Do you feel bewildered during the day, unable to focus well? Is your productivity low, causing you stress and extra hours of work? You might be able to improve your production levels and lower your stress with a few easy tweaks to your morning routine.
Get Enough Sleep
Before you even begin your morning routine, you need to get a good night’s sleep. For most adults, that means making sure you get eight hours of quality sleep each night. Try to go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at the same time in the morning, even on your days off. That helps trigger your brain to set a schedule for sleep and stick to it.
Be sure you get at least 20 minutes of sunshine in the morning. Doing this helps your internal clock set itself correctly, allowing you to get better sleep. Also, avoid looking at digital screens for at least an hour before bed each night because their blue light can interfere with your ability to sleep well.
Drink Water Right Away
The first thing you should do in the morning is to drink a glass of water. You should accomplish this before you have coffee, tea, or anything else containing caffeine. Many of us start our days with caffeinated beverages and don’t have any water until afternoon or later. Caffeine can act as a diuretic, though, so if you aren’t drinking water and then you have caffeine on top of that, you are likely to be dehydrated. And dehydration can cause memory and cognitive problems—it won’t boost your productivity, that’s for sure.
Get Moving Right Away, Gently
Make a habit of doing some gentle stretching or yoga in the morning. This helps increase your circulation and gets things going for you. It can help un-fog your brain, and it’s also a great way to battle stress.
Generally, most experts don’t recommend doing impact exercise first thing in the morning because it decreases your risk of injury to allow your joints time to warm up first, but doing gentle stretches is excellent for your body and your mind.
Choose Your Breakfast Carefully
Your breakfast has a significant impact on how you feel and what you eat for the rest of your day, so choose wisely. Skip foods that are sugary or high in refined carbohydrates. Choose lean protein, good fat, and whole grains. Try avocado toast and berries.
Schedule Your Most Demanding Tasks Early
When possible, schedule complicated or demanding work tasks for the morning instead of the afternoon. Most people experience a mid-day slump due to the natural ebb and flow of neurotransmitters in the brain, so try to avoid scheduling cognitively demanding tasks for the afternoon if you can.
Make sure you give your new morning routine a couple of weeks to reset your body and mind before determining whether you need to make any changes.