To improve your life, you need to become more efficient and the best way to become more efficient is to start strong in the morning. So how can you get more done in the morning? Here are some ways:
1) Get up earlier. This is obvious as is going to bed earlier but if you are like most people you can’t just go to bed earlier and expect to go to sleep. You are also probably not getting as good a quality of sleep as you need. So what do you do? You need to prepare for a good sleep in order to get a good quality sleep. Create a going to bed ritual. Go to bed at the same time each night. Limit interaction with technology or if you can’t do that use special glasses or filters that block blue light while reading your iPad or watching TV. The absence of blue light is what triggers the creation of Melatonin in the body and that tells you to start slowing down and getting ready to sleep. If this process doesn’t happen because your still taking in blue light hours past sunset, then you are not going to get a quality sleep or perhaps much sleep at all. Other things you can do are ensure that your bedroom is completely dark, get good shades or drapes that can block all external light, turn off those annoying red digital clocks on the VCR, etc. HERE is some more information on sleep if that is a particular issue for you.
2) Set the stage – Mise en place is a French phrase which means “putting in place” as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients that a cook will require for the menu items that are expected to be prepared during a shift. Do this the night before. For example, set up everything that you need for breakfast, set the pan out, the ingredients, the utensils, the blender, etc. Also, pick out your clothes and get your bag or briefcase ready. Put your workout clothes in your bag or get them ready if you work out in the morning. (You should be working out 3-5 times per week but that is another post.)
3) Habit – We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle. You need to create a process or a schedule for the morning in a particular order that becomes a habit. The less that you have to think about the better. Spend some time thinking through what is important to get done in the morning i.e. meditation, journal, healthy breakfast, workout, time with kids, whatever then create a plan that gets those things done in the time allotted. Then put it on auto-pilot. There is research that seems to show that you only have so much will power or decision power in a day. Limit these decisions to what is new and different and automate what you have already decided needs to be done. Decide who to marry, what job to take, etc. Automate either literally with technology or with a process you can do without thinking things like paying bills, eating breakfast, getting your kids out the door, not eating donuts at work, etc. HERE is some more information about Habits and Automating Tasks.
4) Energy – If you have more energy, you will get more done in the morning and you will get more done all the rest of the day as well. So how do I get more energy? Sleep more first as in #1. Then if you eat better you will have more energy as well. What does that mean? It means by and large removing added sugar and processed food from your diet. (This is a whole other post). And it means getting some exercise 3-5 times per week. (Again for another post.) HERE is some more information about managing your personal energy.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to getting more done in the morning?
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