Today you’re going to learn how to increase productivity in the morning.
Waking up early in the morning and doing inner work is a guaranteed method to taking your productivity and general well being to a level you have never experienced before.
The basic premise that I will discuss in this post is to wake up at 5 AM for at least 5 days a week and spend the first hour in preparing your mind and body so you can tackle your day with greater efficiency and ease.
Before you dismiss this idea as being unrealistic let me bring attention to how most people wake up and the negative implication it has on their day.
How To Increase Productivity In The Morning:
Most people begin their day tired and grumpy that they have to leave their comfy beds and go to work or school. More often than not, they press the snooze button to saver those extra five minutes of sleep, which, based on weak logic, will somehow make a difference in your energy level.
When most people get up and then have to be somewhere on time, they live their morning in chaos. Rushing in the shower and to dress up before finally leaving to get something quick and easy to eat and drink. Usually both highly processed and unhealthy.
Let me ask you, how does a start like this impact your decisions for the rest of the day?
By living this way and choosing to begin the day like, most people live in a state of being reactive instead of proactive to the day’s events.
Clarity is inexistent and there is a high chance for making the wrong decisions throughout the day because the day was begun on the wrong foot.
In order to implement actions that are congruent with your highest aspirations throughout the day you must prepare beforehand and by implementing a morning ritual, you will significantly aid yourself in installing an undefeatable mindset.
For example, in order to effectively lose weight, one must prepare before hand on constructing a high quality diet and scheduling time to exercise. What makes the difference between actually following through on plans is self discipline.
If your mornings are a chaotic mess and you only have time to eat something quick and easy you are more likely to grab tempting fast food on your lunch break rather than something that is healthy.
Whereas gearing yourself up in the right mindset in the morning and realigning with your vision will bring your goals to the forefront of your thoughts and therefore you will be more likely to say no to the fast food and do what’s hard and necessary and opt for something healthy.
Basically you are far more likely to live your day and finish it off poorly if you start poorly.
You and I both know the negative consequences that living your day unaligned with your highest aspirations can have.
Stress, worry, agitation, sadness, disappointment and a countless array of other negative emotions impact our thoughts and feelings which thereby impacts our actions to be minimal in genuine achievement in our goals.
I want to challenge your present thought process and convince you to detach from the shackles of a chaotic and unproductive lifestyle and take a stance on being at your best.
I aim to present the following reasons on why you should wake up early so you will have the motivation and drive to stop making excuses and begin your day like a leader.
In this age of distraction and high stress, our body and mind needs preparation before going out and facing the world. Numerous leadership and productivity experts such as Brian Tracy argue that every minute spent in preparation will save you 10 minutes in execution.
Therefore, the payoff for your investment in preparation will be tenfold. The morning is where you program yourself to be a winner. To be proactive and completely in charge of your decisions and actions throughout the day.
In order to have the strength to say no when you are offered that tempting mouthwatering food you need to prepare before hand otherwise you will be a victim of temptation.
You need to prepare your mind and body to build on that level of energy you need to deal with the day efficiently and to ensure that the span of your focus with your goals and highest aspiration is prolonged.
As with preparing for a speech or playing competitive sport, it is critical that you practice and work on building yourself up before you tackle what is ahead.
If you are struggling in having greater focus throughout your day or getting that one critical task done, then harnessing the power of your mornings will be your savior.
I can promise you that the first 3 hours of your morning from 5 AM to 8 AM will be your most productive if you stick with the routine presented in this article and follow through with it. The reason being is that your willpower levels are highest in the morning.
You will get more done than you have in days and set the scene for having a more productive day when you go to school or work.
It’s all about the way you start. If you are strong and focused, this energy will carry on with you and you will be more likely to make the right decisions and be ready to act when opportunity comes knocking on your door.
The inner power you feel when you act on building yourself and getting the important things done while the rest of the world is sleeping is phenomenal.
Ask your family and friends about their mornings and the absolute majority will tell you that they wake up as late as possible and the idea of preparing themselves early has never come across their minds.
By doing this morning routine, day after day, you not only become a more productive person but your confidence will begin to grow, you will start to like yourself more, you will feel happier about yourself and that you can tackle anything that life throws at you.
In summary, you feel like the days of being chaotic and as a victim are nothing but a distant memory and have instead been replaced with a mindset that is congruent with that of a leader.
How To Wake Up Early
It’s all well and good for me to ask you to simply wake up at 5 AM and start doing inner work, but the reality is that waking up this early is hard. I’m not going to lie wit you, this is a difficult task to do. If it were easy, everybody would do it.
In reality, the first few days and weeks will feel extremely uncomfortable. You are not going to simple jump out of bed tomorrow with a big smile on your face and be keen to tackle the day’s events. You will feel tired and your resistance to get out of bed will be at sky-high levels.
What I want to do is walk you through how you can make this process easier for yourself so that you stick with this process for the long term instead of feeling discomfort for the few days and then retreating back to your comfortable old habits.
Slowly start to wake up earlier
Waking up earlier and earlier on a daily basis will gear you up for tackling that 5 AM start with greater ease. Let’s say you wake up at 10AM every day and all of a sudden you were to wake up at 5AM tomorrow.
By doing this, you would feel significant discomfort and as a result, your subconscious mind would tell you to never do that again as you never want to experience that type of pain again.
That is why we have to go at it slowly and only focus on waking up earlier slowly for now before we get into the proposed morning regimen.
The premise is simple. Sleep earlier and wake up earlier.
If you are on the computer or phone at 2 AM then turn your devices off at 10 PM, take a shower or have a bath, read a book and get to bed. You might want to drink some decaf tea or try meditation.
What ever it is, start to unwind your body and go to bed. This will be hard at first because powerful habits are already in place that tell you to stay up later and you will most likely be tossing and turning in your bed and be wide awake past 2 AM.
All I can say to you is trust in yourself that your sleeping will get better and keep at it. Whatever you do, don’t retreat back to entertaining activities such as watching TV or surfing online as you will stall your progress.
Keep going at it day after day.
Get to understand the time when you need to wake based on your sleep time. As you know, we have cycles of sleep and when we wake up in the middle of them we feel tired and groggy.
In order to inhibit these feelings of tiredness you need to wake up at the end of a sleep cycle.
All you have to do is research online on the appropriate time you should get up when you go to bed and your wake up will not feel as difficult.
For example, if you wanted to wake up at 7 AM, a good time to sleep would be 10 PM. With that being said, slowly start to wake up earlier and earlier. If you wake up at 10 AM and sleep at 2 AM, slowly reduce this by increments of 30 minutes.
Turn off your devices at 10 PM, take a shower, read a relaxing book so you that you can sleep at 12:30 AM and wake up at 9:30 AM (which is aligned with a proper sleep cycle). Try this for a few days and when you feel uncomfortable, wake up at 9 AM and go to bed at 12 AM.
Follow through with this until you have hit that goal of waking up at 5 AM. And sleeping at 9:30 PM. A great resource to calculate your sleep and wake time is sleepytime (www.sleepyti.me)
Now you may be asking yourself, how many days do I have to do this for? The answer is at least 5. I personally do 6 days a week and have a day off where I can take a break.
It is important that you don’t wear yourself out and keep to a pattern of consistency. By setting your expectations too high and forcing yourself to wake up at 5 AM everyday for the next few months you will destine yourself for failure simply because things will get in your way that 5 AM goal will not be hit everyday.
You will thus feel disappointed in yourself and instead of waking up at 5 AM the next day you will find excuses that relate back to you not achieving the 5 AM goal the other day and your progress will stall.
Keep it simple and don’t set yourself up for too much.
If you fail to get up at 5 AM on one of your days, just use the day as one of your ‘off days’ and promise yourself that you will continue to stick with the plan for the rest of the week.
Now what about the tactics to help you get up and stay up?
Do not eat past 7 PM
Don’t eat past this allocated time or else you will find yourself sleeping later and having a more troublesome sleep.
When you eat late, your digestive system spends the whole night doing its work by digesting your food, you inevitably wake up feeling exhausted and your results for the coming day will be tampered.
Put your alarm clock away from your bed
An excellent method to make sure you wake up and get up is by putting your alarm clock away from your bed, if not, in the other room. This forces you to get up and walk to turn it off.
When you are up instead of retreating back to your bed for extra sleep just stop for a moment and think about something to look forward to.
Think about your goals for the day, week and month and become aware this is the price for discipline and success in your life.
Don’t Press the Snooze Button
What ever you do, don’t press the snooze button. When you press the snooze button, or if you set multiple alarms on your phone you install a safety net and allow yourself to wake up later.
What we want to do is remove that safety net and force you to get up as soon as the alarm sounds. This is something that you need to take the initiative and discipline on but I can assure you that it will become easier and easier over time if you keep at it.
The Morning Routine
What the elite performers do in the morning for you to reach sky-high levels of productivity and focus?
This method might seem overwhelming at first and that is why it is recommended that you pick out a few simple tasks that will be easy to implement in your life before you take on the routine as a whole.
Setting your day up as a success means setting your morning for success and we do that by getting into a positive mindset. When most people wake up they are frustrated by the fact that they have to get out of bed.
Over the next few days when you wake up, find a reason to smile (1) and if you can’t do that, force yourself to smile. This might sound strange to you at first but it is one of the easiest, if not, the easiest way to improve your mood.
It costs nothing and will only take a few seconds of your time. We associate smiling with happiness and that is why when you smile in the morning you trick your brain into being happier.
Smiling first thing in the morning will also set a positive tone for your day and you will find yourself more inclined to be positive as the day unfolds.
Meditation for me personally has done amazing thing in increasing my concentration and improving my general well being. Meditating has numerous benefits and after only a few short weeks with consistent meditation you will see dramatic improvements to your mood and focus.
The first activity you want to do is to meditate. Find a place that is comfortable and quiet, sit down cross-legged or on a chair touching the floor with your back straight up and your palms resting on your knees.
Close your eyes and begin by taking an inhalation for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 1 second and exhaling for 4 seconds.
Try to not think about anything but simply observe your body and breathe. If thoughts pop up or you find yourself getting agitated for sitting in one place for too long don’t beat yourself up, just relax.
You have to trust in yourself that your present state of ability will improve and you will eventually concentrate on your meditation with ease. Continue repeating a process of deep breathing for 5 minutes.
There are many guided mediations available online and to start off, simply download one of the beginner’s guides and practice every day.
Yoga is vital in improving the flow of oxygen around the body and will get your mind and body energized. Slowly come out of your mediation by rubbing your hands and feet together and then actively perform in doing stretches that target all regions of your body. Spend 5 – 10 minutes in practicing one of the guided yoga sessions for free online.
Get your heart rate up
After you have done your meditation and yoga, which at first will take only 10 minutes, start to move your body around by doing some light exercise.
It all boils down to your personal preference but what worked for me was to do a few sets of push-ups and star jumps. You might want to go outside for a quick walk around the block or if you live close by, spend some time in nature.
This short exercise session should not be too long and I usually spend 5 minutes on it but I make sure that it is vigorous.
Envision your goals and vision
Energy is not all about the foods that you eat or the amount of sleep you get. People with high amounts of energy feel as if they working towards having their greatest potential.
Goal setting serves as a method that channels your aspirations to a clear plan and is something that you need to invest time in learning if you want to have greater focus and clarity in your life.
Pick five goals that need to be completed by the end of the year and every morning look at your goals and repeat and visualize them to yourself in silence ten times, aloud ten times and in writing ten times.
If you are struggling in going that extra mile and achieving your goals, I guarantee this method will channel your focus to such a great extent that you will make drastic improvements if and only if you are in remembrance of your highest calling when doing your daily tasks.
Another fantastic method is to write two to three paragraphs about your vision for yourself. Pour your ideas down onto a single page about who you want to be, what you want your life to stand for, what you want to experience, etc.
Read this page to yourself aloud each morning and it will help you gain further clarity as to how you want to exist in this world.
The final thing to do to have a great start to the morning is to fill your mind with best knowledge from businesspeople, world leaders and self-help and motivational experts. The amount you invest in education and in learning what elite performers do will return to your net worth several times greater.
It is important that you are growing and consistently learning to make sure that you always have a competitive edge.
Your circumstances will change almost on a daily basis and a way leader deals with this is by adapting. With no knowledge on the game changing steps you need to take to adapt you are destined to be set back in your overall performance.
Read the books and listen to the audio books, watch the top speeches and delve in the endless information that is readily available to you.
By doing this you will always be a step ahead a have a clear plan on the path you need to follow to achieve all forms of success.
Track your progress
Tracking your progress is simpler than perceived. You don’t need anything except a pad of paper and a pen. Just write down all things that you did in your morning routine, to the time you woke up to the material you gained insight from and mark with a tick.
Do this for everyday that you participate on acting on your morning routine and you will exactly know where you are and how far you have come.
Do the most important thing first
Once you have finished with your morning routine its time to take serious action on the to do list. Your willpower and focus is at his highest levels in the morning and that is why you should do the most important thing on your list first.
Focus on nothing but one critical task straight after your morning routine and you will soon find that you will be more confident (2) when dealing with the day’s events.
Once you have completed that one thing, you will feel a surge of energy and if you ride the upward spiral of positive emotion and belief you will be more productive then you have ever been before.
Thank you for reading this article about how to increase productivity in the morning.
I hope you have enjoyed what I had to share and find it most useful in reaching your goals and becoming your highest self.
As I said before, this is a difficult process and will take months to install as a habit. The last thing I want you to do is try this out for two or three days, feel some discomfort and quit. You have to keep going and most importantly go at a pace that seems right for you.