Getting the right start to the day can make all the difference.
That means avoiding the things that will steal your energy, rob you of your motivation, and distract you from your productivity.
It’s why high-achievers never do the following things in the morning…
Plenty of times I’ve decided to go back to sleep, thinking that the extra shut-eye would do me good. Only to wake later and feel even more tired.
Maybe you’ve experienced something similar?
We do need to get enough good quality rest. How much is unique to your own body. But it’s usually between 7-9 hours a night for most people.
Yet we shouldn’t be tempted to constantly hit the snooze button.
When we regularly oversleep, getting more than 9 hours a night, here is what can actually happen:
- We have lower energy levels and more fatigue
- Our immune function suffers
- There are changes in our stress response
- We increase our risk of certain diseases
High achievers stick to their good night’s sleep sweet spot, rather than falling into lazy habits.
2) Waste time on things that lead to decision-fatigue
To be honest, the jury is still out as to whether decision fatigue is definitely a thing or not.
But it’s said that we make around 35,000 conscious decisions a day. And so plenty of high-fliers have opted to eliminate as many unnecessary choices from their lives as possible.
The likes of Barak Obama, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk all adopted the same approach:
Automize certain decisions to preserve mental energy.
The theory is that the more we have to think, the more it wears out our brains. And that power could be put to better use.
So instead, they rely on habits and routines. For example, already knowing what you are going to wear or eat.
Of course, that demands having a plan and sticking to it.
3) Skip their morning routine
Morning routine sounds pretty fancy, but it doesn’t have to be.
It can be as simple as making your bed straight after you get up, making sure you sit down at the table to have a proper breakfast, and dedicating 5-10 minutes to relax and read the newspaper.
But the purpose of a routine is to provide a structure that guides us. Without it, we can waste time or fall into bad habits.
When you get up, you know what it is that you are meant to be doing.
Creating order at the very start of the day sets the tone and ensures we get off on the right foot.
But to do that, we also have to hone in on what additions to a morning routine will work best for us. So we need to choose wisely!
4) Neglect what energizes them
…And the truth is that is different for all of us.
So I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you must exercise every morning if you want to have a productive day.
Whilst exercise has been shown to improve your performance, concentration, creativity, and even your time management — the truth is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to fitting it into your day.
Personally, I much prefer to do my exercise in the afternoon. It meets my energy needs better. So it’s about finding what gives you that little boost you need.
Maybe that’s your morning coffee or eating a nutritional breakfast.
It could be dancing around your room to your favorite song or listening to a motivational podcast whilst you get ready.
It might be some morning stretches or meditation. It may simply be spending some time with your family before the day begins.
Whatever it is, the most important thing is that it gets you relaxed, pumped up, and feeling your best.
But one thing to bear in mind, don’t be tempted to squeeze in too much.
5) Rush or be tempted to multi-task
For many of us, the mornings can be a hectic time.
Perhaps you have kids that need to be cared for, pets to feed and play with, household chores to tackle, etc.
Even getting yourself up, dressed, and ready to go can quickly eat away at your time.
Trying to cram in 1001 things is only going to leave you rushed, stressed, and scattered. None of which are good for your mental health.
- Know your limits
- Schedule your “must do’s” and non-negotiable commitments
- Pick the most important tasks and do them first
- Understand that the rest is either unimportant or can wait
Whilst we’ve gotten good at juggling many balls at once, it doesn’t do us any favors.
Research has shown that multitasking makes us more error-prone, more forgetful, and gives us poorer attention on cognitive tasks.
6) Doomscroll or get sucked into social media
If we’re not careful, the tech in our lives can throw us off course in the morning.
What’s more, it can strip you of your motivation and leave you feeling flat — depending on what you’re consuming.
A lot of us reach for our phones from beside our beds before we’ve even had a chance to wipe the sleep from our eyes.
We then proceed to open Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, or some other social media site.
It can happen mindlessly, without us even knowing what we’re looking for.
But it’s one of the worst ways to start the day.
It’s a similar picture when we fall down the rabbit hole of “doom-scrolling”, consuming negative news story after negative news story.
Not only is it hijacking your time and attention, but picking up your phone first thing is priming your brain for distraction.
That’s because, as reported in Forbes, we end up skipping important brain wave states when we do so.
Seeing or reading something negative at this time of the day can trigger your stress response and put you in a funk that lingers.
It’s not rocket science
I’m sure that it’s not escaped your notice…
None of the things on our list that we should try to avoid in the morning are complicated.
But they do require self-discipline to put in place — and it’s this that is far trickier.
It’s also something that high-achievers have gotten good at.
They consciously make choices that serve their higher good. And it’s this that supports them as they go on to greatness.