The way in which you spend the first hour of your day plays an important role in how productive you are for the rest of it. There are, however, certain habits that may sabotage your productivity right from the start. Welcome the anti-morning-routine, or: things to avoid!
1. Linger in Bed
One of the things that will greatly impede your productivity during the day is lingering in bed after your first wake up. Whether it is a weekday or a weekend, it is important to get up and out of bed, as soon as you wake up or as soon as your alarm goes off. One of the reasons this is important is that, it sets the tone for your day. If you linger in bed within the first hour of opening your eyes in the morning, one of the two things is going to happen for the rest of the day:
- You may end up running late and hurrying through the rest of your day in a tense and adrenaline-charged high.
- You may end up feeling lethargic throughout the day, wobbling through it in a half-asleep daze.
2. Check your Email
Do not check your email within the first hour of waking up. There are a number of reasons for this. Within your inbox, there are likely to be emails that will prompt you to react, as opposed to taking action. The reaction is detrimental, especially in the morning, because it can set the tone for your entire day— leading you to put out various metaphorical fires throughout the day. It will draw you from other important things that you like to do in the morning; such as working out, having breakfast, or spending time with your family.
Instead of checking your email within the first hour in the morning, go about your normal morning routine unrushed. Nothing is so urgent that it will fall apart if you don’t check your email within the first hour or two.
3. Check your Social Media Accounts
Social Media can often be a time-suck, especially within your morning routine. There are times that you log in, supposedly to check whether you have any messages or new followers, and then end up spending an hour and a half browsing, commenting and sharing. Since you are going to browse social media during the day anyway, it is best to hold off on it until later in the morning, or in the day. Otherwise, you may spend more time on it than you would have liked, and consequently distract or even derail your day.
In fact, you may not check or touch your phone at all within the first hour of waking up. Checking your phone within this time tends to set the tone for your day and provide you with a list of things to do. Since you already had your own list of things to do, the new issues that sprout up just end up setting your day on a path different from the one that you had intended to take that day. In order to help you maintain some discipline in not checking your phone within the first hour of your day, it is advised that you leave it in a different room. For instance, you can leave it in the living room. Most people sleep with their phones next to them, charging; and this is a habit that you may need to unlearn.
4. Check the News
Whether you like to check the news online, on television or through the newspaper, it is important that you do not do this within the first hour of your day. There is always a lot of news to consume, and it all comes with catchy and captivating headlines. While you may start off with the intention of only reading one article, you will instead, likely end up getting caught up in the stories; consequently spending an hour or so, just browsing. Besides this, it also leaves you with an overload of information, which would in turn leave you feeling overwhelmed and lacking focus.
Instead of reading the news during this time, you may schedule a time during which to do so in the course of the day. It is important to set duration for this exercise because regardless of the time you choose to do it, you may still be sucked into it if you do not have a definite stop-time.