Life can get busy. It gets worse when you have kids to attend to and a full-time job. When your responsibilities start weighing you down, you might condemn the fact that a day lasts twenty-four hours only. Wouldn’t an extra hour do us justice? It sure would.
That can actually happen. So we need to rise and shine, shake off that warm blanket, and get yourself moving. While we cannot get an extra hour, how we carve time out is important in determining our productivity. When do you get out of bed to start your day? How do you spend your morning hours, especially before 8 a.m.?
Research reveals that people who wake up early in the morning show higher proactivity tendencies compared to night owls. Additionally, these people are more conscientious, agreeable and happier.
Practically, successful figures such as Howard Schultz, the Starbucks CEO, and Robert Iger, the Disney CEO are known to wake at 4:30 a.m. These influential figures argue that you should not wake up before six to only prepare for the events ahead during the day, but should cultivate early rising as one of your personal values which will lead to increased personal productivity, happiness, and good health.
There certainly are many ways in which you can utilize your morning hours before 8 a.m. In this article, we take you through the best ten as recommended by ultra-successful people. Enjoy!
1. Get enough sleep
Let’s just face reality; sleep is equally important to drinking water or eating. Do not be over-driven by your love for success to the point of not getting enough sleep. You will have decreased depression, stimulant dependence, and stress, and increased focus, attention, creativity, and memory. You also need a longer life to achieve your ambitions and enjoy your success. If you can manage seven hours of sleep, you will be ready to face the day ahead.
You must have heard this one. Nonetheless, I will stress it. Be it a jogging exercise or a morning yoga session, working out in the morning gives you an energy boost and an accomplishment sense needed for the day. You can even settle for 15-minute long push-up sets. At the end, you will have potentially eliminated any chances of flaking out on your cardio following a long and tiring day.
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
At times, we are scared of getting in late at work, and we opt for a cup of coffee but end up with the feeling of an empty stomach. However, it is recommended that you fuel your body adequately in anticipation of the tasks awaiting. Your mind will concentrate on what’s at hand as opposed to when that coffee break will finally get here. Eating a healthy breakfast is not only essential for your mental clarity and physical health but also a way of connecting socially with your family. Ensure to eat a minimum of thirty grams of protein. Five minutes spent in eating that oatmeal bowl might turn out to be the greatest energy boost you’ve ever known.
There is no better way of orienting yourself towards positivity than mediation and prayer following a peaceful sleep session. Through prayer and meditation, you achieve intense gratitude and contentment for all you have achieved. With such gratitude, you train yourself towards a mindset of abundance. Thinking in abundance through meditation will then usher you into limitless possibilities. Being grateful is just another way of attracting more of what you have achieved.
5. Set Clear Goals for the Day
Why would you not be as obsessive of planned days as Benjamin Franklin? After your mindful exercise, write a meticulous schedule for your day. If you prudently set your goals, dividends will sit awaiting you at the end. Ensure that your goals for the day are specific, realistic and achievable.
6. Complete Tough Tasks First
Well, it is tempting to procrastinate. Don’t we at times tend to tick off the numerous but easier tasks on our to-do lists with the anticipation that more challenging tasks will require our attention more? However, the truth is that if we get down to the tough task and complete it, our day’s trajectory is not derailed, and we are able to free up our mental bandwidths and focus on the easier tasks with a positive attitude.
7. Adopt a Ritual
Success is characterized by consistent and predictable patterns of behavior. Adopt a behavior that you look forward to every time you wake. It could be something as creative as music or coloring, or as fun as a walk with your pet. It is easier waking up with the knowledge that something pleasurable awaits you. You then need to make it a daily habit. With this, you will have kick-started your day with a problem-solving mindset, only to prime your artistic neurons for easier utility during the day.
As you might have noticed, we have intentionally left out checking your social media. Reason? It is one way of catching up with daily gossip, which might happen to be sweet and tempting, but time-wasting. Focus on the above, make them routine, and develop your morning hours into strategies for a productive day.
Learn more about starting a productive morning routine from our book – Productivity Hacks for Morning Routines – available on Kindle!