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Make your day easy – tackle your morning routine!

Make your day easy – tackle your morning routine!

It wasn’t long ago that I was a teenager with very few responsibilities: school and cleaning, my room were pretty much it. This gave me plenty of time to sleep-in and ignore all advice for how much sleep was necessary for brain development and drag myself out of bed at the very last minute. However, the older I get, the more I understand the value of a good morning routine. Having a good morning routine can really propel me into having a productive and successful day.

Here are my tips for helping you to do the same!

Get a decent amount of sleep the night before

You should try your hardest to get the right amount of sleep that you body needs. For adults, the recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours, but try your best to get 9. Sleep is crucial for concentration, focus and helping you to perform your best – both physically and mentally.

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Try to be aware of sleep-debt, and make sure that you account for it when scheduling your precious hours of Z’s. There’s nothing better than waking up rejuvenated and charged instead of feeling like a zombie.

Don’t set your alarm next to your bed

The reasons for this are simple. If you have to physically get out of bed to turn off your alarm, you’re going to be less likely to hit that snooze button and sleep in. You’ll also be less likely to do my cheeky favourite of re-setting your alarm to go off 15 minutes later. Be realistic when setting your alarm, and stick to it. C’mon mate, don’t be lazy.

Make sure your alarm goes off early

Set your alarm for as early as possible. This also means ensuring you go to bed early enough so that you get the right amount of sleep.

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There are a number of reasons to do this. You’ll have plenty of time to be productive, include some exercise, get your routine in the bag and head out the door feeling like you’ve already achieved something.

Drink warm water when you wake up

There’s a great Lifehack article written by Tegan Jones about the benefits of drinking warm water, but to sum it up: Drinking warm water (preferably with lemon) in the morning assists in kick-starts your immune system, assists in body detoxification and helps with hair health and a whole range of other health benefits. (who knew!?)

Exercise!

You should do your best to make sure you do some form of exercise in the morning. Whatever your preference, taking a walk, running, doing yoga (a personal favourite of a number of my friends), just try to do something.

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Making sure you exercise in the morning helps get your blood flowing, gives you energy and releases a whole range of endorphins to really give your day an awesome start. Plus, it’s crucial to take care of your physical health, which has its own benefits!

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to take care for your mind and mental health. The practice of mindfulness, being aware of how you’re feeling or how you’re behaving, can really be beneficial in understanding yourself. By practicing mindfulness, it can really aid in helping you achieve a sense of alertness and calm to challenge all your tasks throughout the day – and the best thing is it’s super easy to practice! My personal favourite is Smiling Mind, an app that guides you along the way, but there are a bunch of other great mindfulness practices you can do.

I hope that including some of these super simple tips into your morning routine will help you to have the best start to your day!

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Featured photo credit: Johan Larsson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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