Productive Morning Rituals: On average, a person wakes up 25,000 times in a lifetime. Use these opportunities correctly.
Every morning is a clean slate. This is an opportunity to change one day for the better. And from such days our life is formed. If you want to achieve your goals, ask yourself the question: what do you do after waking up and how do you feel?
Table of contents
1. Don’t reset the alarm
We are used to hating the sounds of the alarm clock, so we press the reset button or pause it: we feel good, we don’t want to get out of a warm bed at all. Although, after 10 extra minutes of sleep, we feel worse.
Evolution is a slow process, and humanity as a species is not yet accustomed to waking up from artificially created noise. Therefore, we just ignore it.
When we wake up, our body begins to produce dopamine, a chemical that suppresses the feeling of drowsiness. Its action is comparable to a cup of coffee or an energy drink. When we sleep, serotonin, the hormone of pleasure, is produced.
After dropping the alarm clock, two hormones with the opposite effect begin to be produced simultaneously. Because of this strain on our body, we wake up disoriented and inhibited.
2. Take into account not only the award
To motivate ourselves for a certain action, such as waking up early in the morning and taking a shower, we use rewards. But according to Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, one award is not enough to cement a habit.
It is necessary to identify the signal that leads to unwanted behavior and replace it. For example, instead of pressing the stop button on your alarm clock and falling asleep again, you can reward yourself with a cup of aromatic coffee. The signal to this effect can be the smell of coffee in the room. If you live with someone, ask them to make a coffee every time you wake up.
3. Follow the right strategy
The average adult needs 7–9 hours of sleep, but some get enough sleep in 6 hours, while others need less than 10. To cheer up, one person needs a shower, while another needs a cup of coffee. Determine which category of people you belong to, and it will be easier for you to create your own strategy and understand what advice to follow.
Gretchen Rubin, in Better Than Before, writes that all people can be divided into four groups depending on how they are motivated by the reward:
- Adherents of rules and procedures: they always follow the rules – both external (established by the authorities) and internal (which they come up with themselves).
- Bound by Promises: They work well only under pressure from authority and when they feel justified obligations to other people.
- Those who seek common sense in everything: for each case they need internal motivation, some sense for themselves, if they find it, they do the job.
- Rebels: any task makes them want to do the opposite.
4. Wake up to natural light
In one experiment, a group of adults suffering from insomnia were sent on a camping trip for a week. For several days without artificial lighting, the participants in the experiment not only began to fall asleep faster, but also got up easily in the morning. Sleep inertia has almost completely disappeared.
Study organizer Kenneth Wright came to the following conclusion: in order to sleep soundly at night and wake up easily early in the morning, you need to get up after the sun.
It is quite possible to do this in a city environment: sleep in a room with a window, or better place the bed closer to the window in order to receive the maximum amount of light in the morning.
Meditation is good for everyone. At the same time, it should be different for everyone. There are dozens of its varieties – conscious, transcendental, yogic. But no specialist can say for sure which one is right for you.
But the benefits of meditation are quite obvious: the level of anxiety decreases, labor productivity increases, and memory improves.
For example, using MRI, scientists found a decrease in the activity of beta waves in the brain after a 20-minute meditation session. Сalming The Mind…. This means that during meditation, the brain stops processing distracting information, so we calm down.
6. Minimize decision making
We are all subject to decision making fatigue. This process takes away our strength, so it becomes increasingly difficult for us to make choices later on.
I only wear gray and blue suits. This is how I try to make fewer decisions. I don’t want to waste my energy and think about what I will eat or wear. Because I have too many other things to do that need to be solved. Barack Obama said this on the decision making process (A paraphrase).
To simplify the process, Obama uses special notes that are broken down into three stacks on his desk: “I agree”, “I disagree” and “let’s discuss”. This method speeds up the feedback cycle by many times, which means that things get to completion faster.
To make your morning more productive, think about the decisions you can make automatically every day. Here are a few simple steps to help you: choose an outfit before bed, eat the same thing for breakfast, get up early to avoid traffic jams.
7. Eat a frog
Psychologist Brian Tracy in his book “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,” writes that each of us has our own frog.
“Mark Twain once said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you know that the rest of your day will be better because the worst is behind you”. Mark Twain, writer.
Therefore, the first thing in the morning is to eat your largest frog, even if you don’t feel like it at all. Our reserves of will are limited, so we need to start the day with an important task while we still have strength.
In addition, the level of creativity is higher in the morning. This is confirmed by research: after waking up, people have increased activity in the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for creativity.
8. Do one big thing
Psychologist Kevin Kruse, studying the habits of millionaires, Olympic champions and entrepreneurs, found that none of them mentioned to-do lists.
There are several disadvantages to keeping a to-do list:
- Time is not included. When a person sees a long to-do list in front of him, they start tasks that will take less time. Therefore, tasks that require consistent, long-term execution remain unfinished (about 41% of tasks from the entire list, according to iDoneThis).
- There is no distinction between urgent and important matters. Again, on impulse, we rush to the urgent and ignore the important.
- Stress levels increase. The to-do list provokes the Zeigarnik effect, well-known in psychology: because of unfinished tasks, annoying uncontrollable thoughts appear in the head. Therefore, we feel tired all day, and at night we have difficulty falling asleep.
Instead of a to-do list, choose just one task that you have to finish today. After completing it, you will feel satisfied and easily deal with the remaining less significant tasks.
9. Get ready for the evening
Your well-being during your awakening and throughout the day will depend on how well you slept.
Numerous studies show that electronic devices contribute to the disturbance of sleep cycles. If you have regular problems, try to turn off all devices 2-3 hours before you go to sleep (this also applies to e-books).
The colored glow of the screens makes it difficult to produce melatonin, the hormone that coordinates the work of our internal clock.
In the evening it is necessary not only to sleep, but also to decide how to spend the next day.
Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism. “Recommends that before planning the next day, you first write down in your diary how your day went. If you don’t figure out what you did today right and what you did wrong, you won’t be able to make a productive plan for tomorrow.
How do you plan your activities? We already mentioned that successful people rarely use a to-do list. However, Cruz noticed that almost all of them use the calendar.
The method of scheduling tasks in the calendar is devoid of all the drawbacks of the to-do list we talked about earlier:
- you can manage your time;
- you can schedule the most important things to do at the beginning of the day, when you still have the willpower reserves;
- you will avoid stress, because you can include planned breaks in your calendar.
10. Take a shower to wake up
Misogi, or the awakening soul, is a ritual practiced by the Japanese samurai. Every morning they poured a bucket of cold water over their heads.
The domestic analogue of misogi is a contrast shower, when we alternate streams of hot and cold water.
Studies show that this type of hydrotherapy has a positive effect on health: it reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, the body begins to burn fat better and fights depression more effectively.
If you decide to experience a contrast shower for yourself, stick to this order:
- First shower at normal temperature. Then turn the tap handle so that the water turns ice cold. Stand in a cold shower for 30 seconds.
- Now turn on the tap to make the water very hot. Under such a shower capillaries open, blood circulation improves. Stand under it for 30 seconds.
- And again switch to cold water, under which stand for another 30 seconds.
It seems that everything is very simple, but at first you can experience a real shock.
Every morning Benjamin Franklin asked himself a question: “What good can I do today? Before you get to your workplace, you have to regain your strength and prepare for a new day. Only this way you can do something significant.
Everyone will have their ideal start in the morning. Some people like to listen to music in the morning, some like to read and check the schedule. Make a perfect schedule for yourself. We hope our recommendations will help you in this.