I find that one of the more difficult parts of young adulthood is managing a work-life balance, especially if you work full-time and are looking to spend the time at work being productive. As someone who is not a morning person, it is often a process to get my mind and body to wake up early in the morning. Somehow, the more days of waking up early, the easier the process.
Photo: Tim Foster on Unsplash
Waking up early allots you the time to engage in your hobbies, indulge in self-care, or participate in morning exercise. From my experience, I have found that what I do in the morning greatly impacts how much I accomplish during the day. Whether I choose to spend the morning creatively writing on my back patio or preparing my lunch for the work day ahead, I find that there are seven ways to make your mornings more productive.
Don’t reach for your phone
Although it can be hard to follow this rule, I would suggest trying not to reach for your cell phone as soon as you wake up. It can be stressful to look at your emails or log onto social media first thing in the morning. By not seeing what is happening on your phone, you will be able to give your eyes a break from the screen; more likely than not, you will be in front of a computer screen for most of the day at work. For me, I put my phone on the other side of the bed so that I am not tempted to reach for it immediately when I wake up.
Drink a full glass of water
One of the first actions to take after you wake up in the morning is to drink a full glass of cold water. Not only will water help you rebalance your body’s PH levels, but it will also wake you up and help boost your metabolism. Drinking a full glass of water will also contribute to a healthier way to start the day and maybe prompt you to eat a full breakfast. If you are not a fan of plain water, then try adding some lemon wedges or cucumber slices to your glass.
Eat a hearty breakfast
As one of the most important meals of the day, eating a healthy and filling breakfast can boost your productivity levels. Try reaching for foods that are high in protein, whole grains, and dairy to ensure you get all your vitamins and minerals. Breakfast can also help you keep your metabolism going throughout the morning, so you feel more positively charged.
For some, journaling at night is a way to recap the day’s activities and emotions while others enjoy journaling in the morning. Sometimes, I find that journaling in the morning contributes to the way I think and look forward to the day ahead. For instance, I write down the dreams I had last night and make note of all that I am grateful for in starting the day. Journaling can be relaxing, which is the start of a productive day.
Whether it is a chapter of a book or the daily newspaper, take the time to start off your day by reading. Physically reading a book, magazine, or newspaper rather than browsing the Internet boosts your productivity by stimulating the creative and critical thinking areas of your brain. In a way, reading acts as an exercise for your brain. What better way to start the day than with a mental workout?
Listen to a podcast or music
Starting your day with a podcast or music playlist can boost your confidence and emotions in a way that will allow you to productively go through the day. Tune in to your favorite podcast or shuffle your favorite music playlist to help you get ready for the day. Podcasts and music almost always increase productivity because they distract you and innately motivate you to put your best foot forward. Often, music will also boost happiness levels, so you can start the day with a smile.
Create a to-do list
To-do lists boost your productivity because they visually lay out your tasks, responsibilities, and goals for the day. To-do lists are extremely helpful for organizing your thoughts and prioritizing tasks and projects that will need to be completed. I also think to-do lists boost your satisfaction and productivity levels because of the feeling you receive after you can see the crossed-out items. To effectively utilize to-do lists, try outlining all the tasks that are on your radar at school or work.
Productivity arises from various activities and tasks, but I will say that I find my mornings and days to be most successful when I am able to set aside time for activities and tasks that do not involve computer screens and cell phones. Often, digital monitors will drive us to forget about our end of the day goals and distract us from completing necessary tasks and projects. I find that these seven activities help drive my motivation for the day, energize my mind and body to complete tasks, and critically and creatively think about projects and activities that inspire me and increase my productivity as well!
Sara Kim graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a double minor in Health Policy and Management and Asian American Studies from Ithaca College. She currently works as an Event Coordinator at a non-profit. In her free time, she enjoys working out, reading, watching movies, and cooking. Fun fact: as a foodie, she loves to try new foods and travel to new places.