How do you start your morning? Do you often struggle to get out of bed and then feel rushed, stressed and maybe even a little bit anxious about the day ahead? Trying to then fit in friends, family and exercise on top of your working day just feeling like a little too much? Well, we feel your pain. We were getting a bit tired of this (excuse the terrible pun) so we did some digging around to see how we can really smash our mornings. This is what we learned.
Wake up early
We know, it's not a nice one but according to a study by John Rampton and Chris Stowell for Entrepreneur.com, the average Vice President of fortune 500 companies get out of bed at 6:15 am. If some of the most successful people in the world wake up early there must be something in it, right? A good question to start with is, “What could we all get done with an extra 1-2 hours each day?" Well, the answer is, quite a lot. When changing our mindset from sleep-time to free-time we can then think of this as a time to do the things we really want/need to do and it gives us time to take the morning at our own pace, meaning we don’t have that rush to get to work on time. If you’re still struggling to see the benefits of dragging yourself out of bed, below are just a few of the things you could do. Remember, these also mean that by the time you get into work you’ve already achieved a hell of a lot. Winning all round? We think so.
- Exercise (more on this later)
- Leisurely breakfast (again, more on this later)
- Day planning
- Family/friend time
- Time to make your bed
The effects of exercise are well known and well documented, but, are there benefits for doing it in the morning? Well, yes and quite a few of them as it turns out. We’re not sure about you, but we’re pretty sold.
- It kick-starts your metabolism. This can be the case for up to 24 hours as your body uses calories to replenish your body rather than stored as fat
- It increases the oxygen flowing around your body, making you feel more awake and energised
- It boosts endorphins, improving your mood
- It is proven to increase mental clarity more than a morning coffee…. Not only that but it is said to last up to 4-10 hours after exercise. Don’t believe us? Take a read of this. http://www.thedailybeast.com/what-happened-when-i-replaced-coffee-with-30-seconds-of-exercise
- It improves eating habits throughout the day helping you make better choices and kick the sweet stuff 6. It frees up evenings making you feel like we have more time for yourself
"Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper" We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but what is the reason for this?
We’ve all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but what is the reason for this?
Breakfasts, and especially a healthy one (more to come on this in a later blog post), gives us the energy to fuel the day, boosts our metabolism and restores our blood glucose levels. We have a lot more to say about breakfast but we’ll save this for a later post (otherwise you might get a little bit bogged down in this one!) One thing we will say now is, make sure there’s a bit of protein - it’ll keep you going for longer and stops those sugar cravings firing up round elevenses.
Plan your day
Ultimately morning routines should be exactly what they say they are, routines. According to Jocelyn K. Glei author of “Unsubscribe: How to kill email anxiety, avoid distractions and get real work done”, decision making should be kept out of the picture and the brain allowed to go into autopilot. "Having a clear picture of the day’s priorities definitely makes me more productive and more relaxed… it also prevents the risk of ‘re-active work’ settling in”. Did you ever walk into work with
Ultimately morning routines should be exactly what they say they are, routines. According to Jocelyn K. Glei author of “Unsubscribe: How to kill email anxiety, avoid distractions and get real work done”, decision making should be kept out of the picture and the brain allowed to go into autopilot. "Having a clear picture of the day’s priorities definitely makes me more productive and more relaxed… it also prevents the risk of ‘re-active work’ settling in”.
Did you ever walk into work with a clear list of everything to get done, only to open your email on arrival and spend the next 3 hours sorting out ‘critical issues’? We’ve all been there. The good news is that by setting yourself a daily plan you can avoid these distractions, allowing you to focus on your more important tasks.
This strategy is enhanced by also looking at how the brain functions throughout the day. According to research done by the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Education in Singapore, our self-control steadily depletes as the day goes on. This means we should use the precious morning hours where we have the most self-control and most mental clarity to crack on with tricky tasks.
Go on, eat that frog, who knows what you’ll achieve.