How do you start your day? Plenty of scientific evidence suggests that what happens in those first few hours after you wake up greatly impacts the rest of your day. If you want to be productive, feel fulfilled and accomplished without sacrificing your health (e.g. drinking five cups of coffee and skipping lunch to finish your project), you should include these three rituals into your morning routine.
Getting up early
Getting up early has its advantages. Early-risers are known to procrastinate less compared with people who stay up late at night. Our creative juices start to flow after about an hour of being awake. The earlier we rise, the earlier we can tap into our ‘juices’. Gradually work your way up by waking up 15 minutes earlier every day for one week, then 30 minutes earlier for the next week, and so on, until you get to that desired wake-up time.
There’s no doubt that exercise is beneficial for your physical and mental health, mood, productivity and longevity. Morning exercise can be a tremendous source of energy. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your morning exercise, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.
Plan your day
If you’re just reacting to what life (or your inbox) brings at you, then you’re not a master of your time and life. Be proactive rather than reactive and plan your day ahead. Write down every single task you hope to accomplish that day. By making up your list, you won’t feel overwhelmed or disorganized. Instead, you can see what needs completed and then think about what you need to do to accomplish your goals.
If starting these routines seems daunting, then start with baby steps. During week one you could incorporate getting up early, week two plan your day, and so forth. This is not a rule book, but a guide, so adapt it to your life where you feel you will get the largest benefit.
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