deepstash

Beta

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress Kit

The secret to productive mornings

The secret to productive mornings
... is to make them easier, not earlier.

Forget about getting up insanely early every morning.  How much time we have in the mornings is far less important than how we spend the time we do have.

@codyb85

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

The power of morning routines
  • Routines drastically reduce the amount of logistical and psychological friction in between us and our goals.
  • Good routines are also powerful motivation generators. In addition to cutting down on morning friction, good routines can become sustainable sources of motivation which help us maintain our commitment to work over time.

Reduce the number of decisions and tasks you have to do each morning in between waking up and doing your work:

  • Decide on and lay out your clothes for the following day the evening before and gather all other pieces of stuff you need (supplies, equipment).
  • Make your breakfast and lunch the night before and have it ready to grab in the fridge.
Get a good night’s sleep

Good sleep makes everything better. It’s extremely hard to do cognitively-demanding and creative work when we’re sleep-deprived. 

Low energy, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability, and poor motivation can all come directly from poor sleep, especially consistently poor sleep.

  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even weekends.
  • Getting into bed before you’re truly sleepy is a great way to start worrying, which leads to arousal and difficulty falling asleep.
  • Watch out for too much Sleep Hygiene. Don't make going to sleep seem like a lot of effort.
  • The final hour before bedtime should be a mellow time that doesn’t involve work or any other goal-oriented activities.
Don’t snooze

In addition to hurting the quality of your sleep, snoozing is detrimental psychologically: it leads to an erosion of self-confidence and the ability to follow through on our own best intentions and goals.

Psychologically, by doing all the things that go along with showering like combing your hair, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, etc., you’re communicating to your brain in no uncertain terms that it’s time to go and get started with the day.

Reward yourself for getting out of bed

Don't rely on willpower. The smarter way to tackle the morning is to build routines and rituals that pull us out of bed and toward our goals.

Create a pre-work morning routine that’s rewarding and enjoyable. For example: go to your favorite shop and grab a coffee on your way.

For example, every day when you get to your desk and sit down to work, play the same song before I start any work.

This is important because it serves as a cue to your brain to go into work mode. This little ritual makes it easier for me you “slide” into work rather than having to will your way into it.

Working for extended periods with full concentration and no distractions, on a single task requires:

  • Knowing the day before what exactly you’re going to be working on during your Deep Work hour.
  • Putting your phone somewhere out of sight and earshot while you’re doing Deep Work. 
  • Building up to working for an hour straight. This uninterrupted flow is invaluable.
 Track your work
  • Get a monthly calendar.
  • At the top of the calendar note the task or action you’re tracking. 
  • Each morning after you’ve completed the task, put a big X or some kind of mark through that day.
  • Try to go as many days as possible without “breaking the streak.”
  • If you do miss a day, note how many days in a row you went and set that +1 as your new goal.
Reward yourself for finishing

The magnitude of the reward isn’t very important; it’s the ritual of the reward that matters. So it’s enough to do something small as long as it signifies that you’ve completed your​ task.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Memory Palace/The Method of Loci
A method to enhance memory using visualizations with the use of spatial memory.
  1. Choose a place that you know really well.
  2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route.
  3. Decide what you want to memorize
  4. Place an object or two, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
  5. Make the image into a mnemonic

6

IDEAS

Have a Clear Plan

Think about what you want to include in your night routine, and then write it downMake it as clear and simple as possible, so you’ll have the best chance of following it. 

Once you’ve followed your night routine long enough, you’ll no longer need to refer to your plan – as it will have become a habit.

Get your Sleep

Getting your required number of hours of sleep is crucial to waking up feeling refreshed and energetic.