Some of us are naturally morning people and others take a while to form into existence. The older we get, the more important it is to start the day on the right foot. It’s easy to slump out of bed and suddenly find yourself at work with no idea how you got there or even if it is worth staying. Here’s some truth; how you start your day will shape how the day will progress. Here are 7 tips for a productive morning.
1. Waking up at 5:30am
Sounds ludicrous even typing that time, but when I am working Monday to Friday, this is my preferred time to wake up. I don’t have to be in the office until 7:30am, so why do I wake up at this time? It's simple, I have extra time in the day to get some tasks done and prepare myself for the day ahead.
Yep, I am one of those guys, I could rant on about all the health benefits associated with this practice, but for now, I will say this is one of the key ingredients to getting the most out of my day. It's not all crossed legs and humming; I lie in bed after waking up and listen to a simple 5 minute guided meditation. Doing this practice for me personally keeps me focused on the day and lets me start worry-free. If you're interested, try the meditation app Simple Habit, you're welcome.
I know people who wake up and run 10k plus before working until 6pm, others are at the gym at 5am before work. For me, 10 minutes of bodyweight exercises are just the right amount my body needs to feel alert and engaged after a night’s rest. Getting the heart racing will certainly wake you up more than any cup of coffee.
Most of us will get a cup of coffee as soon as we wake up, and as amazing as coffee is, it is also a diuretic which is the last thing the body needs after hours of no liquids. Drinking a litre of water before a coffee will not only bring your body into a state of alertness but will get everything moving internally. Living by a golden rule of water first, then the coffee will ensure you won't experience headaches or tiredness brought on by dehydration.
This is important and is generally the first thing we do when we wake up in bed. A nice stretch to finish off a perfect night’s sleep. However, taking 5 minutes to do a full-body stretch will wake up those muscles from hours upon hours of rest. Again, as well as making you feel alert, it is important to get limber and prepare your body for what lies ahead to avoid injury.
6. Cold Shower
I am not saying it has to be on cold throughout the duration of your morning shower, I am not that barbaric. Simply putting your shower on cold for at least 30 seconds at the end of your shower has health benefits such as improved immunity and circulation, and eases stress to name a few. Cold showering certainly takes time and is best when eased into it, start with just a few seconds and add more weekly, let your body adjust over time to this method.
7. Daily List
To put it simply, our minds are just brilliant. It is estimated we have somewhere between 50-70,000 thoughts per day. Although a lot of these thoughts simply pass and go, there are a few that are important and worth noting. For myself, I write down a daily list of things I need to accomplish before the day is done. A typical list includes things such as swimming, writing and milk to name a few. Keeping a list will not only keep you motivated for tasks but will stop yourself from overthinking.
There you have it, this is a list of what I do every morning to get the most out of my day. I am not saying that I am a life coach or guru, in fact far from it. However, it is important to set yourself up for the day. It has taken years for me to get to this stage in my morning routine and how I wish I had started sooner. For those wanting more inspiration or ideas on routines, I recommend checking out either The Tim Ferris Show or Bulletproof Radio podcasts.