Good morning, you.
It’s bright and early on a Tuesday morning, and I’m sitting in my office with – you guessed it – yet another cup of tea and a major to-do list.
As I threw the curtains open this morning and looked through the e-mails that need my attention, I couldn’t help but be impressed with myself and the girlboss attitude I’ve adopted over the past several months. Trust me, it hasn’t always been this way.
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’m someone who can sleep past noon if you leave me with no alarm and nowhere to be. And when I say past noon, I mean well past noon. I struggled with this sleeping pattern a lot when I first began working from home. Luckily for myself and my career, however, I have managed to toss aside my nocturnal ways and learned to take back ownership of those precious daylight hours.
If you’re someone who finds herself stumbling around in sweatpants at 2 PM with messy hair and nothing to show for the day, then try out these tips for being more productive in the mornings.
Get Yourself a Routine
This is the practice I’ve adopted that has truly helped me the most. I thrive on routines. I find that when I have a certain number of predetermined tasks to complete in the morning, I don’t scramble around in a panic or lay in bed until all of a sudden it’s four hours later and I’m a hostage to my Netflix account. It takes the planning and guesswork out of the first hour or so of my day, and I love it.
I also find that my morning routine has become something I sincerely enjoy because it is such great “me time.” I get to relax, be alone with my thoughts, and enjoy some peace with myself before I jump into my work.
Your routine can be all your own, but here’s what I’ve been enjoying lately.
After waking up, brushing my teeth, and going through my morning skincare routine (another post soon, perhaps?) I head into the kitchen to drink the lemon or otherwise infused water I prepared the night before. I drink 20 oz before I do anything else; it leaves me refreshed and helps my body wake up. It isn’t enough to truly shake me awake, though, so the next thing I do is boil water for tea or get some coffee brewing.
While I drink my tea, I resist the urge to open e-mails or jump right on the computer. Instead, I try to do a short guided meditation, walk the dog, or jot some thoughts in my journal with the windows open and my favorite music playing. This helps me feel like I’ve gotten to enjoy the early part of my day before I stare into my computer screen for the next several hours.
It also helps if I put on a semi-cute outfit. It’s easy to stay in sweats all day if you’re not going anywhere, but it makes it far too temping to crawl back into bed and avoid responsibilities. Looking cute, for whatever reason, also makes me feel more productive. Maybe its a confidence thing!
Plan the Night Before
Who wants to wake up immediately stressed and overwhelmed with what might or might not need to get done that day? Not me!
If I don’t plan ahead, I wake up in a panic. I spend more time than necessary searching frantically through calendars, e-mails, and journals trying to remember what I had mentally planned.
Instead, I set aside a few minutes every night before bed to jot down a to-do list and organize the assignments and projects I need to work on in order of importance. I also take this time to meal-prep and sometimes even pick my outfit for the following day. The less you have to think about in the morning, the happier your tired brain will be!
Get the F*** Outside
Seriously. Go outside. Even if your’e in pajama pants, slippers, and a messy bun, just go stand outside in front of your house for three minutes. I know you have three minutes. If you’ve got more time, grab some comfy shoes and your dog and go for a short walk. It is so easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world when you spend your day at home, and just being outside for a little while early in the morning helps you feel like you’re a part of it still.
Breathe in the fresh air, let your eyes adjust to the sun coming up, and watch the day come alive. It sounds stupid, but I promise that this one small thing will help your resist the urge to crawl back into your bed.
What are your tips for a happy and productive morning?