Your morning is really the most important part of your entire day, as it sets the tone for what follows. If you are behind from the outset, your workday will be filled with tension and perhaps some panic. The best way to avoid this stress is to start out right. Here are 10 ways, in no particular order, to be more productive in the morning.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast.
Pretty much every one has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is true. Start with a healthy, full breakfast; a great breakfast will not only get your body going but your brain as well.
2. Work out.
Let's face it, not everyone can do an Olympic-training-type workout every morning, but it is very important to at least do something. Get your heart going and your blood pumping. Even if it just means 10 minutes on a treadmill or some pushups, do some type of physical activity in the morning before work.
3. Get important communication out of the way.
Nothing sidetracks you more for the entire day than knowing you have to talk to someone about something important. Whether it's personal or business related, if you have to communicate something important do it first thing. Remember, the morning is when your brain is the freshest, so if you do your most important communicating then, you will probably do so in a more efficient manner.
4. Get a coffeemaker.
You will be amazed how much better your mornings go when you have your coffee made for you and ready to go first thing.
5. Strategize morning tasks.
The morning is that time when you put your brain on autopilot and do your hair and brush your teeth. Sit down and map out your morning tasks and see if you can't do some at the same time or faster. Remember, these are things you do every day; if you can save five minutes in the morning by brushing your teeth in the shower, that adds up to almost 20 hours over the year. One of the keys to productivity is to multitask the automated things you do, the things your brain does without thinking. Then focus specifically on the tasks that require the most attention.
6. Plan your day.
A workday is busy, so you really have only one chance to plan what you're going to do. The morning is the most important time to think "What have I got to do today?" Prioritize and list the most important things. If need be, physically write them down and carry the list with you during the day.
7. Eat fruit.
Fruit is a great way to start the day, and it has essential vitamins to energize your mind.
8. Wake up early.
We all like to sleep in, but break the habit and try to get out of bed 10 minutes earlier than you normally do. If you find this successful, then try another 10 minutes earlier than that.
9. Work in a cool room.
Most people don't notice it, but you are more productive when it's cool. This is particularly true in the mornings. Your bed is hot, and you need to get into a cool environment to get your brain out of sleep mode and into work mode.
10. Have a pregame routine.
If you ever watch a sporting event, you see that the athletes all have their routines before a game. Playing a sport is a task that requires focus and skill, and the same is true for you doing your job. So follow the advice of the pros and get a pregame routine. Whether this is a quick bit of meditation in your car before you walk into work or playing with your dog for a few minutes before you head for the office. Find habits that take your mind off the day for a few minutes and allow your brain to seem refreshed and focused afterward.