Start Your Day by Doing These 5 Things to Increase Your Productivity

Your morning routine will likely set the entire day’s productivity level. According to experts, 4 A.M. is the most productive time of each day. It is because there are minimal distractions (like kids or work) at this hour; no one is emailing or texting you just yet; there is less to see on social media. This is why the world’s most successful people begin their day at 4 A.M.

But not everyone is up at this hour. And if you are one of those who typically enters REM sleep around this time, you should not force yourself to wake up at this hour everyday. You can still master your morning, and the day’s productivity, with daily rituals for the powerful.

Follow a predictable routine. Foremost to this, you have to wake up at YOUR right time. And stick to this waking hour everyday. While it’s true that many people who wake up earlier are generally more productive or get more things done, that does not mean that those who are not “up and alive” at 4 A.M. cannot be productive as well. The most important thing I to get in tune with your body clock. Sleep specialists explain that our bodies actually “know” what it should be doing and when. And once awake, map out the first 30-60 minutes of your day. What is it that you need to start your day right? How much time can you allocate to each task?

Move around and hydrate. When you feel great, you can do more. Many successful people start their mornings with healthy exercise: Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks, bikes first thing in the morning; Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi power walks before she sets to work; Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paaschen runs 10 miles every morning.But if the idea of a morning workout with weights, the treadmill, the bike, and the pool does not excite you, simply move around and get your blood flowing. This will help you get your day started. And while you more around and work up a bit of a sweat, remember to stay hydrated. Drinking water in the mornings (and throughout the day) will kick start your day and keep you energetic all day long.

Avoid Jumping to email. Once you click on your inbox, you will most likely get enmeshed into a deluge of other people’s needs. Save going through your email for the latter part of the morning. Or the day. Instead, spend the morning on a routine that helps you focus on your big-picture goals, imbibe feelings of gratitude, and planning out the time chunks in a day. Productivity experts explain that how you start your day anchors you and focuses your mind to all things important. Create your ideal morning routine that will help you achieve your highest level of productivity. Coffee, a measured and consistent amount of lemon water, cuddle time, sauna, laps in the pool, or an entry in your journal. Any, all, or stuff similar to these can get your mind focused for a whole day of work.

“Eat the frog”… or the tadpoles.  To quote Mark Twain, “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” In business, the “frog” is your most important task – the one you’re dreading the most because it’s huge and important that it’s daunting. Build the habit of completing your biggest task first and earn a huge boost of accomplishment early in the day. Though, admittedly, facing your most daunting task first throws most of us into the trap of procrastinating, thus making it even harder to get the day started. Gauge yourself: are you more the type to eat a frog first thing in the morning… or are you more the type to clear away a few small tasks (or tadpoles!) first to gain the momentum, leading up to your frog? Business world research has found that making incremental progress leads to higher productivity in the long run.

Use self-imposed rewards. If you find it difficult to stay consistent to your morning ritual, think of self-administered rewards for completing the less desirable tasks at hand. Something like getting a certain amount of screen time to catch up on your social media or stream an episode of your favorite sitcom AFTER accomplishing something off of your To Do list.

Mornings don’t have to be tough. By going through a simple routine of focused things upon waking up, you are setting yourself up for higher productivity throughout the day. You do not need to overhaul your morning routine in a snap – you can introduce one new practice a week and start seeing improvements as you perfect your morning routine.