realistic goals for the day. This will give you a clear direction, allowing you to work more efficiently through the day.
In addition to following all of these simple hacks to stay productive through the day, make it a point to follow other practices that will raise your energy levels and lower the risk of a slump. This means that you absolutely shouldn’t skip breakfast and it would also be wise to eat smaller more frequent meals through the day.