I sometimes think about early mornings as a secret time that most people don’t know about. I love the feeling of getting up early and getting loads accomplished before I go to work. I’ve been working on how to make my mornings as effective as possible and thinking about the benefits of this.
When I relocated to South Africa, I discovered that everything started earlier. People got up earlier, gyms opened earlier and work started earlier. Without giving it much conscious consideration, I also established this routine, but I have also realised there are ways to maximise the effectiveness of your mornings. There is nothing more frustrating that getting up early, then aimlessly wasting time, achieving nothing.
The elements to consider are:
1) What is your motivation for getting out of bed?
Why are you getting up at the time you do? Is it to go to work, or is it to start your day? Think about how much more positive your mindset could be if you were getting up because you wanted to, rather than you had to, or you would be late for work. If you can change your thinking in this area, and get up because you want to start your day, you may find that your work day begins much more effectively, as you are already up and alert, rather than waking up fully when you are already at work!
2) How do you want your morning routine to look?
This will be unique for every individual. It really depends what will satisfy you. It’s useful to really consider what you want to have achieved by the end of the day, and what would best fit into your morning routine. If you get up early but haven’t considered what it was you actually wanted to achieve, you might find yourself feeling frustrated that the time has not been well spent and return to getting up for the work alarm. You might also want to consider when you get your energy. If you are most alert in the morning you might want to choose activities that require energy. If it takes you a long time to wake up, you could consider more relaxing endeavours more centred around getting you fully alert.
There are several useful ways to help forming a morning routine. You might find this blog post useful about using the app CoachMe to support your desired habits.
3) How will you track progress
To help clarify that getting up earlier is starting to benefit you, you might want to spend some time reflecting on what has improved in your life since making the change. Do you feel more positive, are you more alert when you first start work, have you started to be more productive, getting more things done, have you established an exercise routine? Basically, whatever you set out to do, have you been successful and very simply speaking, does this make you feel good?
An important point to remember is that you may need to change the time you go to bed, to ensure that you get enough sleep so as not to feel tired during the day. If you significantly change the time you get up, you will need to consider going to bed earlier.
There are so many things that you could utilise this newfound time in the morning doing. Some of the most common ones are:
Usually the only thing stopping you exercising in the morning is your own self motivation. In the evening so many things can genuinely get in the way but in the morning, it would usually just be can you persuade yourself out of bed. Establishing an exercise routine can be a great way of waking you up ready to start the day and feeling like you have already made a great achievement before you start work.
If exercising is a bit too energetic for you, you could consider reading. Either your latest book, or information in the Internet you are interested in. One thing to potentially avoid is spending lots of time browsing social media, unless this is something that really motivates you.
You might want to tackle that to do list. If you do one personal task every morning, you’ll rapidly see that list growing smaller. If you manage to do more than one task that is on your agenda, think how motivated you’ll feel about how much you have achieved before some of your friends and colleagues have even got out of bed!
Aspirations of the day
Many people find it fruitful to write a morning journal. Less of a diary, and more about what you hope to achieve during the day. By undertaking this activity, you are more likely to feel like you have accomplished what you set out to, as you have given it some consideration. Try writing a few pages of your thoughts about how you want to tackle the day and what you want to have achieved by the end of it. You’ll be amazed how much direction it can provide.
Have you started a morning routine? What Does it include? How do you motivate yourself to get out of bed? I’d love to hear in the comments below.