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10 Ways to Make Your Mornings Better

10 Ways to Make Your Mornings Better

I haven’t always been a morning person. In fact, I used to hate waking up early. I was always more of a night owl. But I always heard and read about all of these amazing benefits of waking up early – like getting things done, having some quiet “me-time,” fitting in a morning workout routine. So I found ways to help me wake up early, and I found things that you can do to make your mornings happier and easier.

So here are 10 ways to make your mornings better:

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1. Do 15 minutes of stretches.

Right when you wake up, stretch or do some yoga for 15 minutes. This will naturally stimulate your body; it’s like an espresso shot right to your brain. And unlike coffee, this natural energy boost could last you all day.

2. Stay away from electronics.

When you start your day by checking your email or social media, you’re immediately putting yourself into a state of stress. Instead of doing this, try reading a book or doing something creative.

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3. Make a plan for the day.

If you didn’t write out a to-do list the night before, do it in the morning. This gives you a game plan and purpose for your day. It also helps you stay focused and productive, ensuring that you get more done.

4. Listen to upbeat music or read an inspirational book.

Start your day by listening to positive music or reading a motivational book. This sets you up to have a better day because you’ll have a positive mindset and a good attitude.

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5. Eat a healthy breakfast.

I know you’ve heard this before, but breakfast is very important. Ever since I started eating a healthy breakfast every morning, I’ve found that I have more energy, I’m more productive, and I can focus better. Some people just can’t seem to stomach food first thing in the morning, though. If that’s you, at least keep a quick (and healthy) snack with you for when you do get hungry.

6. Do something that makes you happy.

Give yourself a little treat or do something that makes you happy. This will be different for everyone. Maybe you want to go get a coffee from your favorite coffee shop, maybe you want to write in your journal, maybe you want to do a workout. Just be sure to give yourself a little “me-time” and do something that you enjoy.

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7. Drink some water.

After you’ve been sleeping for 8 hours, you usually wake up feeling dehydrated. So drink a large glass of water in the morning to re-hydrate yourself and help yourself feel more awake and energized. Putting lemon in the water is an added bonus. Lemon helps boost your immune system, aids in your digestion, makes you feel energized, and more.

8. Get ready, even if you’re just sitting at home.

Unless you want to have a lazy day (which is okay sometimes!) take the time to get ready for your day. Even if you’re not doing anything, getting dressed and ready will help you feel more “put together” which can make you feel more energized and lead to a way more productive and enjoyable day.

9. Wake up at the same time.

I know you may want to sleep in sometimes, but you should really try to wake up at the same time every day. This helps put your body on a schedule, which will make waking up easier and easier for you. If you stick to this schedule, you might even eventually be able to wake up without an alarm.

10. Tackle your hardest to-do first.

When you’re ready to start working, tackle your hardest to-do list task first. This helps you have a better day because you know you’ve accomplished at least one big thing. Doing this can also help you be more productive because it might motivate you to tackle the rest of your to-do list as well.

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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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