We read it all the time – how successful people use their mornings to get productive.
Mega-mogul Richard Branson wakes up at 5am every day to either play tennis, go for a bike ride or running. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gets into the office by 7am while former president Barack Obama starts his day way ahead of his first scheduled event to fit in some exercise and reading.
The late Steve Jobs once said in an interview that he “looks in the mirror every morning and ask ‘if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
How you start your mornings can pretty much determine the rest of your day. Say you wake up late and rush through your early hours. Chances are the rest of your day will be a bleary chaos without any sense of productivity or organisation whatsover.
Always envy those people who seem to have calm mornings and pretty much control over the rest of their day? Well, you can too if you have the right AM habits.
Mornings are essential as they set the tone for everything that follows. Want to maximise it to amp up your productivity for the rest of day? Try these morning habits of highly productive people.
#1 Be a morning person
In order to have a productive morning routine, you need to be a morning person first. A research in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology points to the fact that morning people are actually more proactive than night owls. It also found that those who woke up roughly around the same time during weekdays and weekends were more proactive.
Seize your mornings by waking up early at the same time and hitting the alarm only once (you snooze, you lose). In fact, waking up 15 minutes before everyone else does will give you a head start. This way you don’t have to wait for bathroom space and have those extra hours to yourself to regain your focus and give you a good start in the morning.
#2 Don’t grab your phone first thing you wake
Hands up if you’re guilty! It seems almost natural to wake up, pick up the phone, and scroll through either emails or social media. Before you know it, it’s one hour since you woke up and now you have to hurry to get ready for work.
Leave the phone out of the bedroom so you won’t be distracted or tempted to reach out for your phone first thing in the morning. Instead do a quick breathing exercise to gently wake up your body and mind.
#3 Exercise if you can
You’d noticed that a lot of successful leaders start their day with exercise. And they are right to do so. Researchers at the University of Bristol have found that those who exercise in the morning have improved moods and an increased ability to deal with challenges at work. It’s like exercise is your productivity pill to get the rest of the day on the right track.
#4 Be productive during breakfast
Is breakfast time also Facebook scrolling time? We have better ideas for you; why not use it to be more productive? Whether it is reading the newspapers or informative online sites, you can make breakfast part of a great morning routine.
You can use that time to asnwer emails rather than loafing around Instagram. Another great suggestion? Use your breakfast time to plan out your to-do list. By the time you’re done with breakfast, you’ve already got a plan for the rest of the day!
#5 Clean your workspace
You don’t want to walk into office and be greeted by your cluttered desk, which will make you feel like you don’t know where to start – to clean or to work. Here’s what you should do instead: Organise your space at the end of the day so when you start the next day, you start fresh and anew!
#6 Do the tough tasks first
As soon as you get to the office, tackle the three toughest things on your lisdot. This way, you get them out of the way so you don’t have to worry about it later and mornings are the best times to tackle the tough tasks because your concentration level is at its highest. Leaving the tough task for last minute will guarantee two things: First, you will be tired to give it your 100%, and second, you will end up leaving office late trying to complete it because no doubt, you’ll have other distractions during the work day to throw you off schedule.
Feature photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash