We all want to wake up in the morning full of energy and ready to face a busy day ahead. But for some of us, that isn’t the case, and we instead find ourselves hitting the snooze button and yawning the entire way to work. There is a way to make mornings more bearable, however. So, what’s the key to a happy, productive workday? Having a morning routine. The American Psychological Association’s 2012 research found that people who wake up early are more content and even said they have better health because of it. Check out the top 10 reasons to develop a morning routine and watch your energy and productivity soar.
1. You'll have time for yourself
Groaning when your alarm goes off for the tenth time, rushing to get your kids ready for school, with never enough time to do anything – sound familiar? With our 24/7 smartphone culture, our social media addictions, and not to mention the demands of family and work, we never have enough time in our schedules to spend a few minutes by ourselves. But taking some "me" time is essential to your health and quality of life. Try waking up an hour earlier – say 5 a.m. – and you will have some time to sip coffee in silence, or to steal a few moments with that juicy novel you’ve been dying to read.
2. You can meditate
By now, you probably know that meditation is really good for you. It reduces stress because it actually makes a noticeable difference in the area of the brain that deals with stress and memory. People usually meditate for at least 20 minutes every day, preferably in the morning, so take advantage of your newfound morning routine and meditate even for 5-10 minutes once you wake up. Just find a comfortable, quiet place to sit cross-legged, rest your hands lightly on your knees, and close your eyes. You will most likely feel more calm and collected, ready to face the busy day ahead. It makes sense to meditate in the early morning silence instead of at the end of a long day when all you want to do is lie down in the front of the television or crawl into bed.
3. You can get a workout in
We know, of course, that working out is good for our short-term well-being and long-term health. It turns out that morning exercise can be good for your job, too. Research says that exercise – even only 20 minutes of it – can put a smile on your face for a long time after. Get your endorphins in first thing and you may find yourself performing better at the office because you will feel better and be more energetic. Do some at-home yoga or follow a Pilates instructional video and get more done throughout the day.
4. You're awake anyway
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that Americans aren’t getting that much sleep: only 30 percent sleep between seven and nine hours every night. That’s bad news for productivity and the well-being of employees as we all need a good night’s rest to not only feel our best but to work better and smarter, too. If you’ve had a night of tossing and turning or you always seem to wake up 30 minutes before your alarm, why not embrace it and choose to wake up earlier every morning? If you’re up anyway, lying in bed wondering why you just can’t fall back asleep or wondering when it’s time to get up is not a productive use of time. Instead, get an early start on some work emails or catch up on the day’s news so you’re prepared by the time you get to the office.
5. You can get to work earlier, too
If you wake up an hour earlier, you just might want to get to the office earlier, too. Even arriving 15 minutes before your co-workers can give you a jumpstart on your day. Answer some emails or prepare for the day’s meetings or presentations and face your workday with a smile on your face, feeling as prepared as possible. It’s always good when you can minimize stress, and getting an early start on work will definitely accomplish that.
6. You will have time for a good breakfast
Breakfast: it’s supposedly the most important meal of the day, but when was the last morning you had time to do more than scarf down a quick bowl of cereal or grab a coffee and muffin on the way to the office? Having a morning routine means you have time for a real, sit-down breakfast, which will keep hunger at bay and make you more energetic. Try a smoothie and some toast with almond butter for a protein-carbs-fat combination that is sure to boost your moodyou’re your productivity. If you eat breakfast, your memory will benefit, which is a nice bonus for enjoying a delicious meal when you wake up.
7. You can beat procrastination
It’s easy to put off doing something we really don’t want to do, whether it’s sending an email or doing a load of laundry. But first thing in the morning is a good time to do those tasks we’ve been putting off. Since you’re still half asleep, you don’t have enough willpower yet to convince yourself to procrastinate more. So, wake up early and get into the routine of getting stuff done. Soon, tackling whatever’s on your to-do list first thing will become a daily habit and you will be so much happier for it. There’s nothing like the feeling of finally getting something done when you’ve been putting it off.
8. You'll be more successful
According to Richard Branson, waking up early means you love what you do and that you are trying your best to succeed. So, it makes sense that the earlier you wake up and the more consistent your morning routine is, the more successful you will be. Who do you want to be: the person who hits snooze or the person who jumps out of bed, ready to get a head start on the long day ahead?
9. You can prioritize
Another advantage of having a morning routine: you have time to decide what the most important work tasks of the day are. Take a few minutes and sit down at the kitchen table with your agenda before the stress of the day and demands from co-workers take over. In the early hours of the day and before you get ready to leave the house, you have a clear mind and can truly reflect on what needs to be done and what can wait until another day. You will be glad you figured this out once you arrive at work.
10. You can look forward to it
Instead of going to bed every night and groaning at the thought of waking up to another crazy, busy day full of demands, you can feel a sense of peace and calm because you know that once your alarm goes off, you have an entire hour to yourself. You can look forward to having some time alone to drink coffee and read, to brainstorm ideas in a notebook, or to email that friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. The time is yours.
Follow these top 10 reasons to have a morning routine and you will find yourself healthier, happier and more productive throughout the day. Getting an early start will make you feel accomplished and successful, even if it’s only 5 or 6 a.m. And what better way to start the day than feeling that way? Whether you want to start working early or take the time to read a good book, you won’t regret taking some time for yourself and making a morning routine a daily occurrence.