Whether you’re a student, entrepreneur, or long-time executive, increased productivity is always on the agenda. Time is a valuable and non-renewable resource. When you aren’t productive, you can start to feel guilty, stressed, overwhelmed, discouraged, or frustrated.
Peter Drucker said, “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
As we curated tips for productivity from seasoned experts, we noticed a trend: morning habits.
Syed Balkhi, recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30, lives by the power of the morning as the prime time to seize the day. Balkhi says that morning habits “establish healthy rituals to make you a happier, more productive person.”
Even if you don’t think you’re a morning person, take the first step towards achieving your goals by trying out these revolutionary productivity tips!
1. Timestamp Your To-Do List
Many people make to-do lists, but they don’t give themselves deadlines. Balkhi, who runs an 8-figure online business, recommends a morning habit of writing your to-do list for the day and adding a timeframe for each task.
Securing a timetable will help your day’s tasks become tangible and guard against procrastination. Give yourself a timeframe that is going to cause you to hustle and get the job done, but also be realistic.
2. The Domino Effect
Dale Carnegie said, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
Look at your to-do list for the day. How necessary or important are each of the tasks in achieving your end goals? Gary Keller, author of The One Thing, says to pick out the task that will create a Domino Effect for accomplishing all the other tasks, and then arrange your calendar to achieve it first thing in the morning.
Think of the task that will create momentum for achieving the rest.
3. Reflection & Inspiration Time
Take 5-10 minutes to read or listen to a motivational or inspirational nugget. You can use this time to journal or reflect on something you’re grateful for. Write out a passage from a book you’ve been reading or a quote you’ve been inspired by recently. Morning gratitude practices have been shown to boost productivity levels throughout the day.
4. Set Aside “Reset Time”
Your natural tendency each morning is to think of everything you need to get done for the day. But you need to also think about scheduling a time to disengage.
Some experts recommend a 20-minute meditation session to allow your brain to be more focused and less distracted. One of Microsoft’s top consultants recommends simply using your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” or airplane mode.
Don’t just think about what you need to get done, but also when you can zone out and reset.
5. High-Intensity Morning Workout
Whether it’s a quick brisk walk or a full gym routine, experts agree on the value of morning exercise to wake up your productivity superpowers. A study by Harvard University reports a correlation between morning exercise and all-day high energy. After a mere 10 minutes of exercising, your body releases a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA and your brain then create a dream-team of calmness, self-control, and you guessed it—productivity.
6. Low Glycemic Mental Fuel
Not only does breakfast boost physical health by kick-starting your metabolism to burn calories and discourage weight gain, but breakfast is also essential for your mental health. Medical experts agree that a healthy breakfast gives you the energy you need to get things done and focus at work or at school. Choose foods and snacks that are low-Gi in order to give yourself sustained energy for the entire day.
7. Make a Mental Pre-Commitment
Plan the night before!
Rashan Dixon, co-founder of Techincon and Consultant for Microsoft, says that “employees have to take happiness, engagement, and productivity into their own hands.”
Tonight, set your alarm with purpose to get up ready in the morning. And that doesn’t mean waking up early to just look at your emails. Instead, focus on getting your mind and body ready for the day and ready for the magic!
Have you implemented any of these powerhouse habits? Do you have your own favorite productivity potion to add to the mix? Leave us a comment below!