Are you the type of person who needs to hit snooze three times before you roll out of bed? If you are, then it probably takes you the first two hours, and at least two cups of coffee, to start being productive at work. Those first few hours at work are usually the quietest. Many people come in tired or use that time to organize their day. The phones aren't ringing and meetings haven't started. For many morning people, that is when they get the most done. If you want to shift your day and make the most out of those morning hours, then there are tried and true steps you can take to make it happen.
Set Yourself up for Success
In order to make your mornings run smoothly, get all your ducks in a row. Before you leave work the day before, organize your desk. Make sure that completed tasks are turned in, filed away and completely off your plate. Identify a punch list of items that you can quickly complete the next morning. Collect everything you need to complete those tasks and have it ready to go in a neat pile. Also, review your upcoming meetings and make sure you have completed everything required. When you enter your workspace the next morning, you won't be cleaning up or rushing to get ready for a meeting. You will be prepared and ready to start checking items off your list.
Nourish your body
Besides being mentally ready to tackle the morning, you must also be physically ready. If you are tired and sluggish, all that prep work will be for nothing. Drinking buckets of coffee is not the answer. Your new morning routine should include a protein-rich breakfast and energy-boosting supplements. If you don't have time to cook, then consider adding protein powders to a fruit smoothie. Supplements also come in powders, like Gundry Vital Reds, that can be added to a water bottle. Look for powders that include ingredients like B-12, CoQ10 and superfoods like beet powder, which work with your body to naturally reduce fatigue. If you are skeptical about the worth of supplements, then do some research and read Vital Reds reviews. Herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea are also great if you enjoy tea.
Designate Time for Emails
If you start your workday by answering emails, it can easily monopolize the entire morning. Resist the urge to go down that path, unless you are waiting for something urgent. Start your day with the punch list of items you identified the previous day and save the emails for later. Some companies suggest that emails be answered within 24 hours of receiving them. So, set up one or two times every day when you will address emails. When consistent, colleagues will get used to receiving your replies around the same time and will begin to work around that schedule. Most importantly, do not start or end your day with emails. This special time needs to be designated to your schedule and tasks, not determined by the needs of others.
Set an Intention
This is borrowed from the practice of yoga. Before a traditional yoga class, participates are expected to set an intention for the session. This may be something simple, like to accomplish a specific pose. It could be something very general, like setting an intention to deflect negative gossip. Just one simple declaration gives you an attainable goal to focus on for one day. This is a great exercise to implement on the way to work. Most people drive to work thinking about all of the tasks they need to complete that day. By the time they arrive, their brain has been stretched in a million directions. That mind frame does not help with productivity. Instead, when you are traveling to work focus on one task that you would love to take off your plate. Tell yourself mentally or out loud that you will complete that task today. With a singular focus, you will not be as stressed and that task will most likely be completed.
Stick to a Routine
People are creatures of habit, and the longer you maintain a habit the easier it will be. Those who go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day have proven to be more alert and less tired. If you get in the habit of planning out your clothes and meals the day before, then you may give yourself those extra five minutes to enjoy your coffee each morning. Think of how much your morning affects the rest of the day. If you have a bad morning then it will take some time to refocus. So, create a morning routine to stick to and stop giving repetitive actions space in your mind.
With all the distractions, it is very easy to scroll through emails or stare at your phone for hours. Break that pattern and reclaim your time by increasing productivity in the morning. Who knows? You could even be inspired to create a small business or find a new hobby! Once you form these good habits, you will never look back.