It can be easy to forget that the key to a really productive day begins in the morning.
It sounds rudimentary, but you have to set yourself up for success if you actually want to achieve your goals. And the process begins at the start of each day, from the moment you open your eyes and drift out of sweet repose.
Taking your productivity to the next level boils down to one vitally important step: You have to upgrade your morning routine. I mean, why would you continue following the same stale one when there are better options out there?
And it's not as difficult as you might think. If you follow a handful of simple steps, you'll be that much closer to improving your productivity and overall happiness.
Here are eight things you can do to have a more productive day. They may sound easy, but these tweaks will make all the difference.
1. Go to bed at the same time every night.
It's easier said than done when you have all of season four of your favorite show to catch up on, but maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is the first step toward having a great next day.
We've all heard the old adage: We need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night to function at full capacity the next day. Our brains recover from the day when we bask in the world of dreams, so upgrade your schedule by hitting the hay at the same time every night.
2. Make your bed.
You may think it's a hassle, but make your bed as soon as you wake up. It will help you get started on a productive path, setting you up to complete your long to-do list.
And don't just take my word for it. As Navy SEAL Admiral Bill McRaven said in his commencement speech at the University of Texas:
Starting out on the right foot is the best way to ensure you have a great day. And that right foot is making the bed.
3. Meditate for a few minutes before you get moving.
Sometimes the best routines involve taking a small reprieve from them. Life is hectic and can leave you out of touch with yourself.
Instead of running to get the day started, take three minutes to sit peacefully. Put on a soothing playlist, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and calm your mind.
Getting centered before you begin your day can help you maintain inner peace and serenity while you're on the go.
4. Shower in the morning.
It's an age-old debate whether you should shower in the morning or at night. In my personal experience, morning showers are especially great for sparking your creative juices.
Sometimes we need to let go of a certain project or idea and give it time to marinate. A refreshing shower is the perfect setting to do just that. Why?
Even as you're getting clean, your focused yet still chilled-out mind will have a better chance to properly develop its best ideas — ideas you can put into action after you've toweled off.
5. Upgrade to a quick and effective grooming routine.
When it comes to your grooming regimen, keep things simple, efficient and methodical. And remember that you only need to do three things: Clean your contact lenses, wash your face and moisturize.
Use a gentle face wash to remove impurities and freshen your skin. It's the ultimate game changer.
And when it comes to your contact lenses, don't just use any run-of-the-mill product. Choose a solution that cleans and disinfects your lenses.
Don't forget to use a moisturizer that contains SPF. It's important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays, even in the wintertime. Lastly, if you shave your face, pick a shaving cream and a moisturizer designed to calm sensitive skin. It'll stop razor burn before it even starts.
Skin and eye care are no joke, so upgrade your approach to take it to the next level.
6. Do a two-minute plank.
When Elle Woods famously noted in one of my all-time favorite flicks, "Legally Blonde," that exercise makes you happy, she was definitely on to something. There's no denying that a nice workout helps put you in the right mood for the day.
Even so, squeezing in a morning sweat session isn't always practical. When that's the case, try starting your day with a two-minute plank.
Planking is a fantastic full-body workout. It strengthens your core, arms and legs without any of the exhausting effort you'd otherwise need to exert. Plus, you'll get that much-needed kick to jumpstart an awesome day.
7. Have coffee with coconut oil.
Coconut oil is so much more than a superb natural moisturizer for your skin and body — it's also pretty delicious.
To make sure you're incorporating it into your routine, try adding coconut oil to your daily cup (or cups) of joe. The smooth coconut flavor will really add to the nutty taste of your coffee. Plus, a little coconut oil will help fill you up so you can get to your lunch break without those pesky hunger pangs disturbing your workflow.
8. Do a five-minute journal.
While you're sipping your morning cup of coffee, write in a journal. I know writing more than you already do at work can seem taxing, but this doesn't have to be the next great American novel. Set a timer for just five minutes and let it rip.
Try writing down a list of things you're grateful for or things you need to do today. It really can make a huge difference, and it will help relieve any stress you might be feeling.
It's time to seize the day!
Compensation for this post was provided by CLEAR CARE® via Elite Daily. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of CLEAR CARE® or Elite Daily.