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9 Ways To Boost Productivity Of Your Morning Routine

9 Ways To Boost Productivity Of Your Morning Routine

There is every reason to take advantage of your morning routines. Because we are always more productive after we wake up, taking advantage of the morning will prove beneficial in the short and long term. Waking up feeling successful is the best way to start your day. Following a system of taking charge of yourself and your early hours will make you structured, organized, and prepared to tackle the remaining part of the day.

1. Drink a glass of cold water with lemon

It is more tempting to take a cup of coffee and get your day started. However, it is more beneficial to start your day by drinking a glass of lemon water. Drinking this healthier beverage instead helps you wake up faster, reduces the feeling of hunger, aids your digestive system, gives you a large amount of vitamins, and it freshens your breath of course.

2. Set and review your goals

We all have goals. These could be big or small. There are things we all want to accomplish, but our daily struggles could derail us from where we are headed. This is why it is best to review your progress towards your goals at the start of the day. Create plans to reach your goals, visualize what your day would be like and determine which task has to be accomplished.

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3. Use technology to improve your routine

Technology can also be helpful in improving your daily routine. There are plenty of apps that can make your early hours smarter. Coach.me is an app that could help you stick to and maintain new habits during your early hours of the day. There are other apps that do everything from tracking your sleep cycle, to one that offers you different breakfast recipes. Let technology improve your morning routine.

4. Exercise

Every successful person out there exercises. Working out in the morning makes you healthier and stronger. It also increases your longevity. It is difficult to excuse yourself from working out if you want to have a more productive day. Remind yourself that doctors, mental health experts, and gurus all advocate that exercise makes your day better.

5. Embrace the morning light

Don’t stay in the dark. Embrace the natural light that starts the day. Once the sun is up, it can brighten your mood, heighten your perception, improve your performance of tasks, and regulate your body’s Circadian system.

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6. Eat healthy

Be careful with what you eat during the early hours of the day. While cereal is a popular breakfast for many of us, it will not serve you best for the morning hours. Protein may be a better choice for you in the morning.

7. Meditate

A five minute meditation could be helpful against stress. It also improves your creativity, gives you a sharper focus, and an increased memory. The more you meditate, the more you are in tune with the process, and the more time you will allot to this relaxing activity.

8. Retain a positive mindset

Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are ready to take on the world and win! Rather than focusing on negative things that could drain your energy, focus on what you can do to build your self-esteem and confidence. Tell yourself things like:

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I am a kind and successful person.” And,“I will add value to the world around me today.”

You can accomplish so much when you boost your confidence through reciting such affirmations. Getting your day started with the positive mindset attracts goodness and positivity to you.

9. Have a list

Create a list of the most important tasks you want to accomplish during the day. Having a list or a schedule will keep you aware and prepare you for the challenges of the day. Besides, it makes you better structured and less anxious about how the day will turn out.

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Start improving your day today. Use these tips to get the best out of your morning!

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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