If you can honestly say that you’ve never had a hard time waking up and being productive, then I am certain of two things:
1) you don’t need to read this article and 2) you’re totally and completely full of it.
We have all had those mornings where hitting the snooze button is so much more enticing than actually getting out of bed and starting the day.
Maybe you stayed out a little too late the night before for drinks with friends. Maybe the game went on and on and kept you up. Maybe you just had one of those nights and couldn’t get to sleep.
No matter what the reason, the morning is always going to come. There’s no way to avoid it.
So what are you going to do to tackle the day and be productive?
A quick search online will give you thousands of articles with the exact (supposedly) formula for a productive morning routine.
Eat right. Get enough sleep. Do some exercise.
It’s all blatantly obvious, but so hard in application.
You think to yourself, “Yes, it’s a no-brainer that going to bed earlier will help me feel less tired. Of course exercising in the morning will energize me. You think I don’t know that stuffing my face with a midnight snack is a bad habit?”
At the end of the day, the people writing those suggestions seem to be flawless specimens of productivity with no leanings toward laziness.
Full disclosure: that’s not me.
I’m not perfect or flawless. But I do want to share some ideas about how you can start your day off right and use your time wisely.
I’m not going to suggest you immediately apply every one of these morning productivity tips. Instead, start by trying just one. Slowly test all of them, see which you like, and kick the rest to the curb.
A slight change or a new habit can make a world of a difference. But you’re never going to experience that positive change unless you put forth some effort.
Athletes are productive throughout the day because they exercise and train constantly. Many entrepreneurs, top executives, and visionaries attribute their productive days to exercising in the morning.
It’s extremely beneficial, but it’s also very tough to get motivated and put it into practice.
Billionaire Richard Branson expressed the importance of exercise in his life this way:
“I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.”
If a busy billionaire businessman can find some personal time for fitness, there’s no reason you can’t too.
Exercise doesn’t need to be an hour of high intensity, heart attack-inducing cardio. Just do something to get you out of bed and moving around. Break a sweat running a couple of miles. Or do a few sets of crunches, squats, push ups, and jumping jacks.
Anything that gets you on your feet and your blood pumping first thing in the morning is far better than nothing.
Even a little of something is better than not doing it at all – that’s a great way to think about each of these morning productivity tips.
Yoga is popular among guys interested in leading a healthy lifestyle. Its many different varieties allow virtually anyone to participate, regardless of body type, gender, age, or personal preference.
Are you an over-achieving go-getter? Try sweating it out at hot yoga.
Want a relaxing way to stretch your muscles and work on your breathing? Choose a lower intensity yoga practice. Either way, yoga is a fantastic spiritual and meditative way to kick-start your day and deserves a place on this list of morning productivity tips.
Yoga works to stretch your muscles and relieve any pent-up stress that you carry. By starting your day off with deep breathing and deep stretching, you relax your muscles and start the day with an open mind.
You can take it easy or go hard with some challenging positions – just remember to breathe.
Meditation is stereotypically coupled with images of Buddhist monks under vows of silence living in far flung mountain temples.
For many guys who practice it today, that image could not be further from the truth. And it’s quickly become one of the most commonly mentioned morning productivity tips.
Meditation is a time to relax and take it easy. It’s a time to focus on your breathing, focus on yourself, and block out any external forces that might be weighing you down.
Start out by looking up some guided meditation online to help you get started. This will help you practice meditation correctly. Eventually you can transition into meditating on your own without direction.
Try meditating in the morning before a workout or before you go on a run. Research shows that it can increase your testosterone levels and give you more energy for a better workout. Increased testosterone can also lead to increased muscle mass and strength.
It centers your mind and allows you to freely go with the flow rather than facing obstacles with a greater sense of opposition. Be more easygoing and open throughout the day – you’ll have a more fulfilling day.
It’s a tremendous way to maintain your focus and lower any daily stressors that surround you. It’s a time to listen to your surroundings and be present.
Have too much going on in your head to practice any of the above? Get out your pen to paper and start writing.
Write poetry, write a story, write a letter, or vent about current events. Just let some thoughts out on the paper and empty your brain of all the stuff that’s keeping you occupied.
Write about a dream you had or what you hope to accomplish that day. It doesn’t matter what you write about – just get in the habit of putting your thoughts down on paper.
You can try reading a book or a play for pleasure. Unless the newspaper excites you, try reading a novel or collection of short stories that inspires your creativity and takes you away from the everyday.
Reading or writing at the beginning of the day helps you center and focus your mind. It’s early and your mind is still fresh. It hasn’t been cluttered with the stressors of a typical day. Get those creative juices flowing so that you can ensure a full day of being creative in other ways.
If you’re making the extra effort to get up early and read, make it worth it.
Start the Night Before
One of the simplest of these morning productivity tips is to pack and prepare everything the night before.
Before you go to bed, pick out your outfit for the next morning. Pack your bag, pack your lunch, lay out your towel and your morning accessories. Now they’re all ready and accessible for your use.
This minimizes your thinking in the morning and allows you to be quick and on your feet without using too much energy or brainpower. Plus, it’ll save you time and allow for a jumpstart on your day. It’s small, but it’ll produce big results.
I don’t think I need to delve too deeply into this topic to let you know the benefits. Have you ever been in a bad mood after some intimacy with your significant other?
If you’re lucky enough to live with the person you love, make some extra time for each other when you first wake up. Even if it’s just cuddling, you can take a few minutes and make something work.
This might not be one of the morning productivity tips you apply every single day, but it will definitely provide benefits if practiced every once in awhile.
You Can Become More Productive
All these morning productivity tips might be a little overwhelming to take on all at once. So try to incorporate just a few of them at first – or maybe only one.
There’s no rush to figure out what works for you. And there’s no one productivity tip way that will work for everyone. Still, it never hurts to try something new.
Do you hold back because you don’t want to change your current routine? If you want to see a change, you’ve got to do something differently. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
You won’t see a change unless you start to make that change yourself – so get out there and switch up your morning routine with these tips.