Productive Morning Routines: 6 Hacks for Success

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Many of us live extremely busy lives; often feeling overwhelmed and rushed to achieve our personal goals, complete work tasks and fulfill our familial responsibilities. So, what’s the secret to success? Is it possible to be more productive while, simultaneously, taking physical and mental wellness into consideration?

The answer is YES! If you establish a morning routine, you may be able to get more done with your day and get closer to achieving your personal and professional goals. We’re not saying it’s easy. Adopting a new habit can take time; and learning how to stay consistent surely involves a bit of trial and error.

Our advice? Try to create a routine that enhances your mood or allows you to carve out time to connect with those you love. Productivity isn’t just about checking off more boxes on your to-do list – your morning routine can help you learn how to balance work and home life.

Don’t know where to start? That’s okay – we have researched six morning hacks, just for you.

Morning Hack #1

Get up earlier

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You may have read that waking up early is a simple way to establish a productive morning routine. But are there any benefits to getting an even earlier start? Well, a recent study1 in Jama Psychiatry, on sleep timing patterns and major depressive disorder, found that shifting your sleep schedule back by just an hour – that is, going to sleep an hour earlier and waking up an hour earlier – could lower your risk of depression by 23 percent.

In addition to mental health benefits, getting an earlier start allows you to gradually transition from your bed to your busy workday. Imagine having time to slowly sip your coffee, watch the sunrise, or just enjoy the morning for a moment.

Morning Hack #2

Drink water before anything else

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It may be tempting to reach for a hot cup of coffee in the morning, but according to experts, water might be the better option when it comes to staying alert and hydrated. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic2, found that while there is not a universally accepted recommendation for how much water to drink, there are benefits to beginning your day with a glass of H2O instead of coffee. 

Two points to consider when debating Coffee vs. Water

  • Coffee is high in caffeine, a substance that is desired in the morning to be alert and focused but that has diuretic properties3 which can cause you to urinate more frequently. 
  • Water helps bodies to rehydrate4 after a night of sleeping, aids digestion and lubricates joints in addition to jumpstarting your metabolism. 

Morning Hack #3

Eat something nutritious

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You may be wondering, can eating breakfast help me make the most of my morning? Well, yes.

According to the professionals at WebMD, eating breakfast is linked to stronger memory and increased concentration5 in addition to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. But, what if you’re not a “breakfast person” so to speak? In that case, you’ll be happy to hear that there are alternatives to eating a big meal. In lieu of a loaded platter, try eating something small but nutritious within an hour of waking up.

Don’t know what to grab before the workday begins? Whole-grain cereal, a granola bar, smoothie or fruit bowl could offer a simple solution, so you don’t skip this important meal.

Morning Hack #4

Stretch or exercise

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Moving your body may just be the key to a successful day. Why, you ask? Well, experts suggest that carving out time in the morning, to work up a sweat or stretch, can boost your metabolism and mood among other benefits. 

Need another reason to stop hitting snooze and start your work out routine?

In an article on, Why You Should Exercise in the Morning, Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta6 Ph.D, explains why the timing of exercise is important and how moving your body in the morning can lead to a, “significantly higher reduction in nocturnal systolic blood pressure as compared to exercise conducted in the afternoon or evening.” 

Morning Hack #5

Use a gratitude journal to reflect

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If you often wake up in a groggy state, ready to toss your alarm clock across the room, you may need to do some soul-searching to find out what motivates you. Our suggestion? Get a gratitude journal.

A gratitude journal is a simple tool you can use to reflect on your life and set the tone for the day ahead. While journaling about positivity may seem a bit cliche and time consuming, there are real benefits to this implementing this practice7 including:

  • Insight into what is important in your life 
  • Time to focus on what truly makes you happy
  • Lower stress levels
  • Increased self-awareness and self-love

Morning Hack #6

Connect with loved ones

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If you’ve shifted your sleep schedule and found yourself with plenty of downtime in the morning, congratulations! You can start to carve out moments to connect with your loved ones, near or far.

Have more than a few minutes before your meeting? Stay in bed and snuggle with your spouse, color a picture with your child, or go on a walk with a furry friend. The most productive morning routines consider all aspects of a person – that includes your life outside of work.

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References

1. Iyas Daghlas, B. S. (2021, August 1). Genetically proxied diurnal preference, sleep timing, and risk of major depressive disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2780428 

2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, October 14). How much water do you need to stay healthy? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256 

3. Raman, R. (2019, December 11). Does coffee dehydrate you? Healthline. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-coffee-dehydrate-you 

4. Miller, R. W. (2020, January 23). Why you should drink water first thing every day. USA Today. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/01/23/water-every-morning-first-thing-has-health-benefits-experts-say/4530408002/

5. Hill, L. (n.d.). Breakfast benefits: Energy, weight control, and more. WebMD. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/breakfast-lose-weight

6. Dutta, D. S. S. (2020, February 18). Why you should exercise in the morning. News. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Why-You-Should-Exercise-in-the-Morning.aspx 

7. Jessen, L. (2016, July 8). The benefits of a gratitude journal and how to maintain one. HuffPost. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gratitude-journal_b_7745854 

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