There’s no doubt we live in a crazy busy society. It’s hard to keep up with everything you need to get done at work, at home, with your family, all while trying to stay up with the latest trends and keep yourself sane. Here are 5 tricks to do before 8am that will set your day up for success and help you stay on top of that lengthy to-do list:
- Immediately walk outside. If you live in an apartment, walk out onto your balcony. In my house, I (literally) stumble to the back door before I can fully open my eyes. I started this habit simply because I had to let my dogs out. They’re very needy and wake up early. Now, I do it to get me up in the mornings. It’ll wake you up to see the sunlight, feel the wind blowing, and hear the birds or cars passing by. In fact, it’s actually better for you to wake up with the sun than it is an alarm clock. Why? An alarm clock can wake you up in the middle of your REM sleep cycle. If you were in a deep sleep, you’ll wake up feeling tired, and be tired throughout the whole day. The sun, on the other hand, will wake you up more naturally and not so abruptly. Even if it’s not a bright sunny day, the natural light of the sun will still do it’s job. You don’t have to stay outside a long time, just long enough to wake you up and not fall back asleep. Trust me, I’ve tried to close my eyes while sitting outside, and I just can’t go back to sleep. If you want to go the extra mile, open up your curtains and blinds after coming back inside. So, tomorrow morning, try bringing a newspaper or coffee outside and just sit for a few minutes. Doing this daily will help bring your internal clock to a consistent pattern so you can feel healthier and happier throughout the day.
- Don’t waste time on your phone when trying to get out of bed. It’s a horrible habit and a lot of us do it. This used to be my way of waking up, but more often than not, I’d look at the time and see that I’ve wasted 30 minutes watching facebook videos. Give your body and mind the care it deserves. Just don’t do it. Tristan Harris, founder of Center Humane Technology, has even said that immediately looking at your phone is like psychologically telling yourself “What have I missed since yesterday?” leaving you feeling overwhelmed and less productive. Your focus becomes less on waking up to a new day, which is what you need for a fresh start.
- Spend 5 minutes cleaning your house before you leave for work. This could mean making your bed, wiping the kitchen counter tops down, putting away your makeup, or folding the blanket on the couch from last night. By doing so, you’re tricking your mind into feeling accomplished. In just 5 minutes, you’ll feel as though you’ve already been productive before your work day even starts.
- Leave for work 15 minutes earlier than normal. I’m willing to bet you’ll run into less traffic, and most importantly you’ll be less rushed. Feeling rushed in the mornings is one of the worst feelings, because it stresses you out before the work even begins. Getting to the office early will also help relax you, giving you time to make a cup of coffee before your 8 am meeting Monday morning. You’ll have an extra few moments to sit and think “Wow, I really can be in control of my day”. If this seems like a challenge for you (like it was for me), try picking your clothes out the night before or having your bags in the car ready to go.
- Ten before ten. This one has truly changed the game for me. As soon as I get to work, I make myself accomplish 10 things before 10 am. For example, it could be making 10 phone calls, sending 5 emails and finishing 5 small tasks, or whatever you’re needing to get done. By setting this simple goal, you’ll be far ahead of the rest of the group. Keep it reasonable, you need to be able to actually get those 10 things done. But many people stroll into work, make their coffee, look over a few emails, talk to some colleagues, and don’t even get started until 10am. This way you’ll stay way ahead of the game.
These are just a few tips and tricks I’ve used that have drastically changed how productive my day is. Try these and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your feedback and how these are changing your daily lives.