How often do you feel satisfied with the amount of work you accomplish in a day?
If you’re like most, these moments are few and far between. It’s much more common to finish the day with a few lingering tasks or things that you didn’t get to.
You then wish for more time. But, more time isn’t the answer.
The amount of work that you can get done in one day is directly proportional to the efficiency of your morning routine.
If you don’t have a plan in place to start your day, you won’t be as productive for the rest of the day. You’ll spend all your time playing catch up, without ever getting anywhere.
With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can get more done.
Learn how to create an efficient morning routine with the following 11 solutions.
#1 – Go to Bed on Time
A great morning starts with great sleep. You need proper rest if you’re going to be productive during the day. The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This can be a real struggle, especially with a hectic lifestyle.
If you toss and turn at night, go to bed on time. Set your alarm so that you have plenty of time in the morning and be in bed 8 to 9 hours before you need to get up.
With repetition, this bedtime will become a habit. Train your brain to get used to a bedtime and finally get the rest you need.
#2 – Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
You should never hit the snooze button. If you’re guilty of this behavior, it’s time to break the habit.
Hitting the snooze button is a form of procrastination. If you hit the snooze button, you’re already starting the day off on the wrong foot. It’s an indication of what’s to come.
So, you need to force yourself to get up when the alarm goes off. If you follow the previous solution and go to bed on time, this step should be easy.
#3 – Get Up and Stretch
In the morning, you should start your day with a good stretch. Get your blood moving first thing in the morning. After remaining mostly inactive for up to 9 hours, some of your muscles will be tired and not yet ready to start the day.
The best way to get your blood moving without a full workout is to stretch. But, instead of static stretches, use dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches warm up your muscles, improves blood circulation, and prepares you for whatever comes next.
Dynamic stretches include movement with a full range of motion, such as leg swings, high kicks, and jump squats.
#4 – Eat a Filling Breakfast
If you’re going to stay on top of things during the day, you need energy. This means you need a filling breakfast.
Eating breakfast in the morning can help improve concentration and mental focus. It also has the added benefit of helping you avoid overeating.
Though, choosing the right foods can also help. Including lean protein, such as eggs or poultry, can help give you the boost you need to start the day.
#5 – Meditate for 5 Minutes
After getting up and eating breakfast, you may feel that you’re ready to tackle the day, but there’s another step that you can take to prepare yourself. You should meditate for 5 minutes.
Just 5 minutes of meditation can help calm your mind and give you a chance to clear out any lingering thoughts from the previous day.
All you need to do is find an object to stare at and then focus on your breathing. As thoughts enter your mind, recognize them and then focus on your breathing again.
#6 – Don’t Worry About Your Wardrobe
Don’t waste valuable time pondering your wardrobe. To increase the efficiency of your morning routine, you can choose your clothes the night before. Or, you could follow the example set by Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg – only purchase one type of outfit.
This same concept can be applied to many of your decisions. Along with your wardrobe, you shouldn’t have to waste time thinking about what you’re going to eat, how you’re going to get to work, or worrying about how the day is going to turn out.
You can plan these things out in advance or follow a regular routine. That’s why we develop routines. They become familiar and we carry them out without thought.
So, don’t waste your brain power on your clothes or other trivial decisions. It’s time to focus on work.
#7 – Choose One Main Goal for the Day
Now you’re ready to start planning your day. You’ve built the foundation from which you can create an efficient routine. The next step is to begin thinking about what needs to get done.
Choose one main goal for the day. This could be the completion of a project or reach a specific point on an ongoing project. Decide what this main task should be.
Once you start your work day, this task should be your primary focus. If possible, it should come before all other chores or activities that you need to complete, unless something else comes up that needs to be addressed…
#8 – Only Focus on One Task at a Time
During the day, while you’re focusing on your own main task, you’ll likely have to deal with a few trivial matters. You may need to change something that you’ve previously done, take care of a new task as soon as possible, or alter your plans in some way.
When these new tasks arise, you should give them your entire focus. Don’t try to switch back and forth between the new task and your main task. Get the small task out of the way and return to your main goal.
The problem with switching back and forth is that you lose time. You’re less efficient because you’re dividing your focus between multiple tasks.
If the new task requires immediate attention, push it to the front of your work list and get it done, then return to your other work.
#9 – Take a Break
Throughout the day, you need to take breaks. Sitting all day or working nonstop will only lead to exhaustion. Your productivity will begin to slide the longer you go without taking a moment to rest. So, every hour or two, you should take a pause from your work and relax.
The idea is to get your mind off the work and stretch your muscles. In fact, performing some more dynamic stretches is a great way to relieve some of the midday tension.
#10 – Get Rid of the Distractions
Distractions can kill the efficiency of your routine. The biggest workplace distractions include cell phones, the internet, gossip, social media, and email. You can find ways to keep yourself from falling for these distractions.
For example, you can turn your cell phone off during work hours. Social media, the internet, and email have their use in certain workplace settings.
But, you need to avoid wasting too much time with these activities. Limit yourself to checking these during your break or wait until the end of the day.
#11 – Make a List of Bad Habits
The final solution for creating a more efficient morning routine is to make a list of your current bad habits. Think about the previous solutions.
Write down anything that gets in your way during the day. This could include absolutely anything that keeps you from getting things done on time – from hitting the snooze button in the morning to multitasking.
By becoming more aware of some of the habits that get in your way, you can start replacing them with positive habits. Find ways to reverse your behavior.
If you hit the snooze button, replace this behavior with getting up and stretching. If you multitask, force yourself to focus on one task at a time until completion.
Planning a more efficient morning routine doesn’t require a lot of work. You just need to make a conscious effort to think about the decisions that you make.
Even if you don’t follow every time in this list, you should at least try one or two. A small improvement to your routine could give quite a boost to your overall productivity. And, if you like the results, you can try a few of the other tips.
For starters, make sure that you get enough rest each night.