7 Productivity Hacks to Start Your Morning

Jump-start your week with these 7 productivity hacks. Now, we’re not suggesting you dive headfirst into practicing each of these hacks at once, but try to pick one or two. Slowly incorporating them into your morning routine will give you a competitive edge, and a roadmap to start your morning on the right foot.

1. Review what to do for the day

Most successful people review and think deeply about their goals and motivations before starting the day. The first thing you should ask yourself every morning is: What do I need to accomplish today?

You should have a clear vision for your day, and create a plan in your head and then write it down.

Check out this video, which one best fits your personal organization style?

5 Smarter Ways To Organize Your To-Do List:

Video Courtesy of The Muse

2. Work at 4 a.m.

 Okay, working at 4 a.m. sounds a little odd, but some people swear it’s a really productive approach to starting your day. Of course, the hardest part is really just getting up, but once you’re up, you have the benefit of working in peace and quiet while the rest of the world continues to sleep. It’s the best way for you to enjoy interrupted time to focus, and work in a stress-free atmosphere.

You may be surprised by how your productivity increases by doing this. Hey, if CEOs, entrepreneurs, and serial workaholics can do it, then you can too, just practice waking up at 4 a.m. in moderation. Anything in moderation is always a good thing.

3. Exercise (walking totally counts!)

You don’t necessarily need to sign up for gym membership or need to train for a marathon, but if you want to, then by all means go for it! All successful people understand that they need a well-balanced and functioning body, without illness and stress, to perform the most challenging and inspiring tasks.

Science says that exercising releases endorphins that help reduce stress, which is great (thank you science!). Exercise in any form maximizes energy and keeps you healthy all-around.

4. Have a healthy breakfast

Breakfast (and a cup of tea or coffee) is the most important meal of the day. If you find yourself crunched for time or trying to meet a deadline, then try organizing a breakfast meeting with your colleagues. There’s no excuse for skipping breakfast, and you’ll find it difficult to carry yourself well throughout the day. Above all else, no matter how you decide to have breakfast (and from a nutritional standpoint its ideal for you to have an early breakfast) make sure it’s healthy.

5. Don’t Answer All Your Emails

Productive people don’t check their email every 5 minutes because it can lend itself to acting more as a distraction. Checking your email may be crucial to your work, but you only need to do it a few times a day. Trying finding specific time slots, perhaps you only check your email between 11 am and 12 pm or 5 and 6 pm. The world won’t stop spinning if you choose to focus on tasks that have more priority than responding to every single email that lands in your inbox, the reply (more often than not) can wait. This way, when you do check your email you can respond to the most important ones, it’s all about prioritizing what really needs your valuable time and attention.

Think about how much work you could get done if you weren’t being interrupted by pings and buzzes every other second.

6. Write in a journal

Consider this as a journal that chronicles your thoughts and is different from your planner or calendar. Some people call it an idea journal, but the point is to record your thoughts, ideas, goals, strategies, and reminders. Journaling is a powerful tool for reflecting, tracking progress, keeping ideas, motivating, and inspiring yourself.

7. Buy one color of work socks or shoes

Yes, this is seriously a suggestion, but you should have fun with it. Limiting the amount of time you spend on tedious decisions makes it a little easier to give yourself fewer choices and things to think about. For example, one fashion designer in New York chooses to wear the same outfit to work every day. Sounds a bit weird, but the designer stands by that decision in order to make more important decisions through the day and free up mind-space for more creative ideas. You can do this with meals too. Yes, it’s slightly boring, but if you find something you like to eat, stick with it.

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