If you work from home, have a job with shift work, or have afternoon and evening classes, it can be difficult to get your day started in the morning — at least for me. With my current schedule of classes twice a week and blogging interspersed, it’s easy for me to get into the bad habit of sleeping in too much and not actually getting out of bed until well after noon. The last few weeks, I have tried to change my ways (at least on the weekdays) and make my mornings more productive, which makes me happier and honestly just makes my life better. The following are five things that always help me to be productive in the mornings.
- Make lists. The night before, make a list of what you need to do. Be realistic about your list (there’s only so much you can do in one day), but give yourself something to accomplish. I like to get it all out on paper the day before, because it helps me sleep better (I will stay up for hours thinking about all the things I have to do), and it will give me motivation to do something with my day.
- Wake up when your alarm goes off. I know some people can snooze-button-it all morning and it doesn’t affect them, but I am not one of those people. If I go back to sleep rather than actually waking up, I will always feel more tired, which will always make it less likely that I will be productive that day.
- When you do wake up, have a shower. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the Instagram/e-mail/Facebook scrolling and YouTube watching when I first wake up and find myself spending the majority of my morning doing that rather than something productive. When I have a shower right away, I am far more likely to get things done. If you are someone who showers at night, I would suggest getting dressed when you get up to put you in that mindset.
- Make your bed. I don’t always do this first thing in the morning, but I have recently tried to make it a habit. I’ve never been very good at making my bed in the morning, but I do find that it makes a big difference. It’s one of those small things that when completed can actually give me a sense of accomplishment that can carry on for the rest of the day. It also symbolizes that you are done using your bed for the day, and can move on to the other things you need to work on.
- Eat breakfast. Along with showering when I wake up, having breakfast right away also helps me to have a productive morning. When I put off eating, I will continue to feel groggy and will always go far too long without eating. Having breakfast will not only give you the energy you need for the morning (most important meal of the day!), but it will help to give your day structure, which for me always makes me more productive.
Obviously these are things that work for me, and may or may not work for you too. Also know that I am not always productive, and believe that days of doing absolutely nothing can be great, and I did write this on a day where I did not do anything on my list, or shower before 11:00.
What helps you be more productive in the mornings? Do you find it hard to be motivated to get things done when you don’t have the structure of a regular job or school?