What’s your morning routine? Are you a night owl or an early bird? As an early bird, I prefer to get up early and get things done. By 10 pm I am so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open.
So when I write about 8 things to do before 8 to make you more productive, I am mostly targeting early birds like myself. I have written before that no one should tell you the best work gets done early in the morning or late into the night. This is because we are productive at different times and some prefer to work till as late as 2 am and get up at almost noon.
That being said, for early birds, here are some 8 things to do before 8 to make you more productive.
Make your bed
William McRaven wrote a whole book about this, Make your Bed. There is something about making your bed that makes you feel as if you have taken charge of your day.
This is what you need all day, to be in charge of your day and why not start being in charge by making your bed? Plus when you come home all tired and ready for bed, you will be so grateful that you made your bed in the morning.
First thing I do straight from bed is to have a mug or two of warm water. I always see it as a way to open up my bowels, hydrate plus it feels really good. I recommend hydration first thing in the morning to wake up your cells before you get involved in your daily activities.
Make a spiritual connection
Depending on what you believe in, make that spiritual connection in the morning. This may come in the form of meditation, yoga, praying, or even reading. For this section, I especially read something uplifting.
This could be from a daily planned form of a book such as The Daily Stoic; 365 meditations on wisdom, perseverance and the art of living among others. My friend has a mantra printed and pinned next to her bed that she recites every morning. Whatever gets you going, go for it.
I put in an hour of a workout, sometimes just a walk, most mornings. I would like to work out more than I do, and sometimes I will snooze and sleep rather than go for my morning walk, but on the days I do, I feel really good after.
I am more energized, feel good about myself and of course, I can’t say enough about the benefits of working out.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me. I especially feel so hungry after the morning workout that I treat myself to an awesome breakfast. I can’t tell you what to eat, but make sure it is a balanced diet.
You can do some oatmeal, fruit and of course some coffee for me. In fact, I take my coffee before my exercise because who leaves the house without having some coffee in them?
Plan your day
To become more productive, I have learned that scheduling really helps. I don’t do well with structures, and will very likely not stick to my schedule, but it gives me a skeleton of what I need to be doing that day.
For example, since my work involves posting on social media daily, I realized that scheduling what I am going to post saves me some time to think what to post and getting distracted that I sometimes end up not posting.
Scheduling also helps save time that otherwise could have been used to debate between the different activities that you could get done.
Cal Newport, in his book, Deep Work, recommends scheduling activities in blocks of time e.g. write 2 articles, 2 hours block, not to make your day rigid but give some structure to your day.
You can always adjust the blocks if you spend more or less time on the task and this will help you schedule better tomorrow. As an ISTP, trust me, I struggle with schedules, but I know my day is better with some schedules and structure than with none.
A good shower and some grooming can really put some oomph to your day. Even if you work from home, don’t start working in your pajamas or workout clothes.
Instead, take that shower, cleanse and moisturize your face, wear something you would go outside in, even it’s a t-shirt and shorts and get started for your day.
If you report to work, don’t rush too much through your grooming process. Extra lip care or eye care will make you feel great all day and give you a boost of confidence.
Get to work
Depending on the time you get up, you could get all the above done it’s still not 8 am yet. In that case, get started on your day. Start with the most difficult or unfavorable task that you are most likely to feel resistant to work on. You will thank yourself later when all this is done and all that’s left is stuff you enjoy doing.
Have a productive day!