As the start of a new school year (and season) creeps up behind us, getting back into a routine can be quite an adjustment. Over the course of my lifetime I have learned a thing or two about productivity, time management, and keeping a positive mindset despite the stress of school or work. Here are my tips on how to have a better day and making the most of your morning.
1. STOP CHECKING YOUR PHONE IN THE MORNING. I know this is not an easy thing to do considering half of the human population checks their notifications before getting out of bed. Not too long ago I was doing this too. As soon as my alarm went off I immediately went to Instagram, Snapchat, and my texts. I knew this wasn’t the way I should be starting my days, so I finally quit it. Now when I wake up I turn off my alarm and my phone doesn’t leave my bed side table. I’ll sit in bed, stretch, and open my blinds… oh, and chug a huge bottle of water too! Once I started doing this I immediately felt a difference. My mind was more clear, I felt refreshed, alert, and much more energized. Going on your phone in the morning can increase the chance that you’ll feel stressed or burnt out before your day even starts.
2. WAKE UP EARLIER. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. If you’re someone who often leaves the house running late, you may find it helpful to wake up ten or fifteen minutes earlier. For when things don’t go as planned or when you happen to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra minutes to sort things out. I personally have always liked doing this because I like to take my time getting ready.
3. START YOUR DAY WITH NATURAL LIGHT. This goes in hand with not checking your phone in the morning. As soon as you wake up, open your blinds and pull back your curtains. This little trick is sure to make you feel more awake and happy. According to some research that I found on the web, exposing yourself to natural light first thing in the morning can also help you sleep better at night!
4. AS SOON AS YOU WAKE UP, DRINK WATER. Do you often wake up feeling really thirsty? Yeah, me too. Eight hours of sleep is a long time for your body to go without consumption of foods or liquids, and as you sleep your body becomes dehydrated because it needs fuel to operate. Gulping down a glass of water will start up your metabolism, get you hydrated, flush out toxins, and give your brain some fuel. This sounds so easy but you’d be surprised to know that a lot of people miss this.
5. MAKE YOUR BED. Duh, right? Well, it’s not so obvious to everyone. For me at least, a clear home means a clear mind. Making my bed in the morning has always been one of the first things I’ve done after getting up. Having a clean space makes me feel productive and organized and a made bed is also nice to arrive home to after a long day.
6. MEAL PREP. If you hate feeling rushed in the morning, preparing your food the night before might just be the solution you need. Previously packing your lunch and snacks will save you so much time in the morning and is one less thing you have to worry about.
7. PICK OUT YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE. This is something I have been doing since middle school. It’s simple; look at the weather for the next day and decide what you want to wear. Sometimes it helps to give yourself more than one option to choose from depending on how you feel in the morning.
8. FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF. We all experience stressful, hectic, and busy days that leave us feeling drained and brain dead. We also sometimes forget to give ourselves breaks when we need them most. No matter what’s happening throughout your day, make sure to find some time for yourself, even if it’s only five minutes. Taking time to rest, eat, or distract ourselves can make a huge difference in our productivity, help our creative flow, and can also make us work harder (and for longer).
9. MAKE A LIST. The night before a busy day, make a list of things to do in the morning or items not to forget. For example, assignments to bring to class or errands to run.
10. BEFORE BED, PUT DOWN YOUR ELECTRONICS. I always end my days the same way I start them; without my phone. I always put my phone and computer down about thirty minutes before going to bed. During this time I often read a book, write in my journal, or plan my days ahead. It’s nice to take time to unwind and just be. Did you know that the blue light that comes from our electronic devices can contribute to poor sleep? Make this your new habit. There are so many great benefits to it and your mind will thank you!
I hope you find these tips handy. Making your day productive and positive was just made easier. Once you implement these little things into your daily routine you’ll wish you were doing them all along.