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 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.
Have you had those mornings where you struggle to get out of bed? I have, and I have also had mornings where it is effortless to get out of bed. Recognizing the difference that my morning activities have on my day has encouraged me to learn and research on some of the things that I can incorporate into my mornings. So thorough my journey of trying out various suggestions on the internet, I have come up with 4 reasons why I think one should have a morning routine.
- It will allow you to take care of yourself
Taking care of ourselves is a term or concept that is foreign to many of us. We are always taught to take care of others and are not taught or encouraged to look after our own needs. But the irony is that we cannot take care of others or do anything unless we care for ourselves. I think that we should be a little selfish when it comes to taking care of ourselves on a daily basis. This can be in the form of exercising, doing a skin care routine or putting on some make-up, putting on some nice clothes, eating a good breakfast, taking some time to meditate and so on. What this does is boost our energy or confidence to tackle our daily tasks.
- It will allow you to become healthier
When you have a morning routine, this will allow you to spend some time in the morning either meditating that can be good for your mind/brain, exercising which will help your body and eating that can give you the necessary energy to function during that day. And all of these things not only impact your day, but have a long term effect on you.
- It will help you reduce stress
If you usually wake up 30 minutes before you have to head out the door, there is a high chance that you will not have time to think about anything as you might be multitasking in order to get out of your house so that you can make it in time for your class or work. But if you were to wake up an hour or an hour and half before you have to leave the house, that will give you enough time to stretch or exercise and even have breakfast. Many have attested that taking that extra hour or so in the morning to get ready, have your breakfast and even some time for meditation or devotion can do wonders to our day. As we are taking things more slowly because we have time, this will have a direct impact on our stress level.
We are always competing with time. It’s a race that just seems never ending. Getting up earlier than your peers allows you to have time to work or study without being interrupted by those things that would during the day. And it is likely that you will be able to get more things done.
If you are now thinking that all this sounds good, but that you are not a morning person. Come back next week to know how you can create your own morning routine that will be easier to follow.