Staying at home has been a reality for most of us during the past few months because of the pandemic that has been going around. Though the world seems to have downshifted, our work/school is still going on full speed. As many of you I too struggle to have a productive day at times or maybe most of the time. And because being productive is a necessity, I want to share some tips that have helped me be productive and stay on track.
- Create a task list
A task list is a list of things that you would like to get done on that day. How you create this is by listing out tasks on the basis of their priority. You can either write them down on a piece of paper, or on your phone or even just make a mental note of it. One key that will make sure that you get the tasks on the list done is to make sure that you do not clutter it. Rather than packing up one day with multiple tasks, try to spread them out during the week. Being reasonable about the time that you have and also being mindful of the important tasks that have to be worked on is one of the important factors that has helped me be productive during my day.
- Take breaks
We all love a good break from the hustle and bustle of the day. Breaks are definitely one of the factors that help us stay motivated and productive. One important piece of information that you have to remember while taking breaks is to make sure that your mind logs out of what you have been doing so far and has some time where it can run without strain. Some of the ways that I take a break is by cleaning up my room, going to the kitchen to drink a glass of water or to have a snack, replying to some texts that I received and so on. This I believe will keep you more motivated and productive throughout the day. During this time also make sure that you are moving away from your place of work physically too as this will help you get your mind off of the work and also help you to feel more relaxed.
- Do something fun
Rarely do we incorporate something ‘fun’ into our day. But I would encourage you to try this out. Take time of your day to do something that excites you. You can pick the time you do it and also what you consider fun too, but do it. What I have seen is that doing something that gets me excited and that gets my adrenaline rushing also makes me want to be more productive. Some of the things that I have incorporated into my days that I consider fun are exercising, watching a funny video, listening to a new song, baking on Saturdays is something that I’m loving, calling or reaching out to a friend, and so on. You might not see the results of incorporating something fun into your day right after the first day, but I can assure you that as you keep doing this, it will bring some sort of excitement into your day, that will keep you motivated.
In the last three blogs I have been talking about being a morning person, the importance of that as well as some tips that will help you transition into becoming a morning person. In this blog I would like to give you three areas that you can focus on as you wake up in the morning.
1. Physical health
When we usually hear the term physical health, we relate that to exercise or physical activity. Well what I mean by physical health is your overall physical health of which exercise is just one part. The three important aspects in this that you need to focus on in the morning is to drink enough water, eat a great breakfast and also take some time to focus on your body.
So as you wake up, it is important that you drink a glass of water as this can help kick start your metabolism and help in the overall functioning of your body. Also remember to make drinking water an important part of your morning routine as this can also help wipe down any waste from your body. Another important aspect is to incorporate breakfast into your routine. Eating a healthy and filling meal is the key. As this is the first meal that you are eating after the previous night’s dinner, it is important that you consume a meal that is rich in nutrients and also one that will fuel your body with energy. The final important aspect in this area is exercise, I usually prefer to use the term movement as it is important to stretch your body after hours of inactivity. This can include an exercise routine or the basic stretches that will loosen up your muscles thereby helping your body to get into the rhythm of motion for the day.
2. Mental/spiritual balance
For me, this is the time where I read the bible and also take some time to reflect and think upon my previous day and my day ahead. Whether you believe in God or not, I think it can be very helpful if you take some time out of your morning before you get into the hustle of the day to just relax your mind and contemplate on what really matters to you. You could use this time for journaling and also do some meditation combined with breathing exercises. The most helpful type of meditation and breathing exercise that has worked for me is the mindfulness meditation that has a lot of proven benefits.
Doing something productive is the last MUST that has to be in your morning routine, this is apart from your exercise or meditation or even cooking that happens in the morning. For a productive activity, I would suggest that you do something like reading some pages of the book that you are currently reading, catching up on some work that has to be done, finishing a chore that you were not able to finish the previous day and so one. One of the greatest benefits that I have found with this is that it gets me into the productive mindset and thereby making it easier to be productive and get my work done efficiently throughout the day.
With these broad areas in mind, create a morning routine that works best for you. As you create one for now, make adjustments and tweek it as and when required.
- In continuation with last week’s blog, I have 4 more important tips that you can try out that will help you easily transition into being a morning person.
- Create a routine to follow
In my personal opinion, we need a routine to follow in the morning. I have found that if I wake up early and decide to just lay back and relax, more often than not, I tend to go back to sleep. And to prevent that, create a routine that you can follow through without much effort, but one that will eventually wake you up. This could include brushing your teeth and showering, making your bed, getting some tea or coffee, cleaning up around the room or house, and so on. Create your own as you work your way through this process.
- Be realistic and compassionate to yourself
This is a key element when trying to become a morning person. Pushing your way though and sticking to your goal is something that we have been taught all our lives. While this is a very important lesson that will help us get places, I also think that being realistic and compassionate to yourself is important. Let me explain this. So when I say be realistic and compassionate, what I meant is that if you have only gotten a few hours of sleep every day for the past one week, then your body is not well rested. And instead of pushing yourself to wake up at the same time and dragging yourself though the day, I think it is important that you cut yourself some slack and sleep in, or sleep a little early so that your body can get the rest it needs.
As you are transitioning, there are chances that you might just want to give up on this as it might become harder for you to follow through. And therefore one of the best tricks that has worked for me is to allow myself to sleep in a bit longer. You can decide on how long you want to sleep in. For me, I have found that sleeping in 1 extra hour one day of the week where you don’t have to be on the go has been the best ‘cheat day’ or ‘day off’ from being a morning bird.
Waking up to have a relaxing yet productive morning and waking up to have a slow morning is very different. I would say that a relaxing and productive morning is where you would wake up, make yourselves some tea or coffee, read a book (This is the time I take to read the bible and do my devotion and meditation), listen to some good music, do your stretches, catch on some last minute work before you have to head out for work or class and so on. Whereas a slow morning would be one where you have a lot of time and almost nothing to do and therefore you might start off your day by being slow. The difference that I have seen between these two mornings is that I usually tend to have a more productive day when I have a relaxing but productive morning where I am actually getting things done. And if I did have a slow morning then my whole day seems slow. There for try to do things that keep your mind active as you wake up.
These are not the only tips, but these are what has worked for me and therefore might work for you too. So give it a shot.
Have you ever wished to become a morning person? Or have you ever felt that it is impossible to become a morning person? Well then, this is for you. Here are a few steps that I have practiced and found useful.
Sleep is non-negotiable. If you want to be a morning person and have a productive day, then the first step is to get a full night’s sleep. This varies from person to person. If you usually sleep 6/7 hours each night, then you have to make sure you get 6/7 hours of sleep even when you are trying to wake up early. And being consistent with the time is also necessary as your body will get used to it and it will be easier for you to fall asleep and to wake up at a particular time.
- Work your way through slowly
If you wake up at 7 or 8 am currently and try to wake up at 4 or 5 am the next day, that might be hard on you and it is likely that your day will be unproductive. And therefore consider this as a process and try waking up half an hour earlier than usual then work your way to the goal time. This is an easy way to transition into being a morning person.
Decide on the motive of wanting to be a morning person. Or what you want to accomplish by being a morning person. Having a set motive like this will motivate you to wake up in the morning and also enjoy the transitioning process and even enjoy your time in the morning.
A strategy to wake up and get out of bed is extremely necessary. This consists of your alarm and also what you would do soon after you wake up. There are many apps that are available that will have you solve a puzzle before you turn off your alarm, I have personally found this effective. Some suggestions for what you could do as soon as you wake up are opening your window or door, drinking a glass of water, making your bed or changing out of my pajamas, these activities usually take your mind off of sleep and will help you become a bit more alert.
Try out these strategies during the week and next week I will be back with 4 more suggestions next week.
There is at least a time gap of 10 hours between your dinner the previous day and your present day breakfast. This time is called a ‘fasting period’. By morning mostly all the food is digested leaving your body with no source of energy. Some studies show that eating your breakfast will regulate your weight, give a positive mood, prevent binge eating and so much more. Here are a few reasons why breakfast is important.
1.Boosts your Energy
Your stomach is empty by the time you wake up leaving you with no source of energy for the rest of the day. The start of the day is when you need your short term memory to work the best because you have to plan for yhe rest of the day. And if you have no energy in your body, your overall functioning will reduce, which includes aspects like your muscle movement,memory. Thus it is important that you have your breakfast
- Gives you energy
As you have no more food left in your stomach by morning, it is important that you eat as it decides your energy for the day. It is not necessary that you eat a big meal but it is good to have something which will give you something to rely on. If you have your breakfast you will find it easier to do your tasks.
- Maintains your Weight
If you don’t eat a meal in the morning, you will find yourself snacking throughout the day especially when you get short breaks during work or class. This will result in eating more than your body actually needs.
Recent research shows that breakfast does not directly influence your weight, but it will influence the amount of food you eat in a day. It is said that having a nutritious breakfast will decrease your calorie intake of the day. It is important that you only eat what your body needs. Since your body needs some fuel in the morning, breakfast becomes a necessity.
If you find it hard to wake up early enough in the morning you can prepare some take-with-you breakfast. Otherwise try your best to eat something when you get up in the morning just to get the energy you need to start your day.
Use the comment section below to tell me what you think about this blog post, to share your thoughts on this topic, and to tell me if you’d like for me to do a blog post on any particular topic. Have a great week!
Do you remember that very good friend of yours whom you used to hang out with, whom you trusted the most and whom you loved the most. Then slowly their interests changed. They started hanging out with other people. They stopped calling you, texting you and doing other fun things with you. Finally it came to a point where if you needed to talk, you had to call them or go see them. And then their phone number and email address changed, but they didn’t notify you. And so you lost complete contact with them.
They didn’t reject you on purpose. They didn’t say anything bad. But what happened? Their interests changed. They found interest in many new things and friends besides you. Do you remember the pain that you felt and the hurt it cost you? That’s the same that God feels when we slide away from him. What’s the reality there? Did you reject God? No you didn’t. Did you think being close to God was useless? No you didn’t. Then what happened? Could it be your friends, your job, your wealth, your family? Did you give more importance to all of these than to God? The times you used to spend with God reduced and that became the time you spent thinking about everything else. Well, we didn’t do it on purpose, but it just happened. And most of the time you don’t realize it. But sometimes, you do realize the difference but when we look at it, it seems more than impossible to change.
So what’s first in your life? Is it God or something else? Think about it. If you’re finding it hard or you don’t know where to start, try this: Make a list of all the things you spend quite a bit of your time, energy, and money on. What are the things that has slowly drawn your heart away from God? And then admit it to God, and ask forgiveness.
Basically you are friends again. And think about some things you would do with someone whom you want to get to know better. Some of the things I would do is to spend more time talking and calling them. Likewise, get a fresh start with God like you are two people who just met and want to get to know each other better. Take it day by day. Try to evaluate yourself quite often just to make sure you are giving God the place he deserves in your life.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were very rich? I mean the kind of rich were your ancestors stored up wealth for generations? Wouldn’t that be cool? In the Bible, king Hezekiah was someone with that kind of wealth. He had silver, gold, spices, oil and all kinds of expensive stuff. One day he became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to God and God answered his prayers and gave him miraculous signs but his heart was full of pride. Later Hezekiah repented for his pride and the Lord’s wrath did not come upon the land during the days of Hezekiah. Since he had a lot of riches he built buildings and storehouses for all his valuables. He succeeded in everything he did. Hearing the miraculous signs God did, the king of Babylon sent visitors with gifts and letters to enquire of all that God did for Hezekiah. Instead of thanking them for the gifts and leading them on their way back home, he showed them all his ancestors had stored up for the coming generations like spices, gold, silver, precious stones and other items. He did this because his heart was filled with pride.
When the prophet Isaiah came and inquired about the visitors, King Hezekiah told the prophet that they were visitors from Babylon and he showed them all the wealth in his storehouses. Then the word from the Lord came that surely all the wealth that king Hezekiah’s ancestors stored for the generations will be carried of to Babylon and nothing will be left.
What are the thing in our life that are valuable to us? Is it money, cars, houses, health, ability to think, friends, job, computer, mobile phones? What God says is that if we love the world or the things in the world the love of the Father is not with us because all that we find in this world-the desires of the flesh, pride in possession, desires of the eye is not from God but from the world. The things in this world that we think that we will have all throughout our life might not be there. You might be healthy and all of a sudden you become sick or if you are rich and all of a sudden you lose your job and you will start to take loans and to cover the loans you may sell your car or your house. The Bible says that the world is like a river passing by with it’s evil desires.
So what do we have in life that will last. All the thing that are mentioned above are all good but what is that one thing that should be most important in our life? Our relationship with God is the one thing that should be most important. Everything we see with our eyes and think that without that we can not live is not actually true. The only person that will be with us from our birth till our death is God. Where ever we go our parents can not be there and in times of need if we can’t tell our parents we can tell that to God who is faithful to provide it. If we put our full trust in God and rely on him he will be with us too.