The way we start off our day in the mornings often has a major effect on how the rest of our day goes.
Have you ever noticed when you start off your day being frantic and rushed, the rest of your day seems to follow a similar pattern? Likewise, when you have a calm and purposeful start to your day, the rest of your day tends to continue in the same manner.
I know you may be thinking that every day for you is rushed, frantic and hectic no matter what you try to do! That is even more reason why we must be intentional about how we start off each day so that we can be in control of what we do and experience daily.
We should not leave what happens during our day to chance or external circumstances. We should be able to dictate how we start off our mornings and how we respond to situations we encounter during the day.
Having a good start to the day will:
- Put us in a better frame of mind to make the most of our day.
- Prevent us from being rushed and pressured to get things done.
- Help us respond to events or situations a lot better.
- Make us enjoy our day a lot more than when we feel rushed or stressed by the way we start our day.
There are many things we can do that will prevent us from wasting valuable time in the mornings. Research has shown that our willpower is at its peak in the mornings and as the day progresses, we lose more and more of our willpower, which makes it more difficult to maintain heightened levels of concentration and performance. Here are 10 simple things we can do to stop wasting valuable time in the mornings.
- Choose the clothes you are going to wear the night before. The reason for doing this is to minimise decision fatigue. The more decisions we have to make, the more likely we will make poor decisions which is why it is valuable to reduce as many small decisions as we can daily.
- Have your exercise/workout clothes/gear ready for use. This has a two-fold benefit. Firstly, it will almost force us to exercise in the morning because we have everything ready for use. And secondly, we don’t have to waste time or decide whether we should exercise or not. We have already made the decision.
- Prepare your lunch the night before, if practical. Some people prefer to prepare their lunch in the mornings if they take lunch from home. In that case, it will help to know exactly what we want to have for lunch. On the other hand, time can be saved by having lunch already prepared the night before so there is nothing to prepare in the morning.
- Become better with breakfast. As breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day, to be efficient in the mornings, it pays to know in advance what we want to have. Listing some different options will be beneficial. For a lot of people, breakfast is usually the same so it is a matter of getting it ready in the most efficient manner.
- Have your bag packed if you have to leave home. Sometimes we waste time looking for things like a pen, a notebook or other things we have to take with us. If we have our bag ready to go with our laptop, notebooks, chargers and any other stationary we need, things will be so much easier in the mornings. All we have to do is remember to take our lunch.
- Charge your phone overnight or while getting dressed. Waiting for our devices to be charged up can be quite frustrating and make us waste valuable time. Remembering to have them charging during any “down” time can save a lot of time.
- Give yourself time to think about your day and visualise it going the way you want it to. Seeing exactly how we want our day to go beforehand is one of the best things we can do at the start of each day. That small investment of time in the morning will pay off during the day because we have already “seen” how our day is going to pan out. Our daily commute can be used to visualise our day.
- Make a To Do list the night before. We want to hit the ground running in the mornings and the best way to do that is by knowing exactly what we have to do. Having a prioritised list of activities or tasks we want to get done will prevent us from wondering what we should be doing next.
- Focus on your highest value activities first. Continuing on from the previous point, we want to get into the habit of doing our highest priority work first. Instead of checking emails or getting onto social media first up, unless that is the core of the work we do, we will be better served focusing on our priorities which will help us move closer to what we want a lot faster.
- Start tracking your habits to get a better sense of where you’re spending your time. The most effective technique is to convert as many things as we can into healthy, productive habits so that we don’t have to give conscious attention to them. The more productive habits we have, the less time we will waste doing things that are not beneficial to us.
Once we get into the habit of utilising our time better in the mornings, we will start to recognise what a difference it makes to how we start off our day, how we go through our day and what we accomplish daily. These ideas will make us use our mornings a whole lot better and achieve better results on a more consistent basis.
Question: What could be another thing we can do that will help us stop wasting time in the mornings?
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