How To Get The Most Out Of Your Mornings

by Kyndra Bailey

If you know me personally, you know I’m the dictionary definition of a “morning person.” I love waking up early with my whole heart.

I wasn’t always this way, but once I got into college, I made a decision to prioritize my sleep over everything else. I had overworked myself like crazy throughout high school, and I just couldn’t mentally do that anymore. So when I knew I’d need to choose between an active social life and sleep: I picked sleep. (No regrets. 10/10 would do it again.)

One of the things that came with “choosing sleep” was creating a healthy sleep schedule. For many students, that might have looked like 12am-9am. For me it looked like 8pm-5am. I had an on-campus job that started at 6AM sharp, so if I wanted to get 9 hours every night, that meant adopting the sleep schedule of a grandma. And I’ll be honest: it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I discovered a love for going to bed and waking up early, and I haven’t gone back since.

Now mornings are my favorite time of day: a chance to slow down, get ready for the day, and really just take in the world. Over my four years of being a self-proclaimed morning person, I’ve learned a lot about how to get the most out of my mornings, so I wanted to share some tips with you today!

As always, these are things that work for me. What works for me may not work for you, and that’s a-okay! I invite you to try out lots of things until you figure out your vibe. :-)

STICK TO A SCHEDULE

Like I just mentioned, I’m very adamant about getting a good night’s rest. A major reason people have trouble waking up in the morning is literally just because they go to bed either too late or at inconsistent times.

Well I’m here to tell you: as much as people hate it, your body needs 7-9 hours of sleep AND those hours need to be at consistent times. There is so much research backing up this fact, but I will just speak from experience in saying getting enough sleep and then waking up at the same time each day makes mornings so. much. easier. (If you don’t try anything else on this list, at least try this one!!)

DRINK SOME WATER!

I will admit that I often don’t drink enough water. I literally just forget to, and then all of a sudden the day is over and I haven’t drank any water. (Oopsies.) But you know what they say: hydrate or diedrate! People don’t tell you to drink water for no reason. It has so. many. benefits.

One of the ways I make sure I at least drink some water is to drink a glass first thing in the morning, before I have any coffee. Doing this helps to wake up my mind, and ensures that I’m not completely dehydrated.

AVOID TECHNOLOGY

Technology: you gotta love it, but you also gotta hate it. As someone who has to work really hard to not overwork herself, technology is the bane of my existence. It makes it impossible to unplug, and makes me feel like I always have to be in work mode. & I know I’m not the only one who experiences this.

Where at all possible, try to avoid picking up your phone until you’re done getting ready for the day. Scrolling social, checking emails, or answering texts first thing in the morning is not good for your mental health – whether it’s work related or not. If you’re having trouble with this, buy an actual alarm and then start charging your phone in a separate room. (I made this switch a month ago and I can’t recommend it enough.).

MOVE YOUR BODY!

On the same token of water – moving your body is good for you! And doing it in the morning before you dive into the day can help get the ball rolling on your productivity.

There are so many ways you can move your body: it could be as simple as doing squats while brushing your teeth, doing 10 minutes of yoga, or doing a more intense workout if that’s your thing. Find something that works for you, and then slowly begin to add it into your morning routine. Your body will thank you!

SET GOALS FOR THE DAY, THEN LET THEM GUIDE YOU

When you’re finally ready to dive in to the day, don’t do the first thing that comes to mind. Take 10-15 minutes to write down your goals for what you want to accomplish that day. This is such a helpful productivity practice: not only does it keep you on track, but literally just writing your goals increases the chances that you’ll accomplish it. (Bc visualization: you’re more likely to complete the things you’ve already visualized yourself doing.)

Then, once you’ve created your list of goals, pick out the Most Important Task: something that will be needle moving and/or that is urgent. (Hint: the MIT will never ever be “checking emails.”) A lot of people’s most productive hours are the morning ones. So picking out the task that’s most important to your long term goals will help move the needle forward, and it will set the tone for the rest of the day!

Hope these tips help you! Feel free to drop your thoughts and other suggestions in the comments below. 

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