I’ve always been unproductive and sluggish in the morning, until I adopted these 7 new habits

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We’ve all had mornings where the alarm clock is an enemy and the bed, our best friend.

You might look back at your workday mornings and struggle to recall a time when you weren’t scrambling to get ready, or questioning if it is normal to feel this unproductive and sluggish every day.

How do you know if this is just your usual morning routine, or if it’s something that needs to be addressed?

After reflecting deeply on my morning habits and the habits of my successful friends, I came up with 7 strategies that completely transformed my mornings.

If you’re constantly battling with the snooze button, or feeling drained before the day even begins, these habits could be your game changer.

1) Embrace the power of a solid routine

We often underestimate the power of a routine. When I say routine, I don’t mean a regimented drill that leaves no room for spontaneity. I’m talking about having a structured start to your day, which can set the tone for the hours ahead.

For years, my morning routine consisted of hitting snooze multiple times, rushing through breakfast, and barely making it to work on time. As I looked at my more productive friends, I noticed they all had one thing in common – a morning routine.

They didn’t all have the same routine – some meditated, others exercised, many journaled. But they all had something that they did consistently every morning. This helped them start their day on their terms, instead of being dragged along by the day’s demands.

So, I decided to experiment with a morning routine of my own. If you’re feeling unproductive and sluggish in the morning, this could be your first step towards transformation.

2) Indulge in some intentional laziness

This might sound counterintuitive, especially when we’re talking about becoming more productive. But hear me out.

Often, our mornings start off in a flurry of activity – checking emails, scanning the news, responding to messages. We’re so caught up in the rush of ‘doing’ that we forget about ‘being’.

I realized that my most productive friends often had a period of calm and stillness in their mornings. They might sit quietly with a cup of coffee, watch the sunrise, or simply sit and do nothing for a few minutes.

When I started incorporating this into my own routine, I was surprised by the effect. It seemed counterproductive to spend precious morning minutes doing “nothing”. But this intentional laziness actually helped me feel more centered and less scattered.

Instead of diving into the day headfirst, I eased into it gently. And in doing so, I found that I was more focused and productive for the rest of the day. So, if you’re feeling rushed and unproductive in the morning, perhaps you need a dose of intentional laziness.

3) Embrace the magic of movement

Let’s be honest, how many of us feel like exercising first thing in the morning? But there’s something incredibly energizing about moving your body, especially in the morning.

I noticed that my most productive friends often incorporated some form of movement into their morning routine. It wasn’t always an intense workout. Sometimes, it was a gentle stretch, a quick walk around the block, or even just some jumping jacks to get their blood flowing.

Initially, the idea of exercising in the morning seemed daunting to me. I was already struggling to get out of bed, how was I supposed to exercise? But I decided to give it a try. I started with just 5 minutes of stretching every morning.

To my surprise, this simple act of movement helped me feel more awake and alert. It was as if I had shaken off the sluggishness that usually clung to me in the morning.

4) Understand the power of hydration

Did you know that your body can lose up to a liter of water while you sleep? That’s equivalent to over four cups! It’s no wonder we often wake up feeling slightly groggy and out of sorts.

Hydrating first thing in the morning is a simple act, but it can make a huge difference. It kick starts your metabolism, flushes out toxins, and can even help you feel more alert.

Keeping this in mind, I started my day with a glass of water before reaching out for my morning cup of coffee. Over time, this habit made a noticeable difference. I felt more awake and less sluggish.

If you’re struggling to find your morning mojo, maybe what you need is not another cup of joe but a simple glass of water to kick start your day.

5) Address the elephant in the room: sleep

We’ve all had those nights – binge-watching a new show, scrolling through social media, or just lying awake with a mind that refuses to switch off.

No amount of morning routines or productivity hacks can make up for a lack of sleep. I learned this the hard way.

I was trying out all these new habits, but I was still staying up late and waking up feeling tired and groggy. It was like trying to run a marathon with one leg. It just wasn’t going to work.

Once I started prioritizing sleep – getting to bed earlier, improving my sleep hygiene, and ensuring I got enough hours of rest – my mornings transformed. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, rather than dragging myself out of bed.

6) Don’t check your phone first thing

In a world where we’re constantly connected, this might seem like an impossible task. But bear with me.

The moment we wake up and reach for our phones, we’re immediately pulled into a whirlwind of notifications, emails, and updates. Before we’ve even had a moment to gather our thoughts, we’re already reacting to the demands of the outside world.

I noticed that my most productive friends often had a ‘no phone’ policy for the first hour of their day. They chose to start their day on their terms, rather than being dictated by their devices.

At first, this seemed like an impossible task to me. I was so used to checking my phone first thing in the morning. But when I tried this approach, I was surprised by how liberating it felt. I had time to focus on myself before getting caught up in the demands of the day.

7) Feed your mind with positivity

The first thoughts you feed your mind in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day.

I noticed that my most successful friends often started their day with something positive. It could be reading a few pages from an uplifting book, listening to a motivational podcast, or even jotting down a few things they’re grateful for.

I decided to give this a try and incorporated some positivity into my morning routine. Instead of starting my day with the news or social media, I chose to start it with something inspiring.

The difference was noticeable. Feeding my mind with positivity helped me feel more optimistic and motivated to take on the day’s challenges.

Own your day: Master your morning

Mornings, with their promise of a fresh start, hold a unique duality. True productivity goes beyond ticking off tasks; it’s about being present and intentional.

How we start our day significantly impacts the unfolding hours. A stressful morning can influence productivity and mood, while a positive start fosters focus and better relationships.

Crafting a productive morning isn’t just about adding habits; it’s about identifying and addressing existing barriers. Whether it’s lack of sleep, exposure to negativity, or a lack of routine, pinpointing roadblocks is crucial.

There’s no one-size-fits-all morning routine; it’s about creating one that energizes you.

Experimentation is key to finding what works best for you. Rethink mornings as an opportunity to set the tone for a fulfilling day. Embrace them not as hurdles but as chances for improvement.

Every morning is a fresh start, a chance to do and be better—an opportunity worth waking up for.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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