If you’re like me, you’re no stranger to hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock a relentless number of times. As much as I wish I was a morning person, the evidence seems to work against me.
We all know one person who wakes up before the crack of dawn just rearing to get the day started. They accomplish more in those early morning hours than us late risers accomplish all day, and seem to do it with a smile on their face. When I envision my best self, I often envision a morning routine as vigorous as theirs. But let’s be real — that intensity is NOT for everyone.
Even though you may not be equipped to run a marathon before breakfast, there are a few things you can do to make your snooze-and-lose morning routine a bit more productive. Instead of rolling over and checking your phone first thing in the morning, try these productive morning habits.
Sit up, breathe and drink a glass of water
We waste so much time when we continue to lay in bed after the alarm goes off, staring at the ceiling or checking our missed texts from the night before. Instead of laying in bed aimlessly, try sitting up (slowly, of course) as soon as your alarm goes off. Take a few deep “belly breaths” to clear your head and shake the groggy feeling of sleep, giving yourself ample time to fully wake up before your feet hit the floor. What I’m about to recommend may sound a bit odd, but drink a glass of water first thing in the morning! You're bound to be a bit dehydrated, considering you haven’t been putting fluids into your body for eight hours prior to waking up. Drinking sixteen ounces of water in the morning will help your body fuel up for the day, considering your brain is made up of 85% water.
Make your bed
My parents used to tell me to make my bed in the morning on the grounds of accomplishing one thing before I left the house every day. I used to gripe and groan, but when I moved into my own apartment sophomore year of college, I found the advice to be impeccably helpful in the way I viewed my mornings. If nothing else goes right the entire day, you can rest easy knowing you did in fact accomplish one thing so early in the morning. This may go as a given, but making your bed will also help you feel more put-together (and keep you from crawling back under the sheets after breakfast.) Plus, who doesn’t love coming home and ripping those sheets off for a mid-afternoon nap?
Set your priorities straight
You'll be more productive during the if you set priorities for yourself in the morning. This will help you add structure to your daily routine and keep you focused on what matters when you feel like you're getting tired throughout the day. Try the Vertical-Horizontal method of setting priorities!
Vertical Priorities tend to be goals that have to do with your spirituality, personality or attitude. They may include becoming a more positive person, growing in your relationship with God or volunteering for a local organization.
Horizontal Priorities are the things you want to physically accomplish throughout the day. This could be your to-do list, a project you’ve been working on or a career goal.
Write down what you’re excited to do that day
If you have been feeling down lately or seem to have lost your sense of purpose, this is a great way to remind yourself that there’s a reason you’re alive other than just sitting at your desk all day. I try and list three things I have to look forward to each day, then at night I go back and write down the three best things that happened. It’s a simple exercise of awareness and gratitude that can increase enjoyment of simple activities throughout your day. If you're most excited to watch Netflix at the end of the day, that's okay — sometimes the happiest moments we have are the smallest moments of our day!
Catch up on news
Many things can take place overnight, especially considering that we go to sleep as half of the world is waking up. There are always developments in stories overnight and it can feel impossible to catch up on everything going on, so it’s nice to keep a few skim-and-read news sources handy. My go-to source is Skimm, especially when it comes to politics (am I the only one who feels like they’re constantly behind when it comes to political news?) but The New York Times does a great morning briefing during the work week as well. If you’re less interested in news and more interested in the stories of inspirational women, On the Dot Woman offers a spotlight on one women per day — complete with an audio file if you don’t have the time to read.
You may not be conquering your entire to-do list by nine in the morning, but these small habits are a great way to start the day off on a positive note. Instead of hitting the snooze button or spending the first part of your morning on your phone, prepare your head and your heart to seize the day with these simple morning hacks.