Most of us follow early-morning rituals that help us start our day. Typically, we follow our schedules because we tend to like a sense of organization and sameness in our lives.
As it turns out, there are scientific benefits to establishing a productive morning ritual. Forbes relayed how a University of Nottingham research team dug into productivity and how that ties to your energy levels and impulse control. The research revealed that your daily energy and self-control are similar to a muscle. The more you use them throughout the day, the more "exhausted" you can become.
Why is this important?
According to this research, we are the most alert as soon as we wake up. Even if you're not exactly a morning person, early in the day is the best time to start establishing healthy rituals to make you a happier, more productive person.
Let's look at some morning rituals you can do every day to improve your quality of life.
1. Exercise your body for a healthy mind.
There's no doubt you should work out a few times a week either at home or at work to develop a healthy body, and making your workout routine part of your morning ritual can have some seriously positive effects on your mind.
You don't have to worry about a full-hour routine if you have a jam-packed schedule. A brisk 15-minute walk can do wonders.
The way that exercising helps is quite interesting. Harvard University reported a correlation between people who exercise in the morning and those who are high energy. After just 10 minutes of exercising, your body releases a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, otherwise known as GABA. GABA binds with your brain and can promote calmness and self-control.
2. Open your fridge before your email.
Since we were kids, we've always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. No one is questioning that it's good to eat breakfast, but far too many people don't eat anything in the morning.
Because they get caught up checking their email, watching the news, browsing social media and prepping for work. Basically, all of the stuff we tend to use our technology for every single day.
Before you even think about opening your laptop, make yourself something to eat. This simple ritual will not only fill you up but also give your mind the fuel it needs to get you through your busy day.
3. Make a detailed to-do list.
The average to-do list may hurt you more than it helps you. Typically, we jot down the things we need to do, look at it throughout the day and get done what we can.
Your to-do list can become harmful if you start to stress out and worry about the things you didn't get done yet, or things you thought you would get done but haven't even started yet.
When you wake up in the morning, make a habit of not just writing down the things you have to do today, but also getting detailed with your information. Include a timeframe and any additional information that may help you get the task done more efficiently. Adding a timeframe to your to-do list has multiple benefits. Besides giving you a tangible period of time to get your daily activities done and preventing procrastination, you will also begin to understand how long a task is going to take during a given day.
Having this information allows you to hone your planning skills and can lead to you being generally more productive, since you have less clutter in your mind.
4. Handle tasks one at a time.
We have a bad habit of trying to multitask, especially first thing in the morning. When we are wide awake and have a laundry list of things that need to be done now, we have the habit of trying to take it all on at once.
It turns out that we were wrong. The American Psychological Association did a number of studies to see how the brain handles multitasking. As it turns out, multitasking actually makes us less productive over the course of the day. When we try to do multiple things at once, we expend extra brainpower that could be used to perform other tasks. We end up spending less time and brainpower doing single tasks one after another instead of grouping multiple tasks together.
These four morning rituals will help you live a more productive life. After you are done eating breakfast and exercising, the last two tips play off one another. Once you're done making your to-do list, you can start accomplishing your tasks one at a time.
Before you know it, these rituals will become healthy habits that you hold with you for life!