There are many tips on the Internet on how to be more productive, and time management applications are coming up every day. This is due to the fact that more people than ever face sleep deprivation and often insomnia due to easy access to communications and technology. Sleep is one of the most important things in our life, as it can increase the speed of learning, helps us to remember more information and generally allows us to be happier people.
But … the biggest bottleneck that few of us are trying to improve is our morning habits. If you want to become more productive and efficient during the day, then you need to optimize your morning habits. How we structure and spend the first few hours of each day will determine how the rest of our day will look like and how effective we can be in our lives.
Fortunately, there are simple and easily implemented habits that you can apply today to improve your performance for the day and the rest of your life.
1. Wake up next to the sunlight.
Studies have shown that those who are awake and suffering from insomnia are mainly due to artificial light confusing our internal clocks. When a group of people suffering from sleep deprivation went on a hike without being exposed to artificial light or an alarm clock, their sleep inertia quickly disappeared within a few days.
The researchers concluded that the best way to fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep is to stay close to natural sunlight, which is also useful for natural awakening in the morning.
There are many tips on the Internet on how to approach meditation, and this may seem overwhelming to anyone who has never experienced it. The truth is that there is no one way to meditate. Everyone has their own approach.
Although the methods of meditation are different, the benefits are obvious. Meditation reduces our anxiety, increases our productivity, and even improves our memories. Studies have shown that after a 20-minute session of meditation, our brain becomes more focused and less distracted, which allows us to get rid of multitasking, quickly reach our goals and become the most effective.
3. Automate your solutions.
We have so much willpower on a typical day. To effectively use our willpower to perform important tasks, it is better to minimize the number of decisions we make in the morning. Most of us perform the same procedures in the morning, but there are always procedures that we can automate.
Can you choose your outfit before bed, have the same breakfast every morning, wake up earlier to avoid changing the itinerary, and much more? At first it may seem boring, but you will be surprised at how morning automation can provide you with the flexibility to be more productive and spontaneous throughout the rest of the day.
4. "One thing"
According to Gary Keller, the author of One Thing, the best way to prioritize our endless to-do lists is to choose a domino effect. The Domino effect is when the task you are performing, or the action you are performing, makes it easier or does not even require doing the rest on your list.
For example, if your goal is to learn Spanish before you go to South America this year, is it worth paying $ 1,000 to go to a language school for 3 months and learn everything about the language? Or is it better to focus your time, energy and money on learning common Spanish phrases that you will use with a professional native speaker teacher from South America for less than $ 150? The second is the right choice.
Look at your to-do list. How necessary or important is each of the tasks in achieving your ultimate goals? Then select only one from the list that will create a domino effect for you, and block time in your calendar to achieve it.
5. First do the hard part.
As we mentioned earlier, most people (if not you are Ilon Musk) have limited willpower, creativity and energy per day. This study, conducted on the human brain, shows that our prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for creativity, is most active when we wake up. This explains why creatives, such as writers or designers, do their best work early in the morning after waking up.
If this is true, then we must organize our morning schedule in order to carry out the most difficult, if not the most creative task first thing in the morning. This allows us to make the most efficient use of our brain power and free up brain space to perform tasks that require less creativity or willpower during the rest of the day, such as editing, sending emails, phone calls, etc.
6. Get ready for the night before.
Although this is a post about morning habits, the way we spend the night has a huge impact on our performance the next day. The biggest influence is preparation. Before you go to bed, take 15-20 minutes to select the most important tasks and schedule them in your calendar. The reason why planning is so important is that you can manage the time and duration of a single task, which is very difficult to do in a regular to-do list.
7. Hot and cold hydrotherapy
Cold and hot hydrotherapy, although not common in North America, in Finland is considered not only a luxury, but also a necessity. Several studies show that hot and cold hydrotherapy has many benefits for our health, including reducing stress, strengthening the immune system, increasing our ability to burn fat, and even fighting depression.
The method is quite simple. Just take a shower and wash as you normally would with a normal water temperature. Then rotate the nozzle to the highest possible temperature and wait 30 seconds. From there, rotate the nozzle to the highest temperature, which you can sustain and hold for 30 seconds. And finally, return to a cold temperature and hold for 30 seconds.
A fair warning: if you are not used to shock your body in the morning, it can be a complex approach at first glance, but it becomes easier and easier than most repetitions. It wakes you up quickly and efficiently.