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We all aim for a productive morning routine, but not everyone achieves it. It’s easy to slip into bad habits in the morning.

Most of us know the feeling when it gets to lunchtime and we realize we haven’t achieved much. It’s frustrating.

Compare that to how you might feel if you’ve had a productive morning, ticked off some items from your to-do list. There are plenty of productive things to do in the morning, so how do you get into the habit?

With more and more people working from home, the temptation to stay in bed an extra 10 minutes or waste a little bit of time on YouTube is there for all of us, but avoiding this temptation can lead to a more productive lifestyle. You may even achieve more in the process.

Let’s dive into how to have a productive morning, with our top tips to help even the most extreme night owl be productive before lunchtime.

Stop Telling Yourself You’re Not a Morning Person

Before we share the most practical tips, we need to share a little about the psychology of a morning routine.

Have you ever heard of a “self-fulfilling prophecy”? This is a genuine psychological effect. It “refers to the phenomenon whereby a person’s or a group’s expectation for the behavior of another person or group serves actually to bring about the prophesied or expected behavior” according to Science Direct.

In other words, if you believe that you’re not a morning person, there’s a chance that you are contributing to your own downfall. Some people are natural night owls, but that doesn’t mean the morning is totally lost.

Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

There’s a reason we call it “breakfast” – you’re breaking the fast of the previous 8-10 hours, or sometimes longer depending on when you last ate the night before.

Your body needs nutrition to function properly, and to feel alive and alert. It doesn’t have to be difficult, either. Yogurt, eggs, certain types of cheese, meats, and even protein shakes can all give you the kickstart you need.

Whether you buy into breakfast being the most important meal of the day or not, you can undoubtedly give yourself a boost by taking some nutrients on board. 

Make Sure You Drink a Glass of Water

One of the easiest things you can add to your daily routine is a glass of water in the morning. Did you know that being dehydrated can make you feel tired, even when you’re not tired?

So many people have bad habits when it comes to consuming enough water. It’s also a bit of a myth that it has to be pure water, there’s no harm in rewarding yourself with a little juice or squash sometimes, just make sure you get plenty of fluids into your body.

A glass of water isn’t a psychological tip, but it is amazing how much more energy it might give you early in the morning. 

Make a To-Do List

It is easy to let the day rule you. We know how it feels when you get a phone call and somebody demands something from you, or you get sidetracked. 

One of the best ways to avoid this is to make a to-do list, full of simple actions to help you to make the right decisions in the morning. Rather than get to midday and realize that all you have done is waste time, you can stick to the list and make sure you’re ticking off the essentials.

People tend to react well to lists. They make it easy to organize and digest information. Our brains like lists, generally speaking. However, it is possible that you can overestimate just how much you can fit into your productive morning routine, and leave yourself overwhelmed.

If your brain perceives that there is too much on the list then there’s a chance that it will simply switch off from the tasks.

It’s a delicate balance.

Ban The Snooze Button

This can be incredibly difficult to do if you’re the sort of person who values your mornings spent in bed. The temptation to stay in bed for 10 more minutes is always there, but if you can kick this habit then your mornings are likely to be far more productive.

How much time do you lose to snooze? 10 minutes? Is it more like 40 minutes? Some of us can snooze for hours, intending to wake up nice and early before deciding in the morning that perhaps the morning workout can wait.

If you can turn yourself into the sort of person who gets up dead on their alarm then there is every chance that you can gain loads of time. Did you know that the average American loses 24 minutes a day to snoozing? Some quick maths tells us that equates to 146 hours over the course of the year. Imagine what you could do with all that extra time.

You definitely need to have some serious determination to avoid the snooze, but if you want to know how to have a productive morning, saving yourself so much time is inevitably going to play a huge part.

Get The Blood Flowing

After you’ve been sedentary overnight then it can take a long time to get going again. Of course, regular exercise is always recommended, and has all kinds of benefits, but if you are able to get the blood flowing around your body nice and early then it is likely that you will feel more awake and more productive throughout the day.

You don’t need to add more exercise if you’re already getting enough, but we recommend trying to move your routine to the start of your day to see if it helps you to have a productive morning.

Some studies, including one from the University of Bristol, found that those who exercise early tend to feel better when they are at work, and more capable. 

Go Off-Grid

Are you the sort of person who checks their emails before they even get out of bed in the morning?

Talk about getting your day off to a bad start. If you’re met with an email that reminds you of a stressful piece of work or a meeting you really don’t want to attend, it can knock you off-kilter first thing in the morning.

Why can’t we take a little time for ourselves?

In the world of constantly being connected to the internet, going off-grid can be one of the best ways to take a calm approach to the day and give yourself the opportunity to be thoughtful and proactive rather than reactive. 

Some people like to bring meditation into their morning routine. This is undeniably something that can be positive. Meditation can reduce anxiety levels in up to 60% of the people who take part.

You don’t have to meditate. Going off-grid in the mornings could just be a detox from technology. Sit and be mindful, take your dog for a walk, even just eat breakfast and read a book. This is a part of the day that should be for you, as well.

Do What You Can The Night Before

One of the keys to a productive morning routine is to get what you can done before the morning rolls around. This is about not becoming overwhelmed.

We’re all guilty of taking the attitude of “I’ll do it tomorrow” from time to time, but this can make us far less productive in a couple of different ways.

Firstly, it steals our time. If you’ve left dishes to be washed from the night before, you’re going to have to do them in the morning, and that eats into the time when you could be productive.

Secondly, it changes our mindset. This is a little bit like having too many things on your to-do list all over again. It is overwhelming, and increases the likelihood of our brain refusing to engage and just staying in bed and not wanting to spend time on the productive.

If you’re able to take some steps the night before to make your life easier in the morning, it will allow you to rattle through the relevant tasks and be productive.

As well as doing chores like washing dishes and ensuring that the previous day’s tasks don’t spill into the next day, you can also get ahead of the game. Use the time to make lunches for the next day or prepare for that meeting. “Morning” you will thank you for it.

Conclusion – Becoming Productive In The Morning

Some people are naturally ready to roll in the morning, while others would much rather stay in bed for as long as possible. Luckily, these behaviors aren’t set in stone, and a little effort can help you to change the habits of a lifetime.

You’d be amazed at how much impact adding a few steps to your morning routine can make, taking you from zombie mode to “super-productive morning person” mode.

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