People who read morning productivity articles tend to be motivated. Wanting to develop better habits and get more done in a day is healthy, and aren’t we all looking to be a little healthier? Admittedly, developing good habits is easier said than done. Maybe you’ve read dozens of articles on the merits of eating chia seeds and exercising in the morning, but it just hasn’t stuck. Try as we might, the secret code to a better morning just hasn’t been cracked.
I don’t profess to have a secret code, but I believe your perfect morning will be one that works best for you. Maybe you just don’t like chia seeds and prefer to exercise at night–that’s fine! Reflect, practice and schedule your way to better mornings by understanding what you want, figuring out what sticks, and get ready to be on your way to more satisfyingly productive mornings.
What does your perfect morning look like? Maybe you’re always armed with a homemade organic green smoothie and hit the gym before work. Maybe you sleeps eight hours a night and walk into the office with freshly blown-out hair. Or maybe you have the time to make a big breakfast and write op-ed pieces before catching the 8am train. Figure out what you want to accomplish during your mornings, and then work backwards.
So you’ve figured out what you want–congratulations! Now is the time to figure out what routine will allow you to maximize productivity. Start by experimenting until you understand the kinds of activities that increase, rather than decrease, your energy. If you want to make smoothies every day, then you need to buy groceries. But will it bet better for your budget to just buy the smoothies instead? You have to figure out what better suits your lifestyle.
If you want to get 8 hours of sleep, naturally you need to get to bed earlier–and figure out what helps you sleep soundly. Try using a Fitbit to see your sleep patterns and what tricks help you sleep better. For example, does the air conditioner help you with those Z’s, or is it better to keep the window open?
Are you a Marissa Meyer-type that can churn our quality copy on four to six hours of sleep? Perhaps your sweet spot turns out to be writing at night, so then you can sleep in a bit more to get all the hours you need. Determining your non-negotiables is a great second step in the journey towards better mornings.
Let’s face it. As modern women, we still want to strive for our version of having it all–whatever it may be. As millennial women, we are probably still experimenting and learning what our version entails. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to work out and drink green smoothies, sleep eight hours and blow-dry your hair, and write in the morning. Just know that perhaps it can’t all be done in a single morning.
Thankfully, each day brings new opportunities to be productive. Why not schedule your day for peak creative performance? Whether you prefer to look at the week ahead on a Sunday night, or the day ahead on any given night, thinking about which goals you want to accomplish will help you actually accomplish them. Heading to bed at 10 pm won’t seem dull if you know you have set-goals ready to be tackled in the morning!
Have you used any of these techniques to make your mornings more productive? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@lienje)!