As easy as it is to skimp on your routine, rush breakfast, and then try to dive right into work — that’s not usually the best way to go.
Without starting your morning properly you may never hit your full efficiency, or worse, you could doom the rest of your day to failure.
On the positive side, a good morning routine can make it a whole lot easier to be productive for the rest of the day.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways to start a very productive day:
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Your morning begins as soon as that alarm wakes you up. If it happens to wake you up 4 hours after you went to sleep, then you’ll probably have a very difficult time being productive for the rest of the day. If you get a full 8 hours, on the other hand, things will look much rosier.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to severely reduce productivity, dramatically shorten your attention span, contribute to obesity and other health problems, and even slow your reaction time as much as alcohol.
If you need some help shutting down and falling asleep earlier, I recommend checking out Pzizz.com’s sleep tracks — they work wonders for an over-active mind. I also highly recommend Dave Navarro’s Becoming an Early Riser Program — he has a ton of great advice for getting awesome sleep and waking up with lots of energy.
2. Spend 20 minutes being disciplined
Get in the habit of doing something every morning that requires a lot of discipline. Find something that is very good for you, something that you feel great about doing (usually after the fact), and make sure you do it every morning.
Personally, I like to go for a 20 minute run. Okay, I actually hate running, but I feel great afterward — and every morning that I go running I have this great accomplishment to look back on for the rest of the day. It’s like a pace-setter reminding me that even if I don’t want to work hard, I’ve done it before, and I’ll feel great when things get completed.
3. Eat Breakfast
There really isn’t much to say about this, except that its importance has been studied and proven as much as the importance of sleep. So eat your breakfast, and eat it good.
4. Clarify EXACTLY what tasks are productive
Don’t just write a task list every morning — we all know that it’s possible to work hard all day long and not really accomplish anything.
Spend 10 minutes and think about the following:
- What you have to do today
- What you’ve been putting off doing
- What you’d like to do today
Once you’ve thought about that, put yourself in your shoes at the end of the day. Imagine you’re looking back at all of the things you did during the day and evaluating yourself. Now — which things really matter? Which things make the biggest difference?
It’s those tasks that need to be on your list, and it’s those things that you need focus on to make your day productive.
5. Get into work mode
Once you’ve completed your morning routine, had breakfast, clarified your daily goals, etc… it’s time to get into work mode. Shower (or don’t), shave (or don’t), get dressed (or don’t), drive to the office (or not), and basically do whatever you need to do to get ready for work.
The goal is to remove yourself from distractions and prepare to focus on doing work. Whether you’re working at home or in an office, it helps to create a routine that clearly signifies this change. Once you have those mental blinders in place, you can step away from all things not related to work and get down to business.
These points have helped me sharpen my productivity, but each person is different. Do you have any tips that you use to help kick-start a productive day?