While you may be tempted to hit to snooze button and linger in bed, making the most of your morning can be a very good thing. Waking up early can actually help you reach your goals — and ready you for the day ahead.
Here’s how to make the most of your morning — and, by virtue, your day.
1. Address the small stuff at night
Be sure to take care of the little details — choosing clothes, packing gym and laptop bags, making lunches — the night before. That way, the morning can be dedicated to bigger tasks, like wrapping your mind around what’s required of you and figuring out the best ways to achieve success during an allotted period of time.
2. Get up a half-hour early
Our bodies are tuned to daylight: that’s a fact. Also a fact: Waking up early means you have time to map out the day ahead. Consider putting your alarm clock across the room and setting it a half-hour early. By giving yourself 30 minutes extra in the morning, you buffer yourself against things that might otherwise derail your schedule.
3. Make a top 5 list
Compile a top-five task list, starting with priority number one. Knowing what you absolutely must accomplish — regardless of life’s inevitable distractions — helps you focus on what’s most important, while providing a path to accomplish next steps. Commit to addressing your “number one” first thing in the morning before the day’s chaos ensues. And break down tasks into manageable bits so you remember what’s key and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
4. Don’t get distracted
While it’s easier said than done, don’t allow yourself to veer from your goals. Set the smartphone to silent, or leave it in another room. You might also consider installing site-blocking software, like anti-social.cc. It’ll restrict access to sites that you choose for a designated period of time. That way you can focus on what really needs to be done, not ways to avoid what’s imperative.
5. Eat right
We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” And you need to eat a healthy breakfast in order to avoid to midday slump. While sugary breakfast may give you a buzz first thing, it’s not going to help you sustain energy and motivation for the haul overall. Instead choose whole-grain options, and have snacks packed so you can eat smaller, healthier meals throughout the day.
6. Cut yourself slack
No one can endlessly work like a machine. That’s why it’s important to allow yourself breaks. Organize your day in such a way that you afford yourself free time. Leave your desk at lunchtime, for example, and go for a brief, head-clearing walk. Or, better yet, start your day off a brisk stroll.