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8 Effective Ways To Make Your Morning Much More Energetic

8 Effective Ways To Make Your Morning Much More Energetic

You’re a robust individual, pumped up and ready to start the day with a huge smile on your face. Your boundless energy is contagious, causing other people to become just as bouncy and vigorous as you.

…If only.

Yeah, let’s end the pretend game and snap back to reality. I’m no morning lover and chances are, neither are you (that’s probably why you’re reading this). Even if you prefer nighttime, you can’t hope to gain as much from being boundlessly energetic then, because our system favors being energetic during daylight hours. For some of us, this can be quite challenging.

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If you’ve tried many techniques already, and have so far miserably failed at enjoying fruitful mornings- always ending up with only a quick shower and a half-done blow dry before you run off to work- you need to try these techniques.

Here are eight actionable and effective ways that you can make your mornings much more energetic:

1. Get Up Early

This is a no-brainer—and you might be thinking ‘Oh, Lord! Not this one again!’ But believe it or not, this is the real secret behind having a morning full of useful and rewarding activities. According to Inc and this Fast Business Canada infographic, early birds are more proactive, productive and tend to do most of their health-boosting activities between 6am to 7am. For many of us, a bit of hustle and bustle gets our blood pumping. If you start these kinds of morning habits, you should be ready for more work in no time.

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2. Do Something You Love

What could be a great endorphin-booster for some of us may not be a favorite activity for another. For example, I enjoy shopping and would love to wake up for a shopping trip every morning- even if it’s just the same groceries I’m buying every day. For others, reading, playing a video game, trying a new dish, dressing up, taking a bubble bath, gardening, or chatting with a friend can be an easy and stimulating way to wake up.

3. Write a To-Do List

Think about a few chores you can pack into your early morning schedule the very next day. Make a to-do list that is well-timed and calculated. (I.e., breakfast at 7am, jog at 7:15am, shower at 7:45am, dissertation writing at 8:00am…). Also, make sure you stick to your schedule.

4. Combine Activities

Push your mind and body to fully wake up by combining several activities. For example, fast-paced music is a great way to get your mind moving. According to a study done by Nicole M. Harmon and Len Kravitz, the intensity of music effects how fast (or slow) a bicyclist goes on a treadmill. So, you can get pumped up for the morning ahead through exercising, and thanks to the boost of endorphins and serotonin, you’ll feel great. Watching TV while exercising is another activity that requires both mental and physical exertion,and amplifies your energy levels.

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5. Wake Up to Pleasantness

What irritates you most the moment you open your eyes to an early morning? For many, the answer would be one object: the alarm clock. Your alarm clock doesn’t have to sound threatening, ear-piercing, or dreadful. By changing the alarm tone to something more pleasant, perhaps the sound of birds chirping or your favorite song, you’re more likely to wake up relaxed and happier.

6. Eat or Drink Several Hours Before Going to Bed

Eating heavy meals before bed is not only unhealthy – since it’s hard for your body to digest the food, but it’s also a potential cause of obesity and insomnia. Eat or drink at least 2-3 hours before going to bed (and that includes snacks, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks). Plus, experiencing hunger pangs in the morning will compel you to get up and make yourself a healthy breakfast!

7. Love Your Work

Perhaps, you don’t enjoy morning at all and tend to dilly-dally during the day because you’re not too fond of your work. Maybe, it’s not suited to your personality type. Possibly, you don’t find the work challenging. Or perhaps, it is overwhelming and you would like something less demanding. Losing passion for your work is a major red flag. Either find ways to reignite the passion, or if need be, change your career direction entirely.

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8. Take Breaks

You don’t have to be running around at top speed to keep your mornings highly productive. In fact, doing so will only lead to an inevitable crash, after which a long break from work will be required. Instead, try taking a short 5-10 minute break after every 90 minutes (or every hour) to cut yourself loose from the monotony of mundane tasks. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Or just chill for a while until you feel like you’re ready to get back on track.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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