Waking up on time is a pre-requisite for a productive day. You cannot skip it. If you are snoozing your alarm clock too often, you need to either get a different type of alarm that works for you or you need to figure out a sleep pattern that actually works for you. Having said that, I didn’t have issues ever waking up on time.
However, it took me a while before I could actually be on time for office. Being late is enough to dislodge productivity from your day as it takes up your mental space as well as your physical time.
So what was I doing wrong? I tried to set the alarm half an hour before the usual time but this too wasn’t helping me be on time. All I was actually living were long brooding hours of under-productivity. But eventually, I actually figured out what was curtailing my efforts to be on time.
The first thing that I noticed was that I tried to make a lot of decisions just after I woke up. Should I take a shower first? Should I boil the milk? Should I shave later?
Now morning is not a good time to make good decisions. You cannot skip the natural body clock that you have – Remember that these haphazard decisions that you take in the morning without much willpower or inspiration are going to take a toll on your overall productivity of the day.
You are surely going to get late however hard you try to be on time. Being cluttered in the morning is exactly what you do not want to be to have a productive day.
Now I am always on time and I actually sleep half an hour extra. So what changed? Did I become less cluttered? Yes.
But what actually triggered this change was creating a morning routine and sticking by it.
It is very important that decisions in your morning do not meander especially in the very first hour of your day and hence a morning routine is what you might just be missing for making your day productive.
You need to eventually switch off the anxiety of getting late – anxiousness does you no good, it gets you locked up in your own whims. So to do that, you need to know what exactly you are going to do in those crucial moments of your morning.
1. Your routine starts before you go to sleep
A morning routine has a pre-requisite: you cannot have pending work you couldn’t finish in the night.
So the first thing is to never postpone any work that can be easily finished before hitting your sacks. Also, it is important to include your previous night as an important part of your morning routine by finishing off the possible tasks in the night itself. You will then have lesser things to worry in the morning.
For instance, as a school kid, I used to pack my school bag right before going to bed as instructed by my mother. So this simple tip from my mother has helped me in my job life too.
You can easily include shaving as a task for the night. It does eat up a lot of your morning time. You can also take your shower in the night itself.
Taking a shower before you go to sleep helps you relax and fall asleep more quickly. If you tend to sweat a lot, this, however, might not work for you. But for most of the people, it does because most of us shower only once in 24 hours.
Keep a deodorant handy if you are unsure about how you smell in the morning without a shower. Being unsure in itself is a hindrance to your day’s productivity.
2. Drink water when you wake up
Do not start your morning dehydrated. Water will help you freshen up quickly and will also help your metabolism.
3. Put some music to time yourself
To kick-start your day, you need some music to groove to. Your body will adjust to the beats and you can time yourself accordingly to the music. Recommended morning music is usually something that has a proper beat.
You need to feel excited for the day and hence mellow songs might not work for you right in the morning. Buy yourself some good speakers and let the music take control of your anxieties. You can even get shower head with a speaker built in.
4. Stretch out and exercise
Assign yourself a fixed time for stretching out – Do not do it beyond 10 minutes. It is important to feel rejuvenated when you start off your day. This would also help you be regular with your bowels if you have constipation problems.
5. Brush your teeth
Brushing and flossing will help you feel hygienic for the rest of the day.
6. Empty your bowels before you shower
A great start to a morning is accompanied by being able to poop on time. You cannot feel constipated and have a great productive day. It is customary to approach your toilet seat before you hit the shower – so do not skip this step in your routine and keep it for the later part of the day.
If you cannot come to terms with it, then drink lots of water and hot beverages in the morning. You need to have more fiber in your body. So add fiber in your diet or at least in your dinner.
7. Do not skip the shower
If you haven’t ticked off this task on your previous night, you need to be very specific about how much time you spend in the shower. The first and foremost thing is that you cannot miss a shower on the pretext of being late.
To make sure you have a productive day, you need to get freshened up and that is only possible with a cold shower. Nothing can be as bad as a bedhead right in the morning and even if you reach office on time, the bedhead is going to get you late when it comes to doing real work.
It is easy to lose track of time when you are in the shower. So put an alarm to time your shower – the idea is to shower for not more than 5 minutes.
8. Speed up your shower
Before you hit the shower, make a list of the things you need when you shower. You might need a shampoo, soap, conditioner. If you happen to be a cluttered person it is better to opt for a combo pack of body wash and shampoo – this would help you keep track of the things you need. Otherwise, it is very easy to forget one thing for the other.
This only kills your precious shower time. Did you know that you get the most beautiful ideas in the shower?
So the right thing to do is not to waste it on redundant things. You can also cut down on the days you shampoo your hair to save your time – Shampooing 4 days a week is decent.
9. Make sure the shower is cold
In order that you do not laze around, choose a temperature that’s not comfortable for you. Cold showers have their own benefits and they can give you a kick start right away.
10. Know what you will wear for office
Do not waste time juggling with different wardrobe options right in the morning.
11. Do not skip the breakfast
Skipping breakfast will eventually make you clumsy and will hamper your morning routine. So one important thing to do before you hit your office is to have your breakfast on time.
12. Go to Step 1 and repeat the following steps.
If you ever create a morning routine to make your day productive, remember to stick to it and be strict about it. A morning routine is indeed what you might be missing out on if you feel you are under-productive. You can surely take control of the day if you let the routine take control of you in the morning.