Revamping Your Mornings For Efficiency
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! It’s 7:30 a.m. and your alarm is blaring. It’s time to get up for work. By the time you hit snooze, finally get up, in and out of the shower and apply some foundation, it’s time to get out the door, but you still need to blow dry your hair, eat breakfast, and find the file on your new client you left somewhere on the table. Does this stressful situation sound like a typical morning in the life of you? If it does, have no fear. There are tiny tweaks you can make to ensure you are maximizing time in the mornings, instead of starting the day off with stress, anxiety and chaos.
Mornings need a little motivation. What hypes you up and gets you moving? A new song? Knowing your morning java is on just minutes away? Set something special everyday that will get you excited and out of bed. Eight quick ounces of water will provide a jolt to get moving physically. Wake up your mind with a quick 10 minute deep breathing or meditation routine.
Need a little more motivation than that to get out of bed? Put the alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. How about an alarm clock you have to stand on to turn off. It’s cruel but it works. Once you’re up, don’t get back in bed.
Everything should have a place. It does not have to be the most practical place, but keys, chargers, a phone, headphones - everything needs a home where they can be easily found. Pack the essentials the night before for a grab and go job in the morning without second guessing if you left something behind.
Pick out the next day’s outfit the night before. We have all heard this one, but not everyone does it. If you’re super focused on looking good and making a splash or have a meeting, don’t waste time worrying about what you’re putting on your body in the morning. Even go as far as to trying it on to make sure it fits property, matches well and doesn’t have a hidden stain. This goes from top and bottom, shoes, socks and accessories.
A nice warm shower is hard to leave, especially when when it’s a cold dark winter morning. Limit the amount of time spent in there. Squeaky clean? It’s time to get out. If it can be done, avoid a hair washing session in the mornings to cut back on time. Looking to add some body and bounce to your locks? Skip the curling iron. Set your hair in flexi rods or foam rollers overnight. Not only will this cut down on time, but it will help avoid heat damage. Wake up, comb them out and go.
Just because time in the mornings is limited, does not mean you should skip breakfast. You need to eat to kick start the day right. From avocado toast to yogurt with fruit and granola, there are healthy, quick options to consider.
Think about lunch while you’re at it. Between meetings, events and last-minute client requests, things just seem to get away at the office sometimes. Don’t let this ruin a healthy eating routine. Pack up lunch the night before to avoid having to run out of the office to the closest, fastest option.
All of this is great for getting out the door and to the office, but what about once the work day starts? The morning is not over. There are still things to be done.
“It turns out that most people are productive in the first two hours of the morning. Not immediately after waking, but if you get up at 7 you’ll be most productive from around from 8-10:30,” said Dan Ariely, an author and Psychology and Behavioral Economics professor at Duke University.
Use this time to cross they day’s heavy and most important tasks off of your to-do list. We all have dreaded projects that we don’t look forward to. Getting these done early on in the day is a confidence boost that you are a superwoman and can do anything. Plug in headphones, tune out distractions, grab your coffee or tea and get to typing.
Breathe. If everything seems to be going wrong, the last thing you’ll think of is to stop and breathe. Take a minute. Clear your mind and start again. Setbacks aren’t ideal, but life does go on.
Remember, mornings don’t have to be your enemy. If you still find yourself crunched for time, it might be that waking up slightly earlier is what you need. After a quick trial period, you can reevaluate if these changes are working and improving your lifestyle.