When you start out your day it’s important to get off on the right foot…which means be productive right from the start.
Now I am not a morning person and I certainly enjoy the snooze button so its an uphill climb right from the beginning to fight my desire to procrastinate.
Here’s the deal:
When you morning starts productive you can build momentum for a productive day.
Ive noticed a lot lately how my mornings affect my behavior throughout the day. I work from home 90% of the time so I am constantly surrounded by distractions like TV, video games, and food. If I start lazy by hitting the snooze button, watching TV, or convincing myself to go out and get an egg sandwich its hard to get started when it’s time to work.
Sure I tell myself I’ll be more productive after I treat myself to a little sleep, a little TV, or a little breakfast, but it’s a lie that I continually believe in the moment. The problem is once you start down this path of procrastination its hard to turn back. You have already given yourself permission to slack off.
What needs to happen is a shift in your behavior that says work first and then play. After you get work done, then you can do whatever the hell you want.
Here are my 6 tips for a more productive morning. You should do these things in this order without thinking or debating. Just do them.
Pick out What You Will Wear For Work the Night Before
A good morning starts with setting yourself up for success the night before.
Plan your outfit the night before and put the outfit together. The idea here is that you want to reduce the amount of decisions that you have to make in the morning. There is something called decision fatigue and it’s the exact reason guys like Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every single day.
I’m not suggesting you wear the same outfit every day, I’m just suggesting you stop fretting over what it is you are going to wear and be ok with whatever you planned ahead of time. Mornings already suck, so make it easier on yourself by having a direction
Move Your Alarm Clock
Get your alarm clock away from the bed and set it to the highest volume and most disruptive sound. It needs to be far enough away that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Don’t hit snooze, which is a morning killer.
Take a Cold Shower
Now I am not saying you need to be in a freezing cold shower for 10 min or take the 30 Day Cold Shower Knockout Challenge.
Take your regular warm shower and then in the last 10 seconds stand in the cold water. Cold water can feel like an adrenaline shot. It not only wakes you up and gets your body moving, but it’s good for your muscles and reducing inflammation.
Get Dressed With The Clothes You Laid Out
Don’t debate over it, don’t change your mind. The clothes you picked out the night before are perfect and you look fabulous! You’ve also just eliminated one decision already.
Eat the Same Breakfast Everyday
Sounds boring, but again we are eliminating decisions. Find a breakfast choice that you can live with every day like oatmeal or cereal and stick with it. You can reward yourself with a different choice on the weekends, but not on workdays. This will lead to more brain power later when you need it. We spend too much time wavering over what to have for breakfast or what to wear to work.
Remember once you start down the path of leaving it up to yourself to make good decisions…the procrastinator in you will self-sabotage. That’s why premade choices are key.
Start Work at the Same Time Everyday
Consistency is important to establish a routine. Your body needs to know that at a certain specific time you have to focus and work. It’s also best to start with the same task everyday if you can. For example, I start by checking my email and building my task list for the Knockout method. I you’re a writer you can start by reviewing your previous day’s work or if you’re a student you can review yesterday’s notes.
Don’t start your workday by checking Facebook. Procrastination, offers short term rewards, but at the cost of feeling guilty and sluggish. Being productive leaves you with a positive feeling even if you don’t complete your task in full.
Again the idea is that you no longer have to decide what is the first task you need to complete. Having the same first task everyday makes it easier on your brain and gets you moving in the right direction to be productive. For procrastinators starting is ALWAYS the hardest thing.
Try This for a Full Work Week
This routine can lead to a solid start, but it all needs to happen with getting out of bed. Make that happen tomorrow morning and then worry about the next step. Once we get your mornings fixed, you’ll have more productive days and more time for shenanigans in the afternoon.
Let me know if you are trying this and how its working out for you.