“When you rise in the morning, consider what a precious gift it is to be alive: to breathe, think, enjoy, and love.”Marcus Aurelius
“Every morning, we are born again.” It is what we do today that matters most.”
Your alarm clock goes off, and it’s still dark. The world outside is waiting for your entry, so you pull up the curtains.
A new day begins when you get out of bed and go to the shower.
How can you make it more likely that it’ll be a great or even great day?
My experience is that the first thing you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest.
Let me share 7 tips that have made my mornings and days more productive.
1. Make plans for the night ahead.
Only list the top three most important tasks you need to accomplish on your to-do lists.
It is easier to get the most important things done if you keep the list short.
To not procrastinate, I suggest that you do a few of the more important but often simpler tasks than I did.
2. Make sure you prepare the night before.
You can reduce stress by focusing on the details from the night before.
- Take your bag.
- Pack your lunch.
- Put your keys, wallet etc. If they aren’t already there, place them in their “home” so that you can quickly locate and grab them before you head out.
3. Keep a reminder at your bedside.
I have found that what you see in the first few minutes of your awakening can have a significant impact on the rest of the day.
You might also want to place a reminder note on your bedside table.
There are three things you could add to that note:
One of your favourite quotes.
A timeless, powerful quote is one of many ways to inspire positive emotions and provide a perspective.
Write down your favorite quote. If you need some guidance, here are 101 quotes about happiness.
For happiness, set a low standard.
This is a great reminder.
I tell myself, “Today I will set low standards for happiness.”
Then I remember that thought for the rest.
It makes me feel grateful for the small and daily things I take for granted, such as a roof over my heads and the delicious food I have.
This makes it easier for you to remain positive and find simple happiness throughout your day.
Note down the most important reasons.
This is a quick exercise I do to recharge my energy.
This involves identifying your most important and personal reasons to make positive changes in your life.
These most important reasons can be written on your bedside table to give you a strong start to your day. It will also make it easier for you to stay on track every step of the way.
4. Take it slow
It is easier to manage stress when I start my day slowly, and continue doing things at a slower pace. It is easier to concentrate on what I am doing, and to keep my priorities in check.
Slower means I am more present in the moment and have fewer negative emotions.
Because my attention is not directed inwardly towards the future or past, I am able to appreciate everyday things more.
Sometimes I worry that if I start my day slow, I will get less done.
However, I often find that I did more in the end.
Because I was able to do things right the first time, and because I prefer slow speeds and less on draining emotions.
So I have more energy to spend my last hours of workday on the things that are important to me.
5. Over breakfast, get some positive information.
You can start your day with something that doesn’t depress or make you feel powerless to improve your life or the world around you.
For example, you can add inspiration and optimism to your life.
- You can read one to two new posts from websites or blogs that are positive, funny, or uplifting.
- Listening to podcasts can boost your motivation.
- Read a chapter of a book that inspires.
- You can watch a Youtube video that is motivating and uplifting.
6. Your most important task should be your first priority.
The most important task should be on the short list. It should be done before your workday begins.
It is often difficult to complete this task, so it is tempting to procrastinate.
Feel the urge to procrastinate? Then just be still and do not move. It is easy to forget the most powerful part about the urge to procrastinate through checking Facebook or email.
Don’t push yourself too hard when the worst is over.
You can tell yourself that this task will take you only 1-3 minutes. You can then stop working if necessary.
However, you might not want to stop once you’ve started. This is what I have found to be true most of the times.
Because it is often the most difficult part.
7. Create a right thing string.
You will feel great if you do what you believe is right. You will feel better about yourself and have a little more energy for the rest of your day.
One way I do this is to create what I call a right-thing string.
Here are some suggestions:
Do what you believe is right. It’s now.
- Send a compliment that is genuine and encouraging to someone in your life or at work.
- Help someone who is lost.
- Take 2 minutes to declutter your space.
- Get out there and do some work.
Add another thing you believe is right.
Instead of eating a fatty snack, eat an apple.
Try to be kind and understanding when you judge someone in your own life, on TV or in the paper. Ask someone how their day is going and smile.
Add another. Add another.
To boost your energy, and positive feelings about yourself and your life, create a small list of the best things to do for between 10 and 30 minutes.
Ensure that you continue the string throughout your day.
Once you’ve added a good thing to your string, no matter how small it may seem, take a moment to pause and appreciate what you did.
These are the things I think of most often:
- Well done!
- It was a great thing to do.
- It was great fun!
This increases the positive vibe and boosts your motivation to add more to your string.
No worries if you break the string. Do not beat yourself up.
Take a deep, slow breath and start a new string.