How to set your morning up for success
Ever since I was a teenager, night time was my favorite time. I loved being awake at night, in the dark, especially when everyone else was sleeping. Knowing that I had the whole house essentially to myself, well.. it was thrilling.
Don’t ask me what I did during those late nights. I couldn’t tell you. I probably just surfed the internet and ate Oreos straight from the bag.
Being awake most of the night and sleeping during the day was fun for me. I loved it. I couldn’t imagine myself ever being like “those people” that would wake up at the crack of dawn because they wanted to.
And then something amazing happened. I had kids – and I was pretty much forced to be a morning person (and a night owl in the beginning). Our first child was always up early in the morning, and so was our second. At first, I would just wake when they did, but I quickly learned that when I did that, I didn’t accomplish very much during the day (anyone who has little ones running around all the time can understand that it’s nearly impossible to get much work done with them there!).
So, I started getting up earlier. At first, it was just half an hour before my kids woke. Then, it was an hour. Now, I’m up at least 2 hours before my kids get up in the morning. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this has made not only in my work but in my personal well-being! I can get up, eat, exercise, shower, and work before I have to deal with the demands of my littles.
And it’s amazing. I love my quiet time in the morning. Just like when I was a night owl, I got to be alone, in the dark, while most of the world slept. Except I am much more productive in the mornings than I am at night!
I can wholeheartedly say that becoming a morning person has completely changed my life for the better.
If you want to start waking up earlier, but find the whole idea rather frightening, here are a few tips for setting your morning up for success:
Plan your day the night before
It’s been said that when you write out your to-do list the night before, instead of first thing in the morning, your brain actually starts working on some of those to-do’s while you sleep. You wake up more refreshed and ready to go because you’ve been sleeping on your to-do list all night and can immediately start chipping away at it as soon as you wake up.
I’ve recently started creating a weekly to-do list every Sunday night, and then each night before bed, I look at that weekly to-do list and pull things from it to add to the next day’s list. Since implementing this strategy (instead of only doing daily to-do lists), I’ve noticed that I get way more accomplished! I can’t recommend it enough.
Clear off your workspace the night before
Before you go to bed at night, quickly clear off the space you plan to work in the morning. Going into a messy office or working at a messy desk or kitchen table is not going to help you to be more productive in the morning. Instead, it is likely to hinder your progress.
Taking just a few minutes to quickly clear off your workspace, and set it up with what you need in the morning (computer, papers, notebooks, pens, etc.) with greatly benefit you. As soon as you sit down at your seat, you can get the right to work, without any distractions.
Wake up early
I know this doesn’t sound like fun, but getting up early is going to allow you to accomplish so much more in your day and lead you to feel very productive. By the time your head hits the pillow at night, you will have achieved so much!
Getting up early also means time for important things that you might not be able to get to regularly, such as “me time” (reading a good book, having a shower or drinking a coffee without any interruptions), a good workout, working ahead on your goals for the year, or taking the dog for a walk (bonus exercise!).
This is especially important if you have little kids at home and have frequent interruptions during the day!
Drink a glass of water
The first thing you want to put in your body when you wake up is water. Lemon water is even better, for added nutrients.
Considering 70% of the human body is made up of water, it plays a pretty important role in the proper functioning of our bodies.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a good way to purify your internal system, enables better absorption of nutrients from good, makes your skin glow, lose weight and even help to cure illnesses and diseases, such as vomiting, arthritis, and headaches.
See how important it is? Get a glass in ya first thing in the morning and feel the difference it makes in your life!
Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, getting a bit of exercise before moving on with your day can benefit you in so many ways, including:
- Weight loss
- Increased energy
- Increased focus
These are just a few of the great things you have to look forward to if you start working out in the morning. No excuses! Everyone can find 15 minutes in their day.
Eat a healthy breakfast
You knew I was going to say this one, right? It’s extremely important to eat a healthy breakfast!
No big, huge breakfast feasts, either. Stick to light breakfasts, such as a nice big smoothie or homemade juice. Save the big breakfasts for the holidays and weekends, because those meals will slow you down and not lead to a very productive morning.
The other important thing to note about breakfast is that you shouldn’t eat just because you’re “supposed to” – because it’s the morning. Instead, eat when your body tells you it’s hungry and stop when it’s full.
As with most things in life, staying consistent with your morning routine is going to be extremely beneficial and will help you to accomplish more in your life.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they have a very successful work-week, but once the weekend rolls around, they sleep in and wake up much later than usual. If you do this, your Monday will be out of whack. If your Monday is slow and you are tired, you will want to sleep in on Tuesday, and so on. So make sure you stick to your routine every day of the week!
The only excuse for sleeping in is if you’re sick or are caring for someone that’s sick, or if you have a new baby at home. If you don’t have those situations in your life – you need to keep up with your morning routine if you want to be successful with it long-term!
Do you struggle with mornings and getting things done?
While growing up and living at home, my entire family were early risers including myself. I continued that way until my kids were teenagers needing a ride or pick up very late at night for part time work or social gatherings.
There is much more appeal waking up early and accomplishing so much, not to mention the serenity. Yet, you feel left out when you can’t stay up late with friends/ family.
Our lives and needs change throughout time…..just go with what’s important to you at certain stages in your life.
Thanks for the great article.