Mornings aren't for everyone. If you're one of the fortunate few who can naturally wake up every morning ready to seize the day and take names we're very happy for you, but this article isn't for you. Specifically, this is for those of us who have to will ourselves out of bed each morning after hitting snooze until the last possible second. But, with a disciplined and dedicated routine, you can transform yourself into a productive and proactive morning person.
Make the Morning Yours
According to Laura Vanderkam, time management expert and author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” the most successful people are those who devote their mornings to themselves. This means before they're bothered to answer emails or return phone calls they give their attention to things or people they love and enjoy. Vanderkam points out that these people figured out the all-important secret that “if you wanted something to happened, it was important to have it happen first thing.”
Leverage Whatever Strengths You Have in the Morning
Most of us are better at certain tasks at different times of the day. For example, some people prefer to utilize their afternoons for phone calls and emails since it doesn't take up a lot of energy. Others may find that their creative peak strikes in the morning, and will utilize that time to brainstorm ideas. If you spend some time thinking about it, you should be able to pinpoint what part of the day your skills are most effective, helping you to create a clear plan of what to focus on in the mornings.
Train Your Body
Even if you're not a morning person by nature, you can train yourself to adapt to the world's social time clock. Christopher Randler from the Harvard Business review claims that the duration of sleep has less to do with morning alertness than we think. Rather, Handler says, “while the number of hours of sleep doesn't matter, the timing of sleep does.” So, instead of focusing on the number of hours of sleep you receive, you should be concerned with getting to sleep at an earlier time. Randler goes on to note that going outside into the early morning daylight can also help to reset your internal clock, especially if you currently only go outside in the evening.
Prepare the Night Before
Preparing the night before doesn't just mean laying out what clothes you're going to wear, but also means making an overview with what you hope to accomplish the next day – both personally and professionally. Spend at least 10 minutes each night before bed organizing a to-do list of what you hope to achieve, including notes as to how you'll go about getting things done. You'll find that this will not only free up your mornings but will save you time throughout the day as well.
Make Productive Mornings a Habit
Of course, putting your morning routine into practice won't make you a morning person right away. It will take time to build up the habit of getting things done every morning. To avoid getting burned out, you may want to try making small changes at first and gradually building up to a full-fledge two to three hour routine. Although creating habits can be though, maintaining them are mindless and over a course of time productive mornings will be second nature.