How to Have a More Productive Morning
I'm NO expert, so we're working on this together
Recently, someone reached out to me and asked how they can be more productive in the mornings.
I will admit … this is not my specialty. I find myself lying in bed and then rushing out the door more often than I’d like to admit. I am still in the information-gathering part about being a successful morning person, but because of that, I’ve picked up some tips along the way.
This newsletter will be a little different than others in that I’m just going to offer a smattering of tips. They’re not in any particular order but I’m hoping that we all can start to incorporate one or two of these into our mornings!
Move your body. I have more productive mornings if I go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga before really starting work.
Exercise your brain! For me, that can look like reading a few pages of a book, listening to an informative podcast or doing a lesson or two on Duolingo. There’s something about getting the gears turning that really helps me have a more productive morning.
From a subscriber, David: "For me, it's having a routine - wake up, don't hit the snooze button, do what you need to do (in my case, feeding and walking my dog), go to the gym, shower, get dressed, and get going."
Set your to-do lists the night before. Otherwise, you’ll be behind and unproductive before your day even really begins.
When writing those to-do lists, think about removal vs. addition. Instead of saying, “What can I get done?” ask: “What can I remove from my plate so that I can be more productive?” (H/T James Clear)
Schedule a few more minutes than you need in the morning so that things don't snowball.
Don’t hit snooze. David said it above, but it's so important. Use a Google Home or something similar so that you have to speak aloud or set your alarm far enough away from you that you have to get out of bed. Annoying, but it works.
Don’t stare at your phone or the TV right before bed. I have not even come close to mastering this yet, but I do sleep better and wake up more refreshed if I don’t look at a screen right before going to bed.
Above all, the best piece of advice I can offer is to make sure that mornings are productive for you personally. It’s very easy to get caught up in this hustle culture that people promote: wake up at 4:30, work out for two hours, journal, eat a healthy breakfast and find a solution for world peace all before 9 a.m.
And, at the end of the day (pun intended,) it’s just not for me. I’ve found I do my best work in the evenings. So, while I’m working to make myself slightly more productive in the mornings, I’m not changing my entire lifestyle to fit society’s version of success.
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