While there are certain things that are good to include in your morning routine, there are also some things that are better left out. Today I want to share some things you should stop doing in the morning so you can have a better and more productive day.
Okay so yesterday you got back home tired after having a really hectic day. You were so exhausted that you barely had your shower before crashing into your bed.
Shortly after you closed your eyes and started to enjoy your sleep, your alarm rang loudly. It’s morning already! Arrrgh! You can’t wake up just yet, you need to sleep a little more — and you proceed to slam the snooze button angrily while wriggling under the covers.
By the time your alarm rings again, it’s past 6 AM. You manage to get out of bed but don’t feel better — in fact, you are just as exhausted and as sleepy as you were the previous night!
Does this sound familiar?
A Productive Day Starts In The Morning
Having a productive day starts with how you wake up each morning. And to perfectly understand this, you should be asking; what does my morning routine look like? What kind of emotion or mood am I in when I wake up from sleep? Are my morning hours dull or lively? What does my breakfast look like? Am I a fan of junk or a balanced diet? These are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself if you are finding it difficult to make your mornings count.
Most times, we are the ones who complicate things for ourselves; we make our mornings overwhelming due to certain ill habits we have adopted. Over time, such habits become a drag on our lives as our productivity level keeps dropping.
Things You Should Stop Doing In The Morning
Now, before you wonder how poor morning routines result in low productivity, remember that if you wake up in a dull mood, you will lack the motivation to carry out your daily tasks effectively. And when your daily goals are not met, there is no way your weekly goals will be met. And so it cycles into months and years of low productivity!
Now, for the main gist; here are 10 things you need to stop doing in the morning if you want to be more productive.
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1. Hitting The Snooze Button
There is this popular saying I recommend you ponder on; “you snooze you lose”.
To be frank, hitting the snooze button feels great, especially in those early hours when sleep is just getting more interesting! Some of us wouldn’t mind hitting the snooze button 5 times (we are actually many on this table). But then, who is at the losing end?
You might feel like you are giving your body a few more minutes of sleep to wake up stronger. On the contrary, you are just destabilizing your whole body wake-up mechanism, thereby causing yourself to feel more worn out by the time you are eventually up.
How do you deal with this problem? It’s simple; rise from that bed once your alarm beeps!
Okay, I lied, it’s not simple. One reliable method that will make the wake-up process a lot easier for you is Mel Robin’s 5-Second Rule. All you have to do is count (each second) backward from 5 to 1 then jump up from your bed! It’s as easy as that.
Sure, getting up from your cozy, comfortable bed might feel like a hard task to accomplish. The trick is; don’t EVER give yourself the leverage to choose between snoozing and getting up. You will most likely prefer the former. Don’t think twice about it, just get up spontaneously!
Using the 5-second rule and jumping up on 5 counts will give your body that first alertness that you need to carry on for the rest of the day.
2. Logging Into Social Media
Believe it or not, we live in a world where social media plays a huge role in our existence.
Most of us are guilty of constantly checking our phones for new notifications. And a larger percentage of us will prefer to check our Facebook or WhatsApp inbox (once we wake up) to reply to all the messages we couldn’t respond to before we slept off the previous night.
Well, I’m not saying that it is wrong to use social media but doing that first thing in the morning is a no-no as long as productivity is concerned. You don’t need to be distracted by your newsfeed that early.
Rather, morning hours are the best time to pay attention to your morning, your life, and how you can align your life with your goals!
You shouldn’t allow Instagram posts or ridiculous tweets to sabotage your good vibe and energy early in the morning. And guess what? You can still go on social media by lunchtime as that newsfeed will still be there waiting for you.
3. A Cup Of Coffee Ritual
It’s pretty common for some of us to gulp down a cup of coffee once we leave our beds. It’s almost like a cultural ritual as 7 out of every 10 adults are guilty of this. Some drink it because others are drinking it while others believe that a cup of coffee will energize the body…
Now, here is the shocker; drinking coffee first thing in the morning is absolutely wrong. Why?
Recall that the average duration of sleep is 8 hours, right? If that is the case, then it implies that your body has gone over 8 hours without water, hence, by morning, your hydration level is already low. You need water to rehydrate yourself, not coffee!
If you must take coffee or any other caffeinated substances in the morning, your body must be hydrated first. Otherwise, the caffeine will become too concentrated in your body and will end up becoming a toxin.
Does that come as a surprise to you? Well, now you know the right thing to do. Drinking 2 or 3 glasses of water once you wake up will go a long way to boost your rate of metabolism all day long.
4. Checking Your Work Emails
Work work work! Some of us are so work-centered that we barely remember ourselves, our bodies, our lives, or our mental and physical strength.
Are you one of those workaholics in town? I mean the type that stay late at work only to get home and continue from where they stopped? If so, it may be time to hold up for a bit.
Your career is very important, no doubt, but life is not all about work. There is much more to your existence than your job. You don’t have to wake up in the morning and rush into attending to your emails – that’s a major distraction. After all, they can always wait in your inbox until your actual work hours start. No matter how important it is, it will still be there for you by 8 AM or whatever time you choose to start your work day (if you own a business or freelance).
Use your early morning hours for self-care, reflection, and meditation. These are very vital for your body and mind.
5. Eating Junk
This is another place many of us are getting it wrong – eating junk for breakfast.
The quality and timing of your breakfast say a whole lot about how your day will pan out. No matter your health status, size, weight, age, gender, or race, your breakfast shouldn’t exceed 8 AM. Ensure the diet is balanced, and drink enough water.
Having breakfast like; sweetened beverages, chocolate, croissants, cake and other confections will only make you hungry and sleepy a few hours later! You can’t rely on such if you want to be energetic at least till lunch.
6. Not Washing Your Face
There is this refreshing feeling that comes with sprinkling cold water on your face as soon as you’re awake. While some normally wash their faces first thing in the morning, others don’t even consider it.
The difference between those who wash their face and those who don’t is that the latter struggle to stay awake even after waking up!
Washing your face helps bring back your consciousness, brightens your mood, stabilizes your emotions, clears your eyes, and sets your day in the right direction.
If that has never been part of your morning routine, then try it out tomorrow. You’ll surely feel the difference.
7. Watching TV
Are you in the habit of watching TV in the morning? You might be wondering why it’s on this list… but yes, it’s improper.
Many of us watch TV so we can get the latest updates on the happenings around the world. But doing it so early in the morning isn’t very productive. There are more important things you should be doing at that time to impact your life positively.
Besides, the news is mostly filled with negative stories from all over the world. Such stories will only stimulate and heighten your stress levels and as a result, your mood will be negatively affected all day.
Instead of switching on your TV, it’s better to relax for as long as you want. This will give you the room to meditate and reflect on your life before starting your day. Plus you will avoid unnecessary distractions.
8. Making “Unplanned” Decisions
The most common error we commit in our everyday life is “when” and “how” we make our decisions. We often fail to plan before we decide.
You shouldn’t just wake up in the morning and make hasty, impromptu decisions that will govern your entire day. Making such spontaneous decisions will keep you in a disoriented position because you are more or less forcing yourself to analyze the whole day within a few seconds. Trust me, this can cause severe mental stress.
Besides stress, making unplanned decisions will most likely bring about poor results – and I’m sure you don’t want that. So, learn to decide ahead of time. If possible, the night before. Early mornings shouldn’t be a time to make hasty decisions. Rather, it should be a period to put your body and mind in the right frame to execute the decisions you already made.
Waiting till morning before deciding is like doing the right thing at the wrong time. In other words, you are taking one step forward and two steps backward. That’s a perfect way to be a victim of your (own) circumstances.
9. Not Letting The Sun Rays In
Nature has a way of caressing us at the right spot once we tap into it — the excitement that follows is surreal!
One way to tap into the wonders of nature is by allowing the early morning sun rays into your room. Keeping your windows or curtains closed after waking up is like denying yourself an extraordinary natural feeling that makes your day bright and beautiful.
Preparing for work, or having your early morning routine inside a dark and stuffy room will send a dull, groggy signal to your body which will psychologically affect you all day.
On the other hand, letting the sun into your room in the morning is an amazing way to wake your body and mind up. The rays of sunshine penetrating your window (and your skin) send waves of alertness to your eyes, body, and your entire system.
10. Not Making Your Bed
We are often too quick to focus on big tasks as we feel our daily productivity lies in completing difficult responsibilities. But that’s wrong. Your productivity starts with those little things you ignore to do in the morning — such as making your bed.
There is this sense of organization that comes with making your bed and putting your room in order.
A well-organized room (before starting your day) gives you the feeling that you can equally organize your work. You subconsciously feel in control of your life.
Now before you go, remember, the points above are only but a few things you might have been doing wrong in the morning that limit your productivity level. There are many other habits you should avoid in the morning, like watching Netflix, taking too long, warm baths, worrying over your outfit selection, and so on.
Stop paying attention to trivialities and start focusing on yourself and your life.