There are many ideas and tips out there to help you become more productive and content about the work you do every day. I’ve read many books on the subject, many articles, blog posts, listened to podcasts, etc.
As you can imagine, many things in life can alter your productivity and the way you feel about yourself. With this post, I am not trying to list them all here or give you the ultimate advice about this. Instead, I want to share a simple change in my morning routine that so far, it’s working for me.
Wake up early and train your body to do it without an alarm.
This is an obvious thing to do if you want your day to last you longer. And it isn’t Just about waking up early, but In addition, to change the activities that we do after we wake up. I’ve heard about the idea of waking up at 4 in the morning, I applaud those who can do it, but that’s not me. My ideal wake up time is between 6 and 7 am.
Lately, I’ve been training myself to wake up around 6am but without the help of an alarm. I am doing this because waking up to the terrible and loud sound of a wake up alarm is not fun, and it causes me to feel anxiety just by listening to the terrible sound of my phone’s alarm.
This is what I’ve been doing, I set my alarm with a very soft sound that starts at a low volume level, and the sound increases consistently until it wakes me up. This alarm sound is very soft, even when louder, so it doesn’t make me jump out of bed as my previous alarm sound did.
In the past two weeks, my body has been adjusting to the softer sound, and slowly but surely, I’ve been waking up around 6 am, most days before the alarm goes off.
Drink water and then read for 15 to 30 minutes.
For many years, I’ve spent the first 20-30 minutes of every morning, reading social media posts and email with my phone. Another important bad habit I recently eliminated was to drink two cups of coffee or more, before drinking any water. It was bad.
Today I wake up without looking at my phone, then proceed to have at least one cup of water, and then I open my kindle and read for several minutes. After that, I shower, and then I have my first cup of coffee, a delicious, hot cup of java. In this new morning routine, my phone no longer plays an essential part of my morning, it is empowering.
Reading and drinking water before I look at my phone or computer makes me feel not only happier, but also more present and with more energy to start the day. It makes sense, the water hydrates me, and the reading stimulates my mind. Subsequently, avoiding looking at email and social media eliminates any negative feelings or anxiety.
This is not the first time I try to improve my morning routine, a few years ago I tried journaling every morning, it was the first thing I’ll do but the problem was, I used my computer to do it so opening a social media website was very easy and so I did it often.
Because of that I found journaling challenging, and so it wasn’t enjoyable. The easy access to social media sites in my computer while journaling caused me to fall into my bad habits again, undermining my efforts to avoid looking at my phone first thing every morning.
This time is different, I feel it, reading every morning is delightful to me and like I said above, having that cup of water after in the morning and before any coffee gives me the energy and concentration my body requires to do some reading every morning. It also puts me in a good state of mind to start my day.
Reading a book gives me clarity of mind and a blank palette to start my day. This is important because when I was waking up and reading social media posts, or email, it affected my state of mind, it made me feel stressed, or sad, or anxious about things that didn’t have any relation to my day.
A simple change to my morning routine with these small changes has resulted in a significant positive return. Since my morning routine change took place, my professional work output has increased, I fell less rushed every morning, and just feel more content with myself and the world around me.