Do you wake up and jump out of bed … or do you linger under the covers, smacking “snooze” on the alarm clock? Do you get a smooth, energizing start to your day … or do you have a mad rush to get everything together before you head out to work?
Whether or not you’re a “morning person”, you can improve the first few hours of your day.
- Get Everything Ready the Night Before
Perhaps you have great intentions for your morning: you want to get up early, eat a healthy breakfast, hit the gym on the way to work, and arrive in the office with all your papers for that important meeting.
Great in theory; in practice, you might end up hunting for your gym kit, forgetting to take breakfast with you, and dashing off only to double back for those papers.
An easy way to get your morning off to a great start is to put things ready before you go to bed. Sort out those papers. Pack your gym kit into a bag. Put your cereal bowl and box on the kitchen counter.Oh, and, charge the phone and set out the car keys. That way, you can get your day off to a great start.
- Go to Bed Earlier
If you’re aiming to get up at 6am every day but you’re not in bed till midnight, it’s no surprise that you feel tired and sluggish first thing. Even if your partner or best friend manages on five hours sleep, you might well be different: figure out how much sleep you need, and make sure you’re getting enough.
It’s easy to get engrossed in TV, surfing the web or reading a great book in the evenings. If you have trouble remembering to stop and go to bed, try setting a “go to bed” alarm (as well as a “wake up” one!)
- Don’t Eat a Heavy Meal Before Bed
Do you ever struggle to sleep because your stomach is gurgling away? If you eat a heavy meal near bedtime, your body will be busy digesting – making it hard for you to drop off.
It’s easy to fix this one: either eat earlier (say, at 7pm instead of 8pm) or have a lighter evening meal. If you find that you’re hungry again before bed time, a light snack like a banana, a bowl of oatmeal or a glass of milk can help you drop off.
- Write an Action List for Your Day
It’s hard to get up ready to rock if you’re not feeling inspired about the day ahead. One great way to feel energized about your day is to plan properly: write an action list during the afternoon or evening, so that you know what tasks you’ll be tackling.
This can help you unwind and sleep – you know you’re not going to forget important tasks – and can help you feel mentally prepared for what’s coming up during the following day.
- Do Something Important First
When you’re writing your action list, make sure you include something important, not urgent, for the start of the day.
That might mean:
- Spending half an hour working on a personal project (like studying, or writing a novel, or searching for a new job) when you first wake up
- Starting off your day with something energizing and good for your physical/mental health (like exercise, mediation, or journaling)
It might only be half an hour, but it can give your whole day a more positive tone.
- Get Up When Your Alarm Goes Off
One of the worst ways to start your day is by lying in bed, dozing fitfully, hitting “snooze” on your alarm clock. You know that you should be getting up, so you feel guilty and grumpy before you’re even out of bed. The extra sleep doesn’t make you feel any better rested, either.
If you consistently fail to get up when your alarm goes off at 6am, then set it for 6.30am (or whenever you really get out of bed). If you do genuinely want to get up at 6am, then go to bed half an hour earlier. You might also want to try putting your alarm further away – if you have to get out of bed to reach it, you’re already on your feet!
Do you struggle with mornings, or do you bounce out of bed, full of energy? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below…