Whether you love waking up to see the sunrise, or can’t get going until you’ve had your cup of coffee, we all start our mornings one way or another. It might be by going for a run, packing lunches for your kids, or diving into your inbox. But the fact is, some of the most successful people we know are early risers. President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs are just a few examples. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, explains that he gets up early to get a head start on the rest of the world.
While we can’t make an ideal routine that fits everyone, some of these tips may be useful in creating your own morning routine. You’d be surprised at how far a good morning routine can go in boosting your morning productivity!
Start the night before
The benefits of making a plan for the next morning before you sleep are usually greatly underestimated. There’s something about knowing and planning what you want to do the next day that sticks in your subconscious and pops up in your mind right when you wake up. It’s easy to do — spend a few minutes organizing your to-do list and it’ll save you hours the next day.
Actually wake up earlier
For natural morning people, this probably isn’t a problem. But for those of us that find it harder to get up early, we have to rely on alarm clocks to wake us up. Try moving your alarm clock to somewhere harder to reach so that you can’t hit the snooze button. Tip: Put it on the other side of the room (this works!) so that you actually have to get out of bed and walk to turn it off. Waking up to natural light can also make your brain think you’re awake. Next time, try opening your curtains and let the sunshine in early.
Eat a good breakfast
One of the biggest mistakes people make (myself included) is skipping breakfast. Even if you don’t feel hungry, your body needs energy to burn — after all, food is fuel — and you’ll get a boost of energy. A healthy breakfast is one with lots of fiber and protein, such as whole-grain toast with peanut butter, or oatmeal with eggs and fruit. On the other hand, breakfasts high in unsaturated fat, magnesium and potassium will promote sleep.
Don’t check your emails until noon
Okay, so maybe until noon is stretching it a little bit, but don’t check your emails for at least an hour. You want to start your day off positive, and reading criticism-laden emails isn’t the best way to begin. The first few things you read in the morning will typically set the tone for the rest of the day. Plus, you should use the morning to do what’s important rather than what’s urgent — everything can wait a few hours. No one is going to email you about a true emergency (i.e. a death in the family), so don’t touch your email inbox until your morning is well underway!
There’s no point in making a personal morning routine if you are never going to do it, right? It’s harder than it sounds, though. For something to become second nature, you have to do it for a long, long time. Commit to waking up early and embracing each day, and eventually you won’t have to think about it every morning. Start now, and you’ll see the benefits in a few months.
What’s your morning routine like? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us @aspireperks!