Monday, August 24, 2015

6 Ways to Make Your Mornings More Productive

Morning is an important time. It sets the tone for your entire day, and it's home to the best meal ever (see #5 below). Since I went back to school and changed jobs last year, I've been spending a lot of time at home, so a morning routine has become more important than ever to start my day off right. Today, I'm sharing five six easy tips to help make your mornings more productive as well!

1. Don't use the snooze button. Pretty self explanatory, right? Does anyone really feel better after getting 15 extra minutes of half-sleep in the morning? I know I don't.

2. Better yet, don't set an alarm. This definitely depends on what type of sleeper you are, but if you have a flexible daily schedule, I would recommend not setting an alarm. For example, I work all afternoon and evening shifts, so I know I'll be up in plenty of time to get ready. But, if I set an alarm for 7:30 a.m. and wake up naturally at 6:30 a.m., for example, I usually think, "Oh, I have another hour! I'm going back to sleep." But, if I don't set an alarm and wake up naturally at 6:30 a.m., I am more likely to just get up because I don't want to risk falling back asleep and not getting up until 8 or 9 a.m, therefore wasting hours of my day.

3. Do something you love first thing. Do you love reading? Give yourself enough time to read one chapter of a book while sipping your morning coffee. Do you love exercise? Hit the pavement or load that yoga video and start your morning off right.

4. Alternatively, do something you dread first thing. Do you hate exercise? Go to the gym right when you wake up! Spend an hour or half-hour doing something you don't enjoy, and you'll be able to spend the rest of the day focusing on things you enjoy instead of dreading an unpleasant task later. Plus, if you don't do it (whatever it is) right away, you're less likely to make time for it in the evening.

5. Eat breakfast. After all, it's the most important meal of the day, right? I love breakfast, so this is a no brainer for me. On a typical morning, I make myself eggs with toast and/or turkey bacon, and I always enjoy a hot cup of coffee (or two). Feel free to try my easy breakfast sandwich recipe for a quick meal on the go with minimal clean-up.

6. Get dressed. Here's a bonus tip because I couldn't leave it off the list: Put on real clothes. Seriously. I feel so much more productive when I get dressed (even if it's just running leggings and a tank top because I plan to ride my bike to the library later) instead of lounging around in my pajamas or robe for the entire morning. Then I just want to go back to bed. ;)

What is your ideal morning routine? Do you have any tips for me? 

Note: I am not a psychologist, sleep scientist or dietician; these are simply tips I have found work for me! Please do not take any of these tips as clinical or medical advice.

Linking up with Darci, April, Christina and Natasha for FIVE on Friday; and Karli for Oh Hey, Friday!

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