5 Surefire Ways to Set Up Your Day for Success
Start the day on a high note and you will find that you’re ending the day in a similar fashion
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
The morning is arguably the most important time of the day, and yet a lot of people struggle to function well during these early hours. But did you know that the key to a productive and successful day lies in how well one takes control of their mornings?
For the most part, your mornings dictate how well or badly your day is going to turn out. Start the day on a positive note and you will find that you’re ending the day in a similar fashion. That’s why mornings are key to efficiently managing your daily life.
Anyone can do it; all one needs is discipline and a little bit of motivation. Follow these steps and slowly you’ll see how big a difference waking up in the morning can be.
1. Wake up early.
This is perhaps the hardest thing about mornings: no one wants to leave the comfort of their beds. It’s hard, sometimes physically so. And yet at one point or another we have to do it. In an Inc. story, Marcel Schwantes says the world’s most successful people wake up at an ungodly hour each day — whether it’s Apple’s Tim Cook or Virgin America’s Dave Cush. “They all start their workday somewhere between 3:45 a.m. and 4:30 a.m,” he says. Waking up at 4:00 a.m. doesn’t mean that you will magically transform you into a successful entrepreneur, but it does however instill in you one of the foundations of being a successful entrepreneur: discipline.
2. Take a deep breath.
The biggest mistake people make in the morning is rushing. They start the day high-strung, and exhausting one’s energy early on so by the time they begin their day, their energy levels are already depleted. The mornings should be for silence and reflection. This is the time when you should take it slow and appreciate the calmness around you. Prepare yourself a healthy breakfast. Listen to some relaxing music. Read a book. Stretch, do some exercise. Invest a few minutes taking care of your health, physically and mentally. It’s no secret that the brain functions better when we’re in a relaxed state. We think clearer when cortisol, the stress hormone, isn’t clouding our judgment.
3. Establish a routine
Humans are creatures of habit, whether or not they admit it. Having a routine, especially in the morning, not only offers a smooth transition into the day ahead, but it also reduces the time spent dithering and wondering what needs to be done.
4. Get the easy stuff done first.
Always start working on tasks that are the easiest. It gives you a sense of control and direction. Most importantly, it gives you a sense of accomplishment, which in itself is a rewarding feeling. When you feel as though you are getting things done, the more eager you become to finish more work.
In a blog post about productivity, psychologist Melissa Gratias says you shouldn’t check your e-mail first thing in the morning; that task should be the last thing you need to do in your morning routine, lest you get distracted from more important things. “Avoid jumping into e-mail,” she says. “Once you open your inbox, you may be sucked into a whirlpool of others’ needs. Do this last.”