A study by Inc. Magazine found that ‘morning people’ are more proactive and productive, and while we aren’t all morning folk, we can learn to be in order to have a more focused and fulfilled life.
Here are five morning habits to adopt to get the most out of every day:
Plan each day
Plan your day the night before or early in the morning before you get going. It’s essential to write everything down because it’s easy to forget things.
This is a good way to track your capacity for the day: how much you’re going to have to push to meet deadlines, what you have time for and what you don’t, allowing you to maximise your time. It’s also important to be realistic. You’re not a robot, so you’ll need a ten minute break after what you know will be a stressful meeting, for example.
Start with the hardest things first
On any day, there’s going to be that one task that you’ve been avoiding, or that is particularly difficult.
This is why you should always start your day ‘top heavy’. This means that the first thing on your to-do list should be the task that you dread the most. This gets it out of the way and leaves you feeling more relaxed. It’s said that one is more rested and focused in the morning, so that’s the best time to tackle more difficult tasks.
Exercise is one of the best ways to prepare for the day ahead. Numerous studies have found that exercise decreases anxiety, stress and even depression, and has also often been linked to greater career success.
Fitness expert Ronald Abvajee often says “your body is your gym”, so while you might not have time to go to the gym, being deliberately active by doing exercises at home – gardening or housework that gets you moving, for example, will have a positive effect on the rest of your day.
Update yourself with what’s happening in the world
After you’ve planned your day, and exercised, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with what’s happening in the world around you. This can include reading online news articles, reading the paper, going through trends on Twitter or listening to talk radio on the way to work.
A large part of your day will involve dealing with other people, so it’s important to take time out in the morning that’s solely dedicated to you. Meditation is a great way to centre yourself, to get in touch with your thoughts, alter your attitude towards your day and to begin afresh with a clear mind and vision.
While this might seem like a lot to do in one morning, once you get into a routine, you’ll find you have more energy and will be able to make much better use of your time!