Here are a few ideas of what you can do to make the most of your morning:
- Do high-energy tasks in the morning, if possible – especially if this is the time when you have the most energy.
- Prepare the night before. You probably already do this to some degree but why not include your to–do list and plan for the day. 10 minutes tonight can save you up to 3 hours tomorrow!
- Don’t open your email until noon. Now, I realise that this one might be a tough one especially if you only work in the morning; but let us at least look at the principle behind it. Nobody is going to email you about a true emergency, so leave your email alone for a few hours each day. Use that time to do what’s important rather than responding to what is “urgent”.
- Turn your phone off and leave it in another room. Or at the very least, put it somewhere that is out of sight. This eliminates the urge to check smses, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. This simple strategy eliminates the likelihood of slipping into half–work where you waste time dividing your attention among meaningless tasks.
- Sit up or stand up. Your mind needs oxygen to work properly. Your lungs need to be able to expand and contract to fill your body with oxygen. That sounds simple enough, but here’s the problem: most people sit hunched over while staring at a screen and typing. When you sit hunched over, your chest is in a collapsed position and your diaphragm is pressing against the bottom of your lungs, which hinders your ability to breathe easily and deeply. Sit up straight or stand up and you’ll find that you can breathe easier and more fully. As a result, your brain will get more oxygen and you’ll be able to concentrate better.
- Develop a “start-up” routine to start your day. You may kick your day off with ten minutes of meditation or a run. Similarly, you should have a sequence that starts your morning ritual. This tiny routine signals to your brain that it’s time to get into work mode or exercise mode or whatever mode you need to be in to accomplish your task. This routine will help you overcome a lack of motivation and get things done even when you don’t feel like it.