Is there a way to increase productivity, and to achieve more in a day? Yes of course!
How we start our day and spend our mornings can determine how much we achieve throughout the day. If you constantly feel like you’re getting nowhere and that you struggle to achieve your goals, read on because this article will help you!
We will explore 8 morning habits to increase productivity. Whereby these habits will promote greater levels of focus and greater levels of productivity, helping you to achieve your daily goals with ease!
8 Morning Habits To Increase Productivity
1. Get up early
The time that we refer to as early can depend on personal preference.
Personally I think that any time before 7:30 am is early. However, for the purpose of this article, getting up early is referred to as 6:00 am, ideally 5:00 am. Although this may seem early, the extra time that you gain in the morning is crucial to help increase productivity!
As well as the extra time you that gain in the morning, another advantage of being an early bird is experiencing the sense of calm silence that mornings offer. Consequently, if you have a busy household, you can really enjoy some time to yourself by getting up before everybody else.
This early morning silence is a perfect time for some reflection or mindfulness.
Another point to remember is to maintain balance.
If you go to bed late at night and expect yourself to wake up early each morning, then after a period of time you will most likely experience the effects of lack of sleep. In other words, balance your days with an early bed time, which will provide you with enough sleep to cater for early mornings.
2. Clean environment
A clean environment is extremely important to help increase productivity because an external environment really reflects your inner state of being.
You can choose to start your day off with success by creating a clean environment which will help to promote focus throughout your day.
I am not suggesting starting your day with a deep household clean (unless your house really needs it!), however, spending 10 minutes to carry out those household maintenance tasks can help to gear your day towards productivity. These tasks can be as simple as making your bed, clearing out any dishes from the previous night or carrying out your clothes washing.
Use this small window of time in the morning to consciously carry out quick tasks which will clear your environment. Furthermore, they will help to clear your mental being from physical household distractions and promote focus which will increase productivity.
3. Get moving
It is important for your mental and physical well being to take some time in the morning to get moving. This doesn’t have to be a dedicated formal exercise session lasting for 1 hour unless you want it to be. However, a simple 5-10 minute session of movement will suffice to reap the rewards.
You can energise your being with movements such as; jogging, aerobic exercise or a fast walk. On the other hand, you may prefer some gentle movement in the morning. For instance; yoga, qi gong or tai chi.
Remember that the goal here is not only to limber your body up after many hours of lying asleep. But also to get your blood moving to all areas of your body including your brain. As your brain is the powerhouse centre of your body, and the aim with these morning habits is to increase productivity.
As a result, by carrying out some movement this will pump blood and precious oxygen to your brain. Which will facilitate mental alertness and focus for your day.
Leading on from our previous point regarding the brain, hydration is super important in the morning.
As our brains consist of 80% water, drinking plenty of water is crucial for maintaining mental alertness, focus and ultimately for increasing productivity.
Usually, in the morning our brains have lost a lot of water from the night’s sleep and in most cases, it is why people can find it hard to wake up. However, this can make people crave caffeine. Whereas if you drink plenty of water early in the morning, this will truly assist in waking you up.
Water will help to re-hydrate your brain and prepare you for your day with a heightened sense of mental clarity and focus.
Quite often mindfulness can be misunderstood.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply taking the time to be mindful. Mindful of our being, our bodies and any feelings or emotions that may be present within us, as well as being mindful of our current environment.
One of the most important factors with mindfulness, is to be mindfully present in the moment. Furthermore, if you experience any thoughts (which normally arise), mindfully acknowledge those thoughts without giving them your attention and allow them to drift by, returning to your mindfulness practice.
Integrating a period of mindfulness in the morning is a wonderful habit to help increase productivity for many reasons.
– Mindfulness brings a state of awareness to your being. Generally, with regular practice, this mental state of awareness will stay with you throughout your day, assisting you in completing tasks efficiently.
– Carrying out a mindful practice gives you a space of silence. As you return to your daily tasks after a mindfulness practice, usually you have a greater sense of mental clarity and focus. Personally, when I have carried out a session of mindfulness, I feel like it has removed mental clutter and suddenly, I can focus on what is important for my day.
– In addition to the first benefit of mindfulness, the state of awareness mindfulness facilitates not only benefits the mental being but also the emotional. Most people have heard of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which refers to human intelligence. However, there is also the aspect of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). A person’s level of EQ can affect their ability to maintain healthy relationships or even cope with high pressure or stress.
E.g. a person with a low level of EQ may react negatively to situations, struggle to handle pressure or create disharmonious relationships. Mindfulness is a skill which can help to develop EQ with consistent practice, which as a result will help to increase productivity
How to start with mindfulness?
If you are new to mindfulness, to begin with, aim for a shorter session such as 5 minutes. Over time you can gradually increase your mindfulness practice. Starting out it can be tricky to enter into a deeper state of mindfulness because the brain commonly referred to as the ‘monkey mind’ just doesn’t stop thinking…
Concentrating on the breath can help to give your mind a focus. Specifically, carrying out some simple deep breathing exercises can be a great way to focus your mindfulness session. In addition you also get the added benefit of increasing your oxygen intake, which will assist your brain functionality as mentioned previously in this article.
Affirmations & Visualisations
Following a mindfulness session, carrying out affirmations can be a wonderful addition to your practice.
Affirmations are powerful statements that you repeat, which help you to facilitate and manifest something that you desire. I don’t mean any physical thing such as “I want to win the lottery”, although I am not discouraging you from trying!
However, affirmations are a useful tool to use, which can help to promote certain qualities within yourself or even attract a situation.
They follow the law of attraction, whereby you affirm that you are something, and as a result, you attract that something to you. In contrast to our previous example of winning the lottery. With affirmations, instead of focusing on how you become something, focus on what you become.
E.g. I am wealthy.
Furthermore, it is also important to keep your affirmations possitive.
E.g. Instead of repeating “ I am not ill anymore“, repeat and affirm “I am healthy“, or “I am in perfect health“.
If you are interested in learning more about affirmations and visualisations, let me know in the comments at the end of this article!
Each morning, accompanied with a warm green tea, I take a small space of time for journaling and mental reflection.
Firstly I think of three things, people or situations in my life that I am truly grateful for, and simply note or give attention to these. Offering gratitude is a special experience. How can we really invite new experiences and achieve our goals, if we are not grateful for what we have already accomplished or achieved?
There are so many gifts to be grateful for, whether it is for a supporting family, good health or even waking up to a world that sustains us with oxygen.
Following a period of gratitude, my attention shifts to setting my goals for the day, AKA creating a to-do list.
Creating daily goals is so important for creating a sense of focus with your day. Likewise you can take it one step further by setting a time or deadline that you want to achieve your goals by. If you want to ensure the completion of your goals, it can help to think SMART when setting them.
Specific – a specific well-defined goal to achieve, don’t be vague about it!
Measurable – Set yourself criteria, or checkpoints that enable you to measure your progress towards accomplishing your goal.
Achievable– Set yourself an achievable and attainable goal, don’t make it impossible to achieve!
Realistic– Make sure that you don’t give yourself added pressure by setting unrealistic or irrelevant goals!
Timely (time-bound) – Set yourself a clearly defined timeline for your goal, including a start date and a target.
Finally, before we move on from journaling and goal setting, it is interesting to reflect that you can use this period of time to foster a new habit.
What is a habit?
A habit is an activity that you have repeated consistently over a period of time. As a result, it has become easier and familiar to carry out that activity.
As we all know, there are good habits such as exercise, and also bad habits such as smoking. Therefore as you set daily goals, if you have a burning desire to learn something new such as the guitar. Then set yourself a realistic amount of time each day in your schedule to foster this activity and before you know it, it will become a habit!
7. Avoid Distractions
Avoiding distraction both in the morning and throughout your day is vitally important to increase productivity and achieve your daily goals.
Before we explore this in further detail, firstly think of your average day. How often throughout your day do you carry out any of the following?
Check your emails unnecessarily, which takes you away from the current activity you are working on.
Visit Facebook or another social media network without a purpose.
Look at the daily news.
Switch on the television, radio or another form of media.
Call a friend or family member for a casual chat.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t do any of these activities at all. However, if you avoid unnecessary distractions throughout your day such as those listed above, you are more likely to achieve your goals.
It is a case of adopting a working mindset and leaving recreational activities or anything not related to your goals to your private time.
8. Nutritious Breakfast
Last but not least, ensuring that you have a nutritious breakfast each morning can greatly increase productivity.
Why would a nutritious breakfast help with productivity?
Firstly, consuming a healthy nutritious breakfast, will sustain you throughout your morning and remove any temptations or need for snacking which can cause distractions from your current tasks.
In addition, you can include ingredients in your breakfast which promote healthy brain function and give you slow-release energy. For instance oatmeal with fresh blueberries and chia seeds, or a fresh fruit smoothie with seeds and nut butter.
If you would like some ideas and recipes for a great tasty nutritious breakfast, then definitely check out Pick Up Limes. They have a huge collection of amazing recipes that are achievable without taking all of your time!
Habits to increase productivity
I hope that you enjoyed reading about these 8 morning habits.
In contrast, if some of these are not for you, that’s totally fine. Try out some or all of the morning habits and see how you feel. Remember to first make your habits and then your habits will make you!
Let me know which one of these morning habits you are most excited about in the comments below! Likewise, if you are interested in learning more about a topic presented in this article, let me know!
Meanwhile, I have a great giveaway available which will help you to foster daily mindfulness, increase your mental clarity, improve your focus and increase productivity.
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