Top 10 Ways to Start Your Day to Be More Productive & Grounded

How you start your day is typically a determining factor for how the rest of your 24 hours plays out. Most can relate to those mornings where a few misfortunes or setbacks set an undesirable tone that seems to persist the rest of the day.

While we are all different and require our own unique habits and routines to make the most of each day, there are some do’s and don'ts that are pretty universal. In this article, we are going to discuss ten useful tips that will allow you to begin your daily grind on a productive and grounded note.

1. Start the Day Before the Day Starts

While we might be contradicting the title a bit with this one, it deserves a spot on the list. One of the best ways to ensure your day begins on a productive note is to spend a short amount of time preparing the night before.

This doesn’t have to be an overly specific or detailed process, a few key steps can make a big difference. For example, laying out your clothes, packing your lunch for the next day and filling up the coffee pot before you go to bed can provide some valuable free time each morning. If you want to get really crazy with it, outlining your schedule for the day ahead on your phone or in a journal is also beneficial.

2. Give Yourself Enough Time Most would agree that every extra second we get to remain warm in bed in the mornings is a precious commodity. However, this usually goes hand in hand with a hectic rush that entails throwing on an outfit and forgetting something on the way out that we seem to always remember halfway to our destination.

In order to save yourself the frustration and inconvenience of a rushed morning, wake up early enough to prevent having to do so. This isn’t rocket science by any means, but an extra 20 minutes of time in the mornings is a great way to start the day on a productive note.

3. Hydrate Before You Caffeinate

Hydration, while being a must throughout the entire day, is particularly important in the morning. Think about it, you spend the entire night without consuming any water. This amount of time results in a significant level of dehydration upon waking each day.

Before you enjoy that lovely cup of coffee each morning, make a habit of drinking at least a glass of water. This will ward off the brain fog and fatigue that results from even a small level of dehydration.

4. Avoid Insulin Spikes

Without going into a scientific lecture here, avoiding sugar early in the day is important if you want to start off focused and productive. When you consume sugar (or carbs, but once again, no science lesson), your body releases a hormone called insulin in order to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. As blood sugar levels begin to level out and this insulin release decreases, most people experience a notable drop in energy and focus.

To avoid a 10am mini coma, try to abstain from any of the numerous breakfast staples that are little more than sugar in a colorful box. For example, most breakfast cereals and pastries have a ridiculously high sugar content.

5. Quiet Time To Evaluate

Given that we’ve already discussed the importance of a little extra personal time in the mornings, how this time is spent also deserves its own spot on the list. If you are like the majority of people, your typical daily schedule is a pretty lengthy list of time-sensitive to-dos.

In addition to writing out your schedule the night before, taking just a brief moment to review and mentally rehearse the flow of the remaining day early on is also a productivity booster. By doing so, you are able to establish a mental flow that allows more efficiency with time management.

6. Organizing To-Do’s According To Difficulty

Willpower is an attribute that is both valuable and finite. While some of us certainly have more of it than others, no one has an endless amount. Furthermore, willpower is a resource that experiences a fairly consistent decline throughout the day.

What does this mean in terms of productivity? Each day, your schedule will naturally include items that are more difficult and time-consuming than others. While there are always going to be things that you are unable to control the timing of, a lot of your daily tasks offer more fluidity. Regarding these tasks, try to complete the more difficult things first before your willpower is already depleted.

7. Make Your Bed This may seem like an insignificant action when it comes to boosting productivity, but making your bed is more than a demand your parents used to make when company was coming over. Making your bed each morning is a quick and easy habit that lets you check off a to do item immediately upon waking up.

For whatever reason, humans like the feeling of accomplishment, even tiny ones. By making your bed every day, you enjoy a small release of feel good hormones that promote drive and productivity moving forward.

8. Take Advantage Of Your Commute Chances are that your weekday mornings involve at least some amount of time spent driving to work. Given the significant value of free time each day, are you taking advantage of your daily commute?

Instead of listening to perpetually cheesy morning talk shows or verbally assaulting the driver in the next lane, use your morning commute time to better prepare yourself for the day ahead. This can include listening to an informative podcast, audiobook or simply using the quiet time to evaluate your daily schedule as we mentioned earlier.

If you do not commute and work from home, carve out time in the morning to plan activities mentioned above. Relax and enjoy this time, while sipping that first cup of coffee or tea.

9. Get to Work Before the Busyness Begins

Having to dive into the inevitable hecticness of a work day two minutes after arriving is a real buzz kill. It usually includes starting your responsibilities in a rushed state or starting late and playing an unfortunate game of catch up the rest of the day.

You don’t have to be the first person in the office every day, but you should give yourself enough time after arriving to unpack, set up your work environment and take a deep breath before the grind begins. If working from home, set up your day in your home office before virtual co-workers start reaching out to you, or zoom meetings begin.

10. Avoid Excessive Multitasking It’s a proven fact that people aren’t nearly as good at multitasking as they believe to be. In fact, most research shows that trying to work on multiple tasks at once actually decreases the quality and accuracy of each one.

This isn’t necessarily a morning only piece of advice, but still a useful bit of information. You will be more productive and produce better work if you allow yourself to lock in on one task at a time. Given that life is not the most organized system, this won’t always be possible. Avoid multitasking when possible.

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