Energy is a depreciating asset. Much like a cell phone, your energy is highest early in the day, after a nightly recharge. By evening, you are that red bar, on the verge of entering sleep mode, but still trying pumping out just enough energy to try to finish that last task. You almost get halfway through before you are seeing black (eyes are shut).
Of course this cycle repeats itself, as work takes priority, you become too exhausted to tackle your personal list.
You come home feeling tired, busy with personal obligations, and can never seem to get through your own goals (like going to the gym for example). Your intentions are strong, but your energy is low. You sleep, wake up, and repeat.
Thankfully, this "never-ending cycle" is reversible. It just takes a little self-discipline and an awesome strategy.
Start by remembering this: it is OK to put you FIRST.
Yes, this will require you to rise and shine earlier than normal. And yes, it is a challenge to adapt to at first, but once you establish a routine that can prioritize YOU, you'll find it's well worth it.
I not only teach it, but I live it.
During my previous schedule, I learned the art of enjoying 4 AM. It might sound crazy, but it left me incredibly productive. Sure, I was tired by the time dinner rolled around, but enjoying tv with my husband is an easy way to let my internal battery drain. Besides, I already knocked out that to do list, so what did I have to stress about?
So after doing this for 8 months, I've declared myself a master of the morning routine. Since I LOVE giving away beneficial and free advice, I've put together a list of step so you can do the same.
tip #1: plan ahead
Have your clothes and game plan ready the night before.
This means having your essentials handy. If you plan on going to the gym, know where your car keys are. If you want to hit the office early, have your suitcase ready. The easier the morning routine, the easier it is to adhere to.
Have your alarm set before you hit the bed, and make sure to have a back up on hand. For the first few week, having two alarms will probably be necessary.
Tip #2: head to bed earlier
Even if you aren't tired, grab a book, your computer, anything to preoccupy your time with and hit your room. Lay in bed and relax. You'll be surprised how quickly working in bed will put you to sleep, and getting extra sleep in the evening when you are already drained can make a huge difference in the morning.
It will also help you avoid wasting hours in front of the TV at night.
TIP #3: MOVE THE ALARM AWAY FROM THE BED
Move that CLOCK (or phone) away from your bed. If you are using two, I'd set them both away from you... if you need your phone on hand, make sure your second alarm is a walking distance away.
Why? Because we all know how easy it is to hit snooze when you don't absolutely have to be somewhere.
TIP #4: Use a Stimulant
If you aren't opposed to stimulants, then use them. Having coffee, pre-workout, or a caffeine pill accessible is a great way to ditch the morning slug.
Since everything should be sitting out the night before, your mug, water, and powder should be easily accessible and ready to go. The quicker the energy burst, the sooner you can start being productive.
A favorite of mine is C4 pre-workout! It gives me a great boost as I hit the gym every morning, and I never have to worry about an afternoon crash. It's also really affordable. At the time of writing this, you even get a 20% off coupon.
Find it here:
TIP #5: Get Moving
Wake up and walk SOMEWHERE. Anywhere. Get your blood flowing!
If you struggle with the thought of going back to bed, there are a few apps in the App store to help you combat your instincts. For example, the app Alarmy won't shut off until you take a picture of certain objects in your house.
Another app, Step Out of Bed works similarly by forcing you to take a certain amount of steps once waking.
There are also apps to help you determine your sleep cycle, help you build routines, and even plan out your morning breakfast.
Below is a quick list of cell phone apps to help you achieve your goal:
- Sleep Cycle: This awesome app helps you wake during the lightest phase of your sleep cycle, helping prevent a groggy morning.
- Alarmy: The best app to get you moving! This app won't shut off unless you take a picture of something in your house.
- Morning Routine: For those who love block scheduling (read about it here) and priorities, then this app is perfect for you. It has a list of tasks ready for you to do as soon as you wake up.
- I Can't Wake Up: This app is a lot like Alarmy, except it requires you to perform mental tasks before it will go off. Perfect for those who NEED to get the brain ready for the day
- Step Out of Bed!: This awesome app utilizes your phone tracking technology to make sure you get up. It won't go off until you've done a set number of steps (like how many it takes to get to your coffee maker!)
Becoming a morning person is possible, no matter how much of a night owl you think you are. Waking up early, focusing your energy on your priorities, and knocking out your to-do list upon waking will soon be your daily routine.
Take these tips seriously. Find somebody to work on this habit with you. To keep yourself accountable, find a workout partner, convince your own partner, or ask for a phone call from a friend who is already a morning person. Accountability makes a world of a difference.
If you want more productivity tips, be sure to check out my productivity post on the Pomodoro method, and how it allowed me to manage a full-time career, side hustle, and masters degree simultaneously.
Of course, I always want to connect with you on social media: