We all want to be more productive at work, but it can be tough to know where to begin. As it turns out, creating a simple morning routine can set the stage for a better day at work. The key? Make sure it’s the right routine for YOU. Trying to borrow someone else’s productivity routine won’t work, and it can leave you feeling even more frustrated. Here’s what to do.
Follow Your Body Clock
You’ve probably heard the claims that the key to productivity is to get up insanely early (5 a.m. is often mentioned). But if you’re unable to fall asleep before midnight, getting up at 5 a.m. will only add sleep deprivation to your day. Instead, figure out the right time for you. Most people need about 7 hours of sleep, but you may require more or less. And some people are night owls, while others are morning larks. Arrange your day around your personal body clock, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
Skip the Morning Decisions
Regardless of what time you get up, it takes the brain some time to fully come online. Reduce the number of decisions you have to make in the morning. Plan out everything from your outfit to your breakfast the night before. Also, decide at night which tasks you’ll tackle the next day.
Build a Wake-Up Routine
You may already know the importance of sleep hygiene or creating rituals that cue your body to fall asleep. But did you know you also need these cues to get going in the morning? A short yoga routine can help you set your daily intentions, while a cup of coffee and a chapter of a new novel can be a great way to ease into the day. Figure out what truly works for you, and then replicate it every morning.
Exercise, Hydrate, and Eat
You don’t have to hit the gym before work (though you can if you want to). But even a short walk or a few minutes on an exercise bike can help get your blood flowing and your brain focused. Be sure to drink plenty of water, as your body is likely mildly dehydrated after a night in bed. A good breakfast is also important, but you may not feel like eating much in the morning. Feel free to grab a power bar, a yogurt, or another healthy snack rather than a huge meal.
Tackle Your Biggest Challenge
After you complete your morning routine, it’s time to get to work. Focus on your biggest challenge of the day, since everything else will seem simple by comparison. Some people find it easiest to dive right in, while others prefer to complete one or two short, easy tasks first. Either is fine, as long as you don’t start procrastinating.
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