Last week I was listening to talk radio (!GASP! My guilty pleasure) and the host shared an article titled something along the lines of "Five things that productive people do before 8 AM." My ears immediately perked up and I quickly grabbed some paper to begin taking notes. Now, I have to admit that doing anything prior to 8:00 am other than getting the kids off to school and gulping down some hot brewed coffee can be a challenge for me but with the recent time change and earlier sunrise, I thought now might be the perfect time to adjust my morning routine. By nature, I'm a night owl so this will not be an easy task. However, just the thought of starting each day with a feeling of accomplishment is enough to make me hit the sack just a little bit earlier each night. Are you an early riser? If so, what do you like to check off your list while the rest of the world is still dreaming?
***** Five things productive people do before 8 AM *****
- Exercise: Yes, I know... easier said than done! However, there's no better feeling than getting this chore out of the way early in the day. I was in such a great habit of doing this last spring and I really want to get back on track. Even if you're not a fan of morning workouts, perhaps some light stretching just to get the blood pumping is enough to help with productivity.
- Eat a good breakfast: Another obvious one. I admit I am totally guilty of protein bars far too often for breakfast. I'm also trying to be a lot more conscious about drinking a glass of water before any coffee intake. Hydration is key to keeping up my energy levels!
- Plan out your day: Have a to-do list and prioritize your top two things you want to get done. How many times are we distracted by social media, a phone call, a flash sale, etc. ? By having a plan and writing it down, we're more likely to stay on task and accomplish more.
- Visualization: This is more related to mental health and turning down our mental noise. Take some time (mentally) to meditate, visualize and focus. Start your day quietly and with purpose. Perhaps a spiritual devotion or some deep breathing to center yourself and visualize your daily goals.
- Make your morning top heavy: Calling all procrastinators...myself included! Tackle difficult and challenging tasks early in the morning when you're well rested and focused. Don't wait until the end of the day when you're mentally and physically exhausted. I'm completely guilty of this and need to make some major changes to maximize time management.
*image credit Real Simple