They’ll help you optimize your work in less time.
We all have those days where we expect to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day, but instead we feel completely exhausted and unmotivated.
We struggle to crawl out of bed and get started on our first task, but we know that we are only delaying the inevitable. After all, that huge pile of work isn’t going to do itself.
In fact, just last week, I had a particularly rough night’s sleep. I woke up at 4 AM, tossed and turned for about 30 minutes, and then gave up and decided to get started on my work day. But when I sat down at my computer, I had no desire to do anything. I felt completely defeated before the day had even began.
That is why I try so hard to get ample sleep every single night, but sometimes no matter how hard you try, that just doesn't happen.
It is during these times that I rely on a few crucial morning tasks to put myself in the right headspace to crush the work day ahead. Thus, here are three key things you can do every single morning in five minutes or less that will put you in an amazing mood, give your productivity a boost, and set you up for a successful day ahead.
1. Make Your Bed
This is the key first task that I do every single morning. At this point, it feels almost robotic to me. There’s something about the simple act of making your bed that is incredibly satisfying. I just can't start my work day without getting it done. And on the rare occasions that I have skipped out on my daily morning ritual of making my bed, I felt like I was less productive overall.
Plus, according to CNBC, making your bed provides other meaningful benefits:
“It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
Therefore, by simply making your bed each morning, you are likely setting yourself up for a more productive day ahead. If nothing else, making your bed will provide you with a sense of accomplishment. And, let’s be honest, everyone needs that feeling early in the morning, so it’s certainly worth five minutes of your time.
Also, it just makes your room look nicer and more put together, and I personally can't function well in a cluttered, messy, disorganized space.
2. Make a Fresh Cup of Coffee
I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t start my work day without a fresh cup of coffee in hand. As the weather has gotten chillier, I have switched from cold brew coffee to hot coffee. It feels like I am getting a warm hug every time I take a sip. It truly does get me excited to get up and out of bed each morning to conquer the work day.
Plus, coffee has a number of key brain benefits that can help you feel more energetic, think better, and improve your overall productivity.
According to Harvard Health,
“Not only is caffeine a brain stimulant, but it also blocks receptors for a chemical called adenosine, which normally prevents the release of excitatory brain chemicals. With adenosine out of the way, these brain-sparking chemicals can flow more freely — giving you a surge of energy and potentially improving mental performance and slowing age-related mental decline.”
It is obvious that the caffeine in coffee provides some powerful advantages. But even if you don’t like coffee, you should still give yourself something to look forward to in the morning. You could try having a cup of tea, warm water with lemon, or even your favorite breakfast food, like a fresh bowl of creamy oatmeal or fluffy pancakes topped with peanut butter, banana, maple syrup, chocolate chips, or whatever else you truly love.
The point is, having something extrinsic that forces you to get motivated early in the morning will help you accomplish far more throughout the day.
3. Create the Following
Creating a to do list in the morning has been key for me, especially since I started working from home last year. Doing so allows me to schedule out my work load, which helps me stay on track with everything I need to accomplish. When I have the extra time, I even like to make my to-do list the night before so I know in advance what the next day's work will look like.
Harvard Business Review states:
“The to-do list can be an indispensable tool when used to mindfully manage your time.”
I recommend splitting your list up into time chunks so you can see if you’re keeping up with your work load. This has helped me get everything done that I need to each day without wasting too much time on any single work task.
Another tip is to include one item that you can cross off right away. I always put making my bed at the top of my to do list. Trust me, it’s super satisfying to cross something off your list right off the bat in the morning. Just don’t fill your whole list with these kinds of tasks, or you won’t get any of your actual work done.
No matter what your specific to do list looks like, taking a few minutes to make one in the morning will help you get organized and have a successful and productive day.
While five minutes may not seem like much, a lot can happen in a short amount of time.
Performing quick and easy tasks like making my bed and creating my to do list makes me feel amazing in the morning, and that positive energy and organization always sets me up for a productive day ahead.
If you are struggling to feel motivated when you wake up in the morning, try out a few of these tasks. They’ll only take a few minutes out of your day, but they’ll provide you with a much greater return — a boost in both your mood and your work day success.