Even for those who wake easily: Are you spending your time in the morning wisely? Benjamin Franklin said: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. But just going to bed early and getting up early doesn’t stand up unless you impose a conscious routine of positive habits that generate creative, energetic and productive outcomes.
How you start the day is generally how you’ll continue it. If you consciously develop effective morning habits your entire life will change and improve. Here are five excellent habits to get your weekdays off to the best possible start:
Get Eight Hours Quality Sleep
Let’s face it; if you don’t get enough quality sleep it doesn’t matter what you do in the morning you’re going to be an unproductive zombie.
Sleep is a vital biological function and is essential to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Any health expert can tell you that sleep is a fat-loss nutrient. The Stanford School of Medicine’s Center for Human Sleep Research suggest that 60 million Americans are diagnosed with insomnia, which makes sleep a hot commodity. A hundred years ago we used to sleep for an average of nine to 11 hours per night… two to four hours more than the six to seven-hour average of this era.
Coffee and stimulants cannot counteract the effects of lack of sleep. Quality and adequate amounts of sleep will increase your memory, decrease inflammation, increase creativity, increase attention and focus, lower stress, reduce risk of depression and increase life expectancy.
The point is that if you do not make sleep a priority it does not matter what you do in the morning to improve your productivity… tiredness will always catch up with you.
Avoid Social Media & Email
Social media and emails are reactive rather than proactive. The first hours of the morning should be spent on proactive habits that tune you in on actions that will develop your skills and knowledge or move you towards to your long and short-term goals.
A recent IDC research report found that 80% of individuals aged between 18 and 44 check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. This is simply an unproductive time killer. Emails and Facebook can wait an hour until after you’ve completed creative habits.
It is a very powerful tool to write your top goals down, along with your goals for the particular day, every day. After sleep your pre-frontal cortex is the most active and creative hence seeing your goals written down keeps them at the forefront of both your conscious and subconscious mind. It is a great time for clarity and ideas.
Exercise is a fantastic way to begin a day productively. There is endless evidence of the health benefits of exercise but there are also huge mental benefits. Moving in the morning will flood your body with dopamine, increase your confidence, lower stress, make you more tolerant of yourself and others and make you work more productively.
Just 20 to 45 minutes of exercise will make you overall healthier, feel better and be more productive.
Benjamin P. Hardy states: “Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning.” The morning workout or movement time is the perfect opportunity to seek education.
Instead of listening to chart-topping or mind-numbing music while you are exercising (or travelling to work) tune into a podcast or audio book that imparts knowledge and inspiration towards your aspirations; this time will both develop your mental and physical attributes.
Your mornings can turn from being a survival period fuelled by stimulants to a time for your positive development that can change your days and eventually your whole life.