Money & Career
How to Make your Mornings More Productive
1/5/2018 3:44:31 PM
Productivity


Imagine a typical weekday -- it’s already noon, and you haven’t checked a single item off your to-do list. Sound familiar? No worries. With just a few tweaks to your morning routine, you can learn to make the most of every minute. While there is no single recipe to start the day right, there are several common habits practiced by successful people.

Prep the night before to ensure a more efficient morning. Lay out the clothes you’ll wear and organize the things you’ll take with you. Pre-set the coffee pot and pack your lunch the night before. Evening is also the best time to write a to-do list for the following day. The fewer things you need to do and decide upon in the morning, the more time you’ll have for other tasks.

Get enough good sleep. Enough can’t be said about how much sleep affects your productivity. That’s an article all to itself.

Devise a morning routine that works for you. Routines are time savers, unless your routine is full of unnecessary activity. Evaluate your routine and eliminate anything that is not useful.

Move and hydrate. Not everyone has time for a trip to the gym in the morning, but some type of movement is key to getting your body and your day off to a good start. Even if only a brisk walk around the block, your productivity will increase. Drinking several glasses of water with a spritz of lemon juice will also amp up your energy level.

Eat a healthy breakfast. A healthy breakfast, including protein, gives you energy, improves your short-term memory, and helps you concentrate more intensely and for longer periods.

Once at your workplace, de-clutter your work space. A neat tidy work area generally increases efficiency.

Tackle your hardest assignments first. Having the difficult chores out of the way frees your day for other tasks and gives you a boost of confidence.

Don’t multi-task. Though some may find this ability admirabe, it is actually counter-productive. Research conducted at Stanford University confirmed that multi-tasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multi-task and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multi-taskers (those who multi-task a lot and feel that it boosts their performance) were actually worse at multi-tasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multi-taskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Multi-tasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus adequately on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Learn to say no. Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco showed that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Learn to use the word no, and it will lift your mood as well as your productivity.

The bottom line is that everyone is different and no two people will thrive with the same routine. But maintaining an enjoyable routine is ideal. Determine what works best for YOU!
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