You know the old saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” One 2012 study published by the American Psychological Association found that self-professed “morning people” reported feeling happier and healthier than their night owl counterparts. There’s also a distinct reason why many top executives are early risers. With fewer distractions in the morning, more time for breakfast and the chance to start your day off with a good work out, being productive in the morning matters. And since many workplaces are on the morning-heavy 9:00-5:00 schedule, there’s even the argument that early risers tend to be more efficient employees.
There’s no doubt about it: the early bird does get the worm, and if you strive to live a more altruistic lifestyle, your morning routine should play an important role. When you have an efficient morning routine, you set an effective tone for the rest of the day. Here are five ways to establish a productive morning routine.
1. Keep your alarm away from your bed.
In today’s technological world, many people use their smartphones as their alarm in their morning. They check their phone before bed, plug it into the wall beside their bed, then check it immediately first thing in the morning when the alarm goes off. Instead, keep your phone—and your alarm—away from your bed. Then, when it goes off in the morning, you’re unable to roll over and immediately hit the snooze button. Instead, force yourself to get out of bed, walk over and shut the alarm off. This way, you’re already up and moving, ready for the day!
2. Drink a full glass of water.
Water is the most important thing for a productive morning. As soon as you are out of bed, drink a full glass of water to help spike your energy levels both mentally and physically. Drinking water first thing in the morning immediately hydrates your body and provides natural energy which can last the whole rest of the day. If you add a slice of lemon, you could even pack in more nutrients, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. This doesn’t mean you can’t still have some coffee, but save that for later with breakfast.
3. Save time for exercise.
Whether it’s a 10-minute walk on the treadmill or an hour-long intensive workout, set aside time to exercise during your morning routine. Researchers at the University of Bristol recently found that people who exercise during the day have more energy and a more positive outlook on life, which are both critical to productivity. In fact, one article by the U.S. News & World Report even stated that working out early in the morning increases your mental clarity for 4-10 hours afterwards. Exercising first thing in the morning starts your day off on a high note and improves your self-control and energy levels throughout the day.
4. Enjoy some quiet time.
In a busy and bustling world, we rarely, if ever, enjoy any quiet time. By waking up earlier and focusing on a productive morning, you can make space for quiet time. Spend the time reading, meditating or setting goals for the day. How do you envision this day, and how will it influence your larger goals in life? Think about the things in life you are grateful for, and consider what you want to achieve moving forward. By enjoying quiet time, you can clear your mind, focus on the day and feel less anxious as you head to work.
5. Eat a real breakfast.
Finally, this can come as no surprise: eat a real breakfast. According to the Huffington Post, about 31 million Americans skip the most important meal of the day. Instead, you can start off on a higher note simply by filling your belly early on. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese, more likely to have stable blood-sugar levels and tend to be less hungry throughout the day. Whether it’s a protein shake or eggs and bacon, a healthy breakfast gives you energy, improves your memory and helps you concentrate on the rest of your day.
Establishing a productive morning routine is an important step in living an altruistic lifestyle. When you feel more efficient throughout the day, you can create more opportunities to give back to others. Use these tips to help establish your routine, and soon enough, you too can be an early bird.