Are you a morning person? Somebody who rises bright and early and gets jobs done before the rest of us start stirring? Or, does it take you a little longer to get going? We often hear about the routines of highly successful individuals. They know how important it is to get a good start to the day and the impact it will have on the rest of their day. But are there any habits we can adopt? Easy steps we can take to make our days more productive? Of course there are.
Implementing the right strategies when you wake up can have a profound impact on your energy levels, productivity, and mood. Tony Robbins follows a well known morning routine. It consists of an ice cold water plunge, a form of meditation that he calls “priming” and some brief, intense exercise. Richard Branson explains how he wasn’t always a morning person. But since he started following a structured morning routine he has become someone who “can achieve so much more in a day.” He now wakes up before 5:00 am, gets in a workout, has time for breakfast, and also commits to 20 minutes of learning.
If you don’t want to go to those lengths, try to introduce one or two these five habits to your morning routine.
Completing a workout first thing in the morning can have a significant impact on your energy, mood, and stress levels. Not only does it wake your body up, but many people report having more mental clarity after finishing a workout. I personally recommend some form of strength training exercise that will burn calories while improving strength. If weight loss or fat loss is your goal, you can pair 3-4 strength training exercises into a circuit to burn more calories and save you time in the gym.
My experience was that this style of training gave me the most energy throughout the day. It also yielded the best results compared to regular cardio or machine work. I also recommend including at least 5-10 minutes of stretching. This is a great way to wake your body up before starting your actual workout and can prevent feeling tight or even sluggish to start your day.
Each person can have their own reason to practice meditation. To relieve stress or to put themselves in a positive mindset to start the day. For me, it was the need to focus on one task at a time and not allow my mind to wander. I started with 5 minutes of meditation in the morning and then progressed to immediately before I started work.
I found that this helped me focus, and ultimately increased my productivity. It helped me by determining what tasks needed to be prioritized now rather than hopping around from one task to another. This can be done simply by searching for a short meditation video online. There are also several free apps that make it easy to start, like Headspace and Calm.
After years of working in the fitness industry I have noticed that some people make sure to give their body the proper fuel in the morning. While others are less consistent with having a nutritious breakfast.
The individuals who make sure their body is fueled properly often have a ‘go-to’ meal that doesn’t require them to think about it each morning. They have a structured morning schedule that includes the same meal which is usually very quick and easy to prepare.
This can be some eggs, or a smoothie, or protein shake. I highly recommend including some protein and healthy fats. Protein will allow you to keep the feeling of fullness longer and a healthy fat will actually give your body some energy while at rest.
Complete important tasks
One thing I’ve heard many times is to complete the most important tasks of the day first. While some projects may be bigger than others, I have set specific tasks to be done immediately after my meditation, exercise, and fuel.
If you have done these first, it makes it easier to deal with unexpected tasks that pop up throughout the day.
Reading or writing
If there is one thing that most successful people agree on, it’s to never stop learning. Starting your day with 10-20 minutes of reading or writing is a great way to prepare your mind.
Developing a morning routine that sets you up to be the most productive, focused, and energized version of yourself is something that will vary from person to person.
Jesse Rosenthal is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. He founded Rose Fitness NY which offers private training in NY & NJ, Online Fitness & Nutrition Consulting through their mobile app, and LIVE streamed training sessions. For more information visit officehealthworker.com