Roughly, you wake up around 25,000 mornings in your adult life. When I realized this, I started to think about how I could have a better morning routine. Although I still have a lot to learn, there are some strategies you can use to get the most out of it at the beginning of your days. I share the eight that I have found most effective:
1. Manage your energy, not your time
If you take a moment to think about it, you will probably find that you do things better at certain times. For example, my creative energy is greatest in the morning, which is why I almost always write in the early hours.
By comparison, I block my afternoons to make interviews, calls, and send emails. I don’t need my creative energy to be high for those tasks, so this is the best time to do it. And I tend to do my best exercises at night or early in the morning.
So think: What kind of energy do you have in the morning? What task best fits that energy?
2. Prepare the night before
This is not done as often as I should, but it is advisable to use a few minutes each night to organize the tasks for the next day. When I do it right, I define the type of article that I will write the next day and create a list of the important elements to achieve it. It takes me 10 minutes to do it and saves me three hours the next day.
3. Don’t open your email until the afternoon It
sounds simple, but nobody does. It took me a while to get rid of my urge to open my inbox, but I soon realized that everything can wait a few hours. No one is going to send you an emergency email, so don’t check it during the early hours of the day. Use the morning where it is most relevant.
4. Turn off your cell phone and leave it in another room.
Pont or phone out of your sight. This eliminates the need to check messages, Twitter and Facebook notifications, and so on. This simple strategy prevents you from dividing your attention into unimportant tasks.
5. Work in a cool space
Have you ever noticed that you feel lethargic and bored in a hot room? Lower the temperature to increase the focus of the mind and body.
6. Sit and Stand
Your brain needs oxygen to function. Your lungs need to expand or contract to fill your body with oxygen. It sounds simple, but there’s a problem: Most people spend most of their time sitting hunched over, staring at the computer and typing.
When you feel hunched over, your chest is in a collapsed posture and your diaphragm squeezes the bottom of your lungs, making deep breathing difficult. Sit up straight and get up often so you can breathe easier. As a result, your brain will receive more oxygen and your concentration will increase.
Tip: When I sit down, I usually put a small pillow on my back. This keeps me in a more upright posture.
7. Eat as a reward for hard work
Take a moment to think about how much time you spend each day thinking, planning, and consuming food. Avoid spending a lot of time in the morning eating, cooking, or cleaning. Better, eat something that is easy to eat, and use your mornings to work. In the afternoon, eat well as a reward.
8. Develop a pre-game routine to start your day
My morning routine begins with a glass of cold water. Some people start their day with 10 minutes of meditation. Similarly, you must have a ritual sequence. These little routines send signals to your brain that it’s time to work or exercise. Additionally, a pre-game routine helps you overcome a lack of motivation and get things done, even if you don’t feel like it.
Just as a person is unlikely to achieve overnight success, you are also unlikely to hit a good routine quickly. Most unproductive and healthy behaviors are the result of small incremental decisions that create bad habits.
The good news is that exceptional results are also the results of consistent daily decisions. And never more true than in the morning routine. The way you start the day is how you end it.