For many of us, how we start our day more or less determines how the entire day will go. Hence, it makes sense to try and win mornings to kickstart a productive day.
While there are a lot of books written on morning rituals, we feel the meat of the idea can be summed up in a blog post of 500-600 words, and that is precisely what we are attempting to do today. So let's get started.
Good mornings start the evening before
Let me clarify that heading for you. We believe that a good productive morning is planned the night before, and it would help if you could start preparing for it.
You could do things like writing down your task list for the next day, cleaning up your workspace, keeping your gym clothes ready, etc. A good morning is not having to decide whether or not you will meditate in the morning or contemplate what to eat.
No phone for the 1st hour
Starting your day with angry tweets or piling work emails is not ideal for productivity. For many of us, morning is when our minds are fresh and primed to work on high cognition tasks.
To make things easier, keep your phone away from your bed or at the very least put your phone on "Flight mode" from the night before. Phones in the morning are such drainers that some have early morning anxiety while using them instead of having a productive start to their day.
Quick Movement & Stretching
There is a lot to be gained from morning workouts ranging from better focus, low stress, and high energy. So a quick 30-minute routine that will help you stretch and workout your body is an excellent way to start your day.
A simple stretch routine will take no more than 15 minutes, and you can get in a decent HIIT workout in less than 20 minutes. Each of our bodies is different, so ensure that this procedure works for you before going ahead with it.
8-16-32 is a popular system productivity enthusiasts use to get a dose of nature in the morning. To goal is to go out at 8 am to get 16 minutes of sunlight while deep breathing 32 times.
Sunlight tells your body that your day has started and that sleep time is over by suppressing melatonin. On the other hand, deep breaths help you calm down and improve focus.
Wake up closer to your time
We all have different chronotypes and our wake times vary because of it. Waking up at 5 am is not ideal for a lot of us, so figure out your chronotype and set your wake hour/alarm accordingly.
You can use this short quiz to determine your type. Also, after setting the alarm at an appropriate time, keep your phone far away from you so that you don't immediately hit snooze and go back to bed.
Set your breakfast right
Waking up in the morning and then figuring out what to have for breakfast is a waste of energy and time. So plan your breakfast the day before, or even better, have a feeding plan.
Breakfast should provide a decent amount of protein, fiber, and low sugar for most people. So plan items based on that criteria, and you should be good. Also, get enough fluids into your system along with solid foods.
Eat the Frog
Take the most essential yet challenging task and finish it first thing in the morning. "Eat the frog" is a popular productivity method created by Brian Tracy, where he advocates that you need to finish these challenging tasks early in your day so that you can free up your mind for other less involved tasks.
You can start by listing the tasks you have for the next day and order them according to priority. Do the listing exercise the evening before to avoid wasting time in the morning when you should just be executing.
Write everything down as a checklist
The more you plan your morning routine, the better. I have personally found this very useful when I want to operate quickly, often on auto-pilot.
For example, I would write down how I wanted to brush my teeth to avoid missing out on any part of it. After a while, the procedure became second nature, and it became something I didn't need to think about, but because I check-listed it, the brushing process covered all bases.
Final thoughts on morning routine hacks
Setting up a morning routine and following up with it can be tricky and might require a bit more patience than expected. But the rewards are worth it.
Sometimes, using a tool like Routine to set up your morning can do wonders for your productivity. You can start by setting recurring tasks for those activities that you have to do every day, and then on the evening prior, you can add tasks that you need to pursue on a day-to-day basis.