This Is Proven to Make You More Productive
CEOs and superstars have long extolled the mood-boosting benefits of a strict morning routine, one that usually sees them rising before 5am and ticking off a workout, an hour of emails and countless other tasks on their to-do list, all before the rest of us have even surfaced. But if you thought that such routines were simply the talk of the privileged few rather than a scientifically proven lifestyle habit, you might need to think again.
As many studies attest, having a structured morning routine can reduce stress and anxiety and boost mood, alertness and productivity. According to Hal Elrod, author of The Morning Miracle, regular routine creates a structured framework for your mind, so sticking to the same morning habits will help you to be more focused during the day.
If you’re prone to panicking as soon as you receive a news alert or work email on your device, then establishing a rigid routine where you only check your phone or computer once you’ve deliberately activated ‘work mode’ will help quell those chaotic feelings and make you feel more in control, rather than the other way round. You can also help to steer your brain out of manic mode by setting aside some time for calm meditation or gentle stretches at the start of your morning routine.
Keeping your cortisol levels at bay in the morning is a good idea. Because your natural cortisol levels are high at this point anyway, it’s best to avoid any stimulants which will exacerbate them and set you off on the wrong foot for the day. That means avoiding coffee until mid-morning and deliberately filtering out anything that might cause stress levels to rise; watching the news and reading important work emails are both common causes of heightened stress. Instead, replace your caffeine with a herbal tea or cleansing warm water and lemon and choose an activity that increases your sense of motivation and wellbeing. To that end, a good morning routine doesn’t always have to involve crisis management or catching up on work from the night before. Part of reclaiming the morning for yourself is ensuring you use your time wisely. Factoring in something fun or that makes you laugh and produces endorphins is a great way to start your day off on a positive note, which then sets the tone for the day ahead.