8 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Morning Routine
So you want to become a morning person? Try these methods out to wake up re-charged and ready to take on your day. Putting yourself in the right mindset can make all of the difference in the world.
1. Get a game plan ready the night before.
If you have a clear plan of what you want to accomplish tomorrow, you’re more likely to complete your tasks than if you don’t.
Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, put it this way: "if this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?"
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to achieve tomorrow?
- Which tasks are most important?
- How much time should I spend on each one?
When you write down the answers to these questions before you go to bed, you give yourself a clear picture of what your day will look like, instead of drifting aimlessly from task to task.
It’s the difference between waking up confident and waking up befuddled.
2. Have stuff to get done tomorrow? Don’t oversleep.
It’s tempting to sleep in, especially if you stayed up too late. But don’t do it, because...
a) you’ll feel like crap about yourself because you’ll immediately be behind in your work
b) you’ll be stressed right from the moment you get up because you’re playing catch-up all day.
Solution? Shut ‘er down and go to bed at an appropriate time in relation to how many things you need to get done tomorrow.
3. Turn that heat down, son!
My wife had the car the other day so I took the bus into town at 10am. The driver had the heat cranked, and I was nodding off to sleep and feeling like unfocused garbage because it was so hot. My ability to focus and to even form a comprehensible thought were low.
Turn the heat down and open a window.
4. Exercise or engage in a non-computer related activity before sitting down to work.
Get the blood flowing shortly after you wake up. Push your body a little and make it do something. Run on the spot for 5 minutes. Do some push ups. Go for a quick walk.
5. Remember that you are in a body.
I find that after being on the computer and the internet for a while, you can easily forget to eat, sleep – and even to move. Those are some serious effects, and in a way, similar to certain drugs! What else casts such a powerful spell over us as computers and the internet?
I have a pedometer and try to get to 10,000 steps a day. If I’m at home on the computer, I force myself to get up every 20-30 and run on the spot or run around the house. I probably look like a complete weirdo...but I feel great after!
You gotta keep moving. Too much time spent not moving/being sedentary will eventually = death.
6. It’s okay to take a break!
We all have the urge to plow through our work when we really need to get it done.
But if you’ve already been sitting at your computer for 2 hours, forcing your way through a project you’re working on, continuing to plow through for another 2 hours because you’ve got to “get ‘er done” is not going to help you.
Your brain needs a rest.
Seriously. Get up, leave your computer.
Go for a quick walk, eat a snack, drink some water. Let yourself relax for a bit.
You’ll come back with a fresh perspective and maybe even some new ideas.
7. Give yourself a set amount of time to work on each task.
Divide your tasks into 90 minute chunks.
When you give yourself a set amount of time to reach a certain point in or to complete a task, you focus more on getting it done with a mini self-imposed deadline. It works great.
If you’re really chugging along and making great progress, maybe you give it a bit longer. If you haven’t really been killing it and still continue, then the (sometimes crappy) work you’ve done on the task you’ve been trying to finish will bleed into the time you could spend working on something else.
And, like #6, if you take a break from it and come back later, you may find that answers to problems you’ve been working on come easier after having a bit of distance from them.
8. One task at a time. Multi-tasking? Ya right.
One thing at a time. That’s all our brains can really handle.