4 Parts of Your Morning Routine Causing You to be Less Productive
How you structure your morning can have a major effect on how productive you are throughout the day. Preparation is important, as is getting on track promptly after you get to work. And although it may go against the grain of what you’ve always been told, getting up earlier actually may be detrimental to your success.
Here are four common aspects of morning routines you may want to reconsider as you look for ways to build your productivity and be “on” when it comes to doing your best work:
Do You Even Have a Routine?
Having to decide what to do every morning is a good way to end up procrastinating on actually getting anything done at all. But it’s easy to get right to work if you have a clear to-do list on your desk, describing exactly what to tackle during the first hour of your day.
- Routines are motivation generators. They help you set and maintain a commitment to doing good, productive work over time.
Did You Prepare Ahead of Time?
You can drastically reduce the number of decisions you have to make and tasks you have to do each morning by preparing the night before. Start with:
- Clothing: Decide on and lay out your clothes for the following day. Do the same for your little ones, if you have them.
- Food: Make your lunch ahead of time and leave it ready to grab from the fridge. Set your coffeemaker and leave as many breakfast items on the counter as possible. Take your dinner entrée out of the freezer; knowing you’ll have less stress around dinnertime will add to your energy level, motivation and daytime productivity.
Should You Start Your Own Ritual?
As part of your morning routine, allow your brain some quiet time before you get to work, so you can generate creative ideas and mentally step into your plan for the day ahead.
- Finish this “brain time” with a prework activation ritual. It could be listening to an uplifting song or greeting each of your co-workers with a brief, upbeat hello … whatever it takes to get your brain into work mode. The entire process doesn’t have to take more than five or 10 minutes. It will make it easier for you to slide seamlessly into the day’s tasks, rather than having to will your way into it.
Last But Not Least – What About Your Wakeup Time?
Despite what you may think, working smarter doesn’t necessarily mean getting up earlier. In fact, for some people, setting the alarm an hour or two ahead of normal may actually hamper productivity.
- According to behavioral scientist Jon Levy, waking up earlier could actually hurt, versus boost, your productivity. Adjust your morning routine to accommodate what is best for you. “Our biology influences what times of the day we are most productive,” Levy notes. “The overwhelming majority of all people are not built to consistently wake up at 5 a.m.” Studies cited by Levy show that sleep deprivation mimics intoxication – making you more irritable, less functional, and less productive.
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