Are you a morning person?
I’m not. In fact, my snooze button is one of my best friends.
But while I’m not an early bird by nature, I do realize that mornings are a great time to get things done:
- There are fewer interruptions. (How many calls do you get at 5 a.m.?)
- The day is still full of possibilities. (Think of all the extra stuff you could accomplish if you kicked into gear earlier.)
- Your willpower is renewed after a good night’s sleep. (Mornings are a great time to tackle the stuff you didn’t accomplish yesterday).
- When you whittle down your To Do list in the morning, you head into the afternoon feeling as though you’ve really accomplished something (and feel better about yourself as a result).
Research supports this notion. In fact, a recent University of Toronto study shows that morning people actually feel happier, healthier and more satisfied with their careers and lives than their night owl counterparts.
If you’re naturally a night owl, if your mornings are too chaotic, or if you’d simply like to make your mornings more productive, try adopting the habits of highly successful “morning people”:
Get to bed earlier. To truly seize the morning, you need to start with a good night’s sleep. Instead of surfing the web, watching meaningless TV or puttering around the house at night, go to bed. You’ll feel fresher in the morning and be ready to get your day started.
Plan the logistics and timing of your morning. What time do you need to be to work? Leave the house? Get in the shower? Work backward through your morning to figure out everything you’d like to accomplish before you start work. If you want to add a workout, morning coffee with a friend or time for meditation or planning, factor these into your a.m. schedule so you truly have time for them.
Prepare for your morning the night before. Do what you can in the evening to streamline your morning. Pack your lunch, set out your clothes (and change of clothes if you’ll be working out), plan what you’ll eat, organize your To Do list, put your keys, wallet, purse, etc. in one place – little steps like these can greatly reduce the stress and chaos that tend to plague people’s morning routines.
Build your habits. Rome took longer than a day to build, and so will your new productive morning routine. So start slow. Try getting up a little earlier each week until your new rising time feels normal. Add just one positive change to your routine each week and your mornings will be happier and more productive in no time.
How do you supercharge your mornings? We at Berks & Beyond would love to know – please leave your tips and habits for success below.