It is well-documented that many of the most successful people like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, are early risers. They begin their respective days at of before 4 am, according to The Wall Street Journal. While many want to be as productive, not everyone is born an early bird. So how can one be productive in the morning if they are not morning people?
Designing a good morning routine can help make you more productive and minimize stress. This works especially well for professionals who are not morning people–like me. Here are some tips you may want to experiment with to give you the perfect morning schedule that works for you.
Plan out your morning the night before
Before going to bed, take a few minutes to think why waking up early is difficult. What part of the mornings are most stressful. Try to mitigate these times by preparing for the next day the evening before.
Do you spend too much time choosing what clothes to wear? Choose your clothes the evening before. Making breakfast is too difficult? Go to your favorite grocery store and choose healthy non prep foods you can easily prepare in the morning. Once you’ve solved some of the tasks you find difficult in the morning before the morning itself, it will make it easier for you to start your day worry-free.
Set an alarm, not your phone
According to a 2015 study published by the National Academy of Sciences, screen time before bed can have different negative effects on sleep. The researchers found that looking at light-emitting devices right before you go to sleep “prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning.”
Invest in an alarm clock–that isn’t your phone. This will also help you avoid looking at your phone first thing in the morning and browsing through social media–which distracts you from your morning routine.
While coffee may be the go-to morning drink of almost everybody, it’s important to cleanse your empty stomach with water first. After hours of sleep, many people wake up slightly dehydrated. This is because the brain needs water to create hormones and neurotransmitters. Start the day with a tall glass of water to help jumpstart your energy.
Keep the day’s goals in mind
If all else fails, and you still find yourself sleeping in longer than usual, try to motivate yourself to get out of bed using the advice that Steve Jobs gave to the Stanford graduating class of 2005:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remind yourself everyday of your goals, and what you plan to achieve that day. This way you will have a better time mentally getting through difficult mornings.