Top 6 Ways to Optimise Your Mornings

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Starting your day off with a great morning can only lead to positive results. By optimising your mornings with these simple tips you can drastically increase your productivity past the morning and well through to the end of the day.  Before you know it, you’ll have a fantastic new routine and outlook on your day making for much more positive attitude and output. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night is not only a common theme among incredibly successful people, it can drastically improve your general health and mental awareness, but there are other things you can do to get your morning off to a great start.

1.  Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today

Working like a chef can drastically improve your planning and your end results, as laid out in this Knote article.  One thing a great chef will also tell you is not to put off anything til tomorrow that you can do today.  Here are some things that you can have as part of your going to bed ritual rather than your crazy, in a rush morning ritual:

  • Lay your clothes out, ready to put on

Planning what you’re going to wear might sound trivial, but whether you’re someone who throws an outfit together or someone who needs to look pristine from head to toe, this will save you valuable time.  Time that you can spend better elsewhere.

  • Prepare your lunch

This one doesn’t only save you time in the morning, but at lunch time too.  Without having to go to the cafeteria, or somewhere outside for lunch you’ll have more time to actually enjoy your lunch.  It’ll give you a more relaxed afternoon, and it’ll save you a few bucks too.

  • Shower

82% of people shower in the morning as part of their before work ritual.  And with the average shower (including drying time) coming in at 7-11 minutes, that’s nearly an hour in a week you’ll save yourself in the morning rush.  And let’s face it, unless you live in a Febreeze commercial, you’re not going to smell bad when you wake up.  You will need to brush your teeth when you wake up though!

2.  Choose a better alarm (and don’t hit that snooze button)

With modern and smart phones having alarm capabilities build in, most of us find that option more convenient than a traditional alarm clock.  That said, it is far healthier to be gradually woken up, rather than jerked awake by an abrupt noise.  So choosing an alarm chime that will get louder slowly, rather than an obnoxious buzzing will not only be more beneficial for your mental state in the morning, it will also by a more pleasant experience in general.

Also, studies have shown that pressing the snooze option on an alarm clock can be damaging.  What you’re actually doing is making the wake-up process more difficult and drawn out. If you manage to drift off again, you are likely plunging your brain back into the beginning of the sleep cycle, which is the worst point to be woken up—and the harder we feel it is for us to wake up, the worse we think we’ve slept.  So while it might go against your sleepy desire to get a few more minutes, you’ll be doing yourself a great service to just get up without drawing out the process.

3.  Don’t go to sleep in a bad mood

We’re a strange species are us humans.  Our moods can dictate everything about us, including how well we perform.  If something is niggling you the night before and goes unresolved you risk waking up in a terrible mood.  Though you might not know exactly why, as you may have forgotten temporarily why you were in a bad mood to begin with, the damage will have already been done.  Regardless of the cause of the problem, having something as simple as a diary to write a short entry into is not only a great way to catalogue the day’s events, but it also helps rid your mind of troubling thoughts, assisting with a great night’s sleep.

Being in a bad mood in the mornings or “getting out of the wrong side of the bed” is a real thing with real effects on your day, your work and your productivity.

4.  Change your breakfast

That rushed cup of coffee in the morning or piece of toast on the way out the door is probably an all too familiar scenario for many of us.  But this can easily be changed for the better.  A few suggestions for a better morning start would be:

  • A glass of water instead of a coffee.

Hydration is key to healthy brain activity and while we all enjoy a cup of coffee, it can actually assist in dehydrating you.  Save your coffee boost for that afternoon slump and start your morning hydrated and ready for whatever the day can throw at you.

  • Bagel, lox and cream cheese

How-to-make-a-smoked-salmon-bagel-sandwichIt might be a staple for a lot of people already, and maybe an option you should try out if you haven’t already.  Full of brain fuelling omega 3 fatty acids, and it’s delicious!

  • Green tea

If you feel like you need something hot as part of your morning routine, then you can do a lot worse than Green tea.  It helps speed up your metabolism, which is more than just helping to burn calories, it also helps increase brain activity.

5.  Mise en place – plan your day

Now that you’re showered, dressed and ready for work in super time, well rested and with a clear head you’ll have some extra minutes.

Take this time to have a relaxed breakfast, and plan out your day.  Again, just like a chef, planning is key.  Once you know in advance exactly what it is you have to do, tackling that list of tasks becomes nothing more than a formality.  Making this an important part of your morning ritual will soon make it a vital part of your ritual and one that you rely on.

6.  Start your day with a tidy workstation

This might seem like a no-brainer.  But how many times have you had yesterday’s newspaper or coffee cup sat next to your keyboard?  How many times have you promised yourself that you’d tidy all those cables and eliminate the spaghetti situation at the back of your desk?  Too many I’m guessing.

It’ll take you all of 2 minutes to get your desk and area clean and tidy to start a day fresh.  Even if it’s subconsciously, being reminded of yesterday’s newspaper or coffee or the mess of cables and wires can slow your progress and greatly hinder your mindset for problem solving.

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