The University of Nottingham researched 83 separate studies on energy and self-control and these findings can change the way you start your day. These researches found that self-control and energy can tire like your muscles on a daily level. Sometimes you won’t realize it, but as the day progress, you might find it extremely difficult to focus on your work. As self-control tires off, we feel tired and makes us less concentrated
The researchers found that self-control and energy are not only intricately linked but also finite, daily resources that tire much like a muscle. Even though we don’t always realize it, as the day goes on, we have increased difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our work. As self-control wears out, we feel tired and find tasks to be more difficult and our mood sours. This exhaustion of self-control kills your productivity, and it makes the morning hours when self-control is highest, the most important hours of the day.
But the trick isn’t just to spend your morning hours working; it’s to do the right things in the morning that will make your energy and self-control last as long as possible. Nottingham research has led me to uncover ways we can break bad habits in the morning and maximize our energy and self-control throughout the day.
Whether you naturally wake up feeling alert and productive or wake up with the brainpower of a zombie, these tips will help you transform your morning routine and set a positive tone that lasts the entire day.
1. Start with Exercise
Research by the University of Bristol found that people who exercise daily have more energy and positive outlook at the workspace. Exercising makes your brain feel soothed and keeps your impulses in control. Exercising in the morning helps you to improve your self-control and keeps your energy level all day long.
2. But Drink Some Lemon Water First
Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning helps you to shoot up your energy level physically and mentally. It gives natural energy which lasts for the entire day and it also helps in improving nutrient absorption in your stomach. Drink it in an empty stomach and wait at least 15-30 minutes to eat something else after drinking it. You could also use that time for exercising. Don’t drink lemon juice without water as its hard for your teeth. If you are below 70kg drink only juice of a half lemon and if you are above 70kg you can drink juice from a full lemon.
3. No Screen-time Until Breakfast
Don’t dive into emails, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. first thing in the morning. It will make you lose focus and pulls your attention to the needs of other people. It is important to make use of your first few important moments of the day to set your mind. Start meditating, exercising, running, etc. or even simple things like watching birds outside your window is a better way to start your day than checking screens.
4. Eat a Real Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – people eating breakfast are less likely to be obese, they will have stable blood-sugar levels and they tend to less hungry for the rest of the day. When you eat a healthy breakfast you tend to be more productive, you get more energy and have a good memory. It also helps you to improve your concentration level in the longer run. So choose a healthy breakfast over any breakfast.
5. Set Goals for the Day
Setting goals for each day put everything in place. Research says that having a concentrated goal helps in increasing confidence. When you set goals it is important to break it down into achievable tasks. Vague goals are not productive and they are bound to fail, so important to be more specific on what you need to achieve as well.
6. First, Clean Your Workspace
Cleaning your workspace every morning can be a painful task but it does help the rest of the day. A study by Princeton University found that people who are working in a clean workspace outperform people working in a cluttered workspace. It found that cluttered workspace doesn’t let people concentrate and gets your attention away from work.
7. No Email Until you’ve Eaten 3 Frogs
“Eating a frog” is the metaphor used by productive people in the world – in other words, do something in the morning which requires good attention and something of high priority. Email is something that pulls down your productivity and makes you carve to procrastinate your important to-do list. So make a habit of eating three frogs before checking your email.
8. Plan Your to-do list, & Monitor Your Progress
There is no point in just creating your to-do list and not keeping a check on them. Keep a check on them in a regular interval and if you feel you are behind schedule then readjust your list and work so you can progress for the rest of your day.
9. Keep Morning Meetings on Schedule
Meetings are a time waster and can ruin your morning productivities. People who want to use their mornings effectively should ensure that the meetings are not dragging and it is sticking to the time schedule. This motivates everyone in the meeting to be more efficient. So, keep your morning meetings on time and keep your day on track.
10. Don’t Multitask
Multitasking in the morning can be tempting when you have a lot of things on your plate, but it drains tons of your energy. Research by Stanford University revealed that multitasking is actually less productive them one thing at a time. Research also found that people who are consuming so much of digital information cannot pay attention and recall information.
But what if you are gifted with special capability to multitask? Standard research also compared a group of people based on their talent to multitask and their belief in performance. They found that people who are confident about multitasking performed worse than people who do one thing at a time. People who frequently multitask were not able to perform because they are not good at organizing their thoughts and filtering irrelevant information. They were also slow in switching from one task to another.
Multitasking reduces your efficiency because naturally, your brain and only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to more than one thing, your brain lacks performing both tasks successfully.
11. Finally, say NO
NO is a powerful word that can protect your morning. But when you are saying No, avoid using phrases like “I don’t think I can do this” or “I am not certain about this”. Saying no to new commitments can honor your existing commitments and gives you an opportunity to successfully fulfilling them and keeping your mind fresh. Research by the University of California showed that the more difficult it is say No to you, the more likely you are going to experience stress, burnout, and depression. So learn to say no and it will definitely lift your productivity.
The right morning routine can make your day right. So start today!
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