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How To Get Up Early When Mornings Make You Cry

How To Get Up Early When Mornings Make You Cry

Admit it. You’ve clicked on articles with titles like “10 Outrageously Successful People Share Their Morning Routines” and “How to Create The Best Morning Routine Ever.” You nod along enthusiastically to the admittedly sage (but often pretty obvious) advice contained within. Stop hitting snooze. Exercise. Eat a healthy breakfast. Meditate. Maybe you even follow that advice for a day or two. But a few days later, you’re back to your terrible morning habits.

You know what? That’s okay. Even the most basic morning routine only consistently works for morning people. And whether you’re a true morning person is determined by your genetics (or, in science class-speak, your sleep chronotype is genetically determined).

The rest of us have to live with snoozing too long and then rushing out the door with mismatched socks and un-ironed clothes. But even if you can’t change your fundamental self, you can optimize your habits to work with your genetics rather than against them.

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Here are some key habits to foster that will make your mornings a million times more pleasant:

1. Find ways to prepare the night before.

Spend a portion of every evening preparing absolutely everything you need for the next day. You know you’re going to be awake until at least midnight anyway. Why not check tomorrow’s weather report and choose your outfit during that time?

Consider purchasing a small garment rack to hang your next day’s clothes. The monetary investment and a prominent placement in your bedroom will encourage you to use it. And for those who work out, exercise before dinner. If you shower before bed, you can even steam your clothes by hanging them next to the shower to kill wrinkles, eliminating the need to iron and allowing you to sleep in later.

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2. Start your morning with something you love.

Instead of waking up and dreading the moment your feet have to touch the floor, find one quick thing to do every morning that fills you with joy and replaces hitting snooze.

This can vary widely by individual. Check your Instagram feed in bed. Read an inspirational work. Brew a cup of tea and skim the news. Heck, keep a cookie jar on your kitchen counter and enjoy a single cookie. But no matter what, strictly limit yourself to just 10-15 minutes of “joy time”–even if it means setting a timer.

3. Set reminders for your morning brain.

When you’re not a morning person it can be hard to remember to brush your teeth, let alone bring everything you need for the day. Stick reminders on the inside doorknob of your main exit using a Post-it or opaque masking tape and Sharpie with messages such as, “Take leftovers from fridge for lunch” or “Bring laptop to work.”

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Your mind can be fuzzy first thing in the morning, so this is a great way to counteract forgetfulness as you head out the door.

4. Work out a more flexible schedule.

Negotiate a later start time with your employer (maybe by pushing back your end time). Not everyone will have such an understanding boss, but if you’re a top performer, you could make the argument about why you would be a more productive and happier employee with a later start.

Get creative about finding an agreement. If you absolutely need to be working by 8 a.m., see if you can work from home until lunch so at least you can avoid the chaos of morning rush hour.

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5. Find a job you enjoy getting up for.

If you never feel enthused to go to work, chances are you haven’t found a career that lights you up…yet.

If you haven’t done the real work of exploring different careers, now is the time to start. Visit career websites, download helpful career exploration apps, and invest serious time and effort into this critical area of your life. People make their living doing an astounding range of things, and if you explore in the right places, you’ll find something that speaks to your individual interests and passions. Then getting up in the morning won’t be such a pain.

If you’re a night owl, chances are you’ll never love to get up with the sun, but you can make the process a little easier on your pre-caffeinated brain. It just takes some time developing the right habits for you.

What other tips are there for night owls who need to get up early in the morning? Share in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Workandapix via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2019

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

How do we manage that?

I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

    One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

    At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

    After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

    • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
    • She could publish all her articles on time
    • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

    Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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    1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

    When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

    My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

    Use this time to:

    • Look at the big picture.
    • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
    • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

    2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

    This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

    It works like this:

    Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

    By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

      To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

      Low Cost + High Benefit

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      Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

      Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

      High Cost + High Benefit

      Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

      Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

      Low Cost + Low Benefit

      This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

      These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

      High Cost + Low Benefit

      Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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      For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

      Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

        After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

          And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

          Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

          Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

          What to do in these cases?

          Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

          For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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          Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

            Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

            The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

            By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

            And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

            Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

            Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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            Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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