By: Claire Hannum, Travel & Wellness Writer
Are you one of those people who hits the “snooze” button approximately nineteen times before finally dragging yourself out of bed? Do you recognize the sinking feeling of realizing you only have twenty minutes to get to work and hurling yourself out the door, only to spend the rest of your day feeling like you just can’t get any momentum going?
Rushing through mornings without a routine can make you feel like you’re running behind from the second you begin. We’ve all been there, but there’s an easy way to break the cycle: get yourself a morning routine! Try these simple morning tips to have more productive days than you ever thought possible - and to finally feel in control of your time.
Start things off with meditation.
There’s a reason why heavy hitters like Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and Arianna Huffington start their days with a meditation session. Morning meditation is dynamite for your mood and productivity. In just a few minutes, you can completely change the course of your day for the better.
It’s all about RCM: Rise, Click, Meditation! When you first wake up, grab your phone and open the Unplug app. You can choose an AM session from the app’s Morning session, or choose any other meditation that catches your eye (with 500+ guided meditations in the app, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect.) Take a deep breath, press play, and get your mind ready to slay the day.
Break a sweat.
Yes, exercise is a great way to take care of your body, but it’s also the perfect tool for optimizing your mind before the day begins. A quick workout can provide a rush of endorphins to start your day in a good mood, and research has found that exercise can help sharpen your mind. If you’re not much of a morning person, moving your body can give you that burst of energy you need to get going. Your morning workout can be anything from a quick session with Beach Body On Demand or an intense hour-long run - all that matters is that you do it.
Choose your top three priorities, based on your intentions.
Before you dive into your daily tasks, think about your goals for the week. Think about how you want to feel when you wrap up for the evening. Is there a specific dream you want to feel closer to reaching? Jot it down in your journal so it feels tangible. With your intentions in mind, choose three things from your to-do list to prioritize. Do them first thing, and then no matter what happens for the rest of the day, you’ll feel like you’re right on track.
Block out your time.
Ever notice how it gets harder and harder to make choices as the day goes on? Decision fatigue is a huge energy drain that can slow down your productivity. Get around this by blocking out your time in your calendar before you get started. Decide exactly what time you’re going to do each task on your list, and how long you’re going to spend on it, so you won’t waste any part of your day trying to figure out what to work on next.
Start with a task you’ve been dreading.
Time management expert Brian Tracy calls this tactic “eating the frog first,” which may sound a little gross, but it’s all kinds of brilliant. Your focus and willpower are sharpest first thing in the AM, so doing your most dreaded task first makes it more likely that you’ll breeze through it efficiently. Most of the time, you’ll find that this “horrible” task isn’t as stressful as you thought it would be, and you’ll be finished before you know it. The rest of the day only gets easier from there!
Each of these tips become a whole lot easier when you’re in a positive and present frame of mind, and that’s why it’s so important to make meditation the very first thing on your list. When you start your day with a mindful approach, life has a tendency to flow more smoothly. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!