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Oh, Mornings…

Depending on what kind of person you are, mornings are either a love or hate situation.  There’s those who wake up early and seem to have conquered the world by 9 AM.  Of course there’s is also those who still would love to be hiding under the covers at 9 AM.  A morning routine that leads to productivity is in fact a science that you can implement in your own life.  No matter which person you are, we came across 5 ways to make your morning productive!

1. Wake up at YOUR right time.

According to a 2012 study published by the American Psychological Association, participants who self-identified as “morning people” reported feeling “happier and healthier than night owls.”  The most important thing isn’t what time you wake up – it’s getting in tune with your body’s clock.  According to Sleep.org, your body actually knows what it should be doing and when.  Getting enough sleep and waking up when your body is ready will lead more often to a productive day than forcing yourself out of bed hours before your brain is ready—that’s a recipe for burnout. Plus, it won’t last long. If you’re not a morning person, you can’t force it and your body will only work with you for so long before it says “no more!”

2. Eliminate decision-making tasks in the morning.

Sometimes the best way to have a productive morning is to get a head start on it the night before. Many productivity experts and successful people spend their evenings preparing for the next day because it makes their mornings that much easier.  The thought of making too many decisions in the morning will slow you down and drain your brain for the rest of the day. If you can eliminate decision-making from your mornings, you’ll have more energy to have the most productive morning you can!

3. Create a morning routine to focus your mind.

Nearly every productivity expert recommends a morning routine, although each one is just a bit different! It isn’t so much about what is in your morning routine, just that you have one.  You must master a consistent morning routine to achieve your highest level of productivity!

Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, starts his morning with five minutes of yoga stretches, while doing the following:

  • Mentally recitation of his personal mission statement
  • Listing three items of gratitude
  • Reminder of his three big goal areas (Health, Wealth, and Love)

For each of these goals, Kevin also thinks of what tasks he’ll do that specific day to get closer to achieving them. “All that takes about five minutes,” he says. You don’t need a lengthy routine. You just need something that helps you set your mind on what you want to focus on for the day, and set your heart and mind in the right attitude for the day.

4. Move around and hydrate.

You might not be excited about the idea of a morning workout. Maybe it’s hard enough to just get out of bed, let alone run around the gym. But you don’t have to lift weights or go for a jog. Simply moving around will get your blood flowing and help you get your day started. Many successful people start their mornings with a little movement, so here’s a few ideas:

  • Kevin Kruse does a daily 20-minute HIIT session on the treadmill.
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, jogs every morning.
  • Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks, bikes first thing.
  • Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi power walks before she sits down to work.
  • Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk works out with his personal trainer.
  • Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary gets on his elliptical or exercise bike.
  • Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paaschen runs 10 miles each morning!

Drinking water in the mornings will kick start your day and give you lasting energy all day long.

5. Accomplish the worst – first.

What is your most important task—the one you’re dreading the most because it’s so big and important that it’s looming over you?  Building the habit to do your biggest task first can give you a huge boost of accomplishment first thing.  But starting the day with your most daunting task is, well, daunting. It can be too easy to procrastinate, making it even harder to get your day started. Sometimes, clearing away a few small tasks can give you the momentum to tackle your big one.

Mornings do not have to be the worst part of your day. By doing a few focused things when you wake up, you can set yourself up for more productivity throughout the day. If you have any suggestions that work well for you, feel free to share below!!

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