Have you noticed that the day has slipped past and you have not accomplished a single thing? I’ve had those moments too. The reason is probably because you have spent your time doing things that were not productive.
The first few minutes of your morning set the tone for the rest of your day. If you spend the your mornings not being productive, you will likely find it difficult to be productive the rest of the day.
To have a productive day, try to avoid the following
- Not waking up to a plan.
I used to fall into the group of people who would plan their day out. Though, in theory, this seems like a smart idea, I found myself wasting a good part of my morning planning what I was going to do. The time I spent planning my day out was time I lost doing the things I had planned. If you also spend your morning planning, do it the night before.
Have a to-do list ready for when you wake up, and make sure to place it somewhere that will be easy to find. Having a plan, or a list, of what you want to accomplish helps you be more productive.
- Checking your phone first thing.
It is tempting to check your phone first thing in the morning. It might even be a part of your morning routine. However, your phone may be the reason why you are not as productive as you want to be.
The problem with checking your phone is social media. It’s a distraction. I know that it’s so tempting. You see those little red bubbles sitting on top of your social media app, and it feels like you have to answer. But don’t do it. It will suck you into a labyrinth of viral videos, TikTok dances, and random late night tv videos. It’s a distraction. I will admit that there was a time (still are a few times) when checking my phone was one of the first things I did. It was not because I had messages that needed my immediate attention sitting in my inbox. It was because I had already become used to checking my phone.
But, my phone became a distraction that robbed me of my focus. It has been proven that smartphones can break your concentration and even cause addiction. Sounds ghastly to the point of absurdity, but it is true. The Journal of Experimental Psychology published a study in 2015 that found that cell phone notifications significantly disrupted the concentration and performance of participants when they were performing an attention-demanding task.
Instead of scrolling through your phone, read a book or listen to a podcast. The emails and messages are not going anywhere.
- Immediately tackling your chores.
Your to-do list may be packed with chores, but don’t tackle them as soon as you wake up. This piece of advice may seem counterintuitive, but take the first moments of the day to invest in yourself. Meditate, work out, or clear up your workspace. Develop a morning routine that mentally prepares you for the day ahead. Not only does it get you ready for your day, but it also helps you cultivate discipline, which helps you remain productive for the rest of the day.
Ah, yes. The old snooze button. It is a master trickster that makes you believe you have more time than you actually do.
Sleeping-in, in its own right, is not harmful. There are times when your body will ask you for more sleep but do not make it a habit. If you go back to sleep, you might not want to wake up and show up for what you have to do later on.
Studies have shown that sleeping-in can have adverse effects, such as making you feel less energized and affecting the quality of your sleep. However, don’t bolt right out of your bed either. Allow yourself time to wake up. Stretch or wiggle your toes. Do whatever you need to do to mentally and physically prepare yourself to wake up.
One way to avoid sleeping in is by placing your alarm far away from you. Place it in your living room or the kitchen. Once you are up and moving, it will be hard to go back to sleep. You could also invest in a dawn simulator alarm clock that wakes you up with UV light.
- Making too many decisions.
Are you someone who spends an extraordinary amount of time and energy mulling over trivial choices? Mulling over trivial matters like what to wear or what to eat for breakfast is inefficient. It robs your brain of necessary mental energy that can be used later on.
Give your brain room to breathe. Meditate to declutter your mind and try to simplify those choices. Plan ahead so that you do not have to waste time in the morning. For example, you could plan your outfits the day before or have a go-to look. If making is a hassle for you, as it is for me, make it the day before. Not only will it save you time, but also it will increase the chances of you eating something healthy in the mornings.
That leads me to my next point…
- Not eating a good breakfast.
We all have different approaches to breakfast. Some prefer it, while others, due to dietary reasons, skip it altogether. Regardless of when you decide to eat, make sure it’s healthy.
While sugary and fatty breakfast foods are pervasive and always within reach, it is best to steer clear of them. Foods that are high in sugar cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which, in the long run, can cause complications. Opt to eat proteins instead. Protein helps muscle health and regulates glucose levels. There are many healthy breakfast recipes online. If you have dietary reasons for not consuming breakfast, consult your nutritionist for guidance.
Mornings are important because the determine how the rest of your day will go. What you decide to do in the morning should leave you energized to take on the rest of the day.
At first, having a routine will help you get rid of your bad habits but don’t be afraid to mix up your routine a little later on, as long as what you add benefits your well-being.
Let us know in the comments below which morning slip-up are most likely to do!
- Barr, Sabrina. “Pressing Snooze Button Confuses Body and Brain, Sleep Experts Claim.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 13 Mar. 2020, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/sleep-snooze-button-wake-morning-inertia-body-brain-experts-a8492376.html.
- “Five Bad Morning Habits You Should Avoid.” The Journal Times, 18 June 2020, journaltimes.com/news/national/five-bad-morning-habits-you-should-avoid/video_ede9cda0-21bf-5a11-be53-c587a826b0e6.html.
- Günel, Sinem. 7 Things You Should Never Do in the Morning. 19 Nov. 2020, medium.com/the-ascent/7-things-you-should-try-never-to-do-in-the-morning-2ccd8f7ac89d.
- “Seven Things You Should Avoid Doing in the Morning.” Make Me Better, 21 Aug. 2020, www.makemebetter.net/seven-things-you-should-avoid-doing-in-the-morning/.
- Wolff, Carina. “11 Surprising Things You Should Never Do Just After You Wake Up.” Bustle, Bustle, 9 Feb. 2018, www.bustle.com/p/11-surprising-things-you-should-never-do-just-after-you-wake-up-8167587.