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Six Morning Routines that Will Make You Happier, Healthier and More Productive

Make your bed

By putting your house in order, you put your mind in order as well: Making your bed, brushing your teeth, showering, shaving, doing makeup, pressing your clothes are all little tasks that can put you in good form for the rest of your day. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Six Morning Routines that Will Make You Happier, Healthier and More Productive

Six Morning Routines that Will Make You Happier, Healthier and More Productive

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2019/03/12/6-morning-routines-happy-healthy-productive/

scotthyoung.com

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Key Ideas

Morning routines

Of all the different things you can try to improve your productivity, a morning routine is one of the most effective:

  • It gets you started and sets the tone for the upcoming day;
  • They take place in the most consistent part of the day - mornings are usually quiet, with fewer social obligations.

Sleep and productivity

When it comes to productivity, getting enough sleep is essential. Any morning routine you develop needs to accommodate your sleeping rhythms.

And research indicates that 7-8 hours per day is a nearly universal requirement.

Different goals, different routines

There isn’t one perfect routine that will make you rich and happy overnight. Instead, there’s different routines for different purposes: if you're focusing on health and fitness, starting with exercise or eating a healthy breakfast might go first. If you're working like crazy, getting straight to work on your most important tasks may be better than cluttering up my morning with different tasks.

Exercise and energy

Right when you wake up, before eating breakfast, checking your phone or the TV, go out and move:

  • it puts fitness in that all-important first slot of the day, especially if you're struggling with making this a priority; 
  • It will wake you up and keep you alert.

Meditation and Stillness

If you start your day with meditation, it’s important to do seated meditation and not do so lying down in your bed, or you’ll be likely to fall back asleep. This routine will help because:

  • it leaves you calm and focused for the day;
  • allows your mind to wake up without strain.

Getting the work done

The key to productivity is just doing the work. This routine underscores this by making getting some work done your first priority, so that your first break is the chance to eat breakfast, shower etc. :

  • it not only maximizes your time, it shifts your productivity much earlier.
  • it is that you get to take a break when you need it.

Planning the day ahead

Don’t just jot down some to-do items, but actually imagine working on them: What will be the complications, where will you have gaps in your schedule that need filling, what will you need to focus on etc. Doing this planning first thing in the morning can be a good way to prime your day for success, especially if you have a hectic busy schedule.

Make your bed

By putting your house in order, you put your mind in order as well: Making your bed, brushing your teeth, showering, shaving, doing makeup, pressing your clothes are all little tasks that can put you in good form for the rest of your day. 

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Make "power down" time a priority

Shut down those activities that stimulate your mind, such as work, emails, internet browsing and even watching TV. 

Try reading a book,

Try a brain dump

Dump it all out. Write some lists, or simply use the "worry diary" technique and jot down all of the things you’re stressing about. 

Do this before your "power down" time. This helps your mind let these things go. Once they're written down, you can relax; there's no chance you'll forget them.

Eat, drink and move mindfully

If you’re experiencing sleeping problems: 

  • Cut back on caffeine (particularly after midday). 
  • Avoid eating a particularly heavy meal late in the evening.
  • Meditation and supplements can also affect sleep so it’s best to get educated about what you’re taking.
  • Intense exercise late at night isn't recommended.

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Routines

A routine is a series of regularly followed actions. There are few things that impact your daily productivity, career trajectory, and overall well-being as much as your routines. What’s i...

'Copying' famous routines

Not everyone consciously crafts their routines to maximize their time. That’s why people are interested in the routines of successful people: we think following the same steps will bring the same results. But blindly following someone else’s routines won’t make us as successful as them.

Rituals

Rituals are repeated behaviors (like routines). However, they’re deeply personal and are imbued with deeper meaning beyond just a sequence of actions. They mark a change, a switch in task or moment of importance.  And it’s those symbolic actions performed at key moments that help us move through the day smoothly.

The Brain as a Snowy Hill

The snowy hill represents the brain, the people sledding are like the memories, and the trails left behind are the synapses in the brain.

Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, ...

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
Mnemonics

memory device that helps you retain and retrieve information simply with the use of retrieval cues to encode information in the brain.

  1. List the words you want to remember.
  2. Write the initials of each word vertically.
  3. Create a sentence/phrase using the initials.

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Why a Night Routine Matters

A night routine is the things you do immediately prior to going to bed.

Three benefits of having a decent night routine:

  • You’ll have a more restful and higher-quality sleep....
Before You Head Home…
  • Get rid of caffeine after 4:00 pm. Caffeine stays in your system for up to six hours.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and tired when you want to be awake.

  • Decide when the workday ends. Establish a cut off time for work-related emails and phone calls as well.

Immediately After Work…
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may make you drowsy, but the sleep you get won’t be restful. Stop consuming it at least two hours before bed.
  • Have a healthy dinner. 

    When you need a snack closer to bedtime, reach for something light and healthy.

  • Take time to tidy. Waking up in an orderly space will work wonders for your mood.

  • Prepare for tomorrow. 

    When you don’t have a million things to do upon waking, it’s easier to fall asleep.
  • Take time for yourself. Perhaps you watch an episode of your favorite show or play video games.

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Family, Reflection and Email

Balancing work obligations with meaningful family time is an important part of building a successful evening routine.

An evening routine starts with family time. Tackle some to-do’s la...

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Take steps to make it easier to sleep well.

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs for several hours before bed
  • Set a regular bedtime
  • Drink some warm milk or herbal tea, or have a light snack
  • Try a screen-free activity like meditation or reading
  • Eliminate as much noise from your bedroom as possible
  • Keep your bedroom dark
  • Don’t linger too long in bed. It’s better to do your lounging on the couch and head for bed only when it’s time to sleep.
To Sleep Or Not To Sleep
Surviving on a glorified power nap has more to do with genes than motivation. An estimated 5% of the population only needs a few hours to feel refreshed thanks to a rare genetic mutation. Most people need seven to nine hours a night.

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Avoid Randomness

... when you are ready to wind down your day. This includes not getting stuck in front of screens, social media or even doing a marathon of our favorite show.

The brain is firing up dopam...

Eliminate Negativity

Negative emotions can lower your immunity. They affect every part of your body. Carrying them up to sleep will affect your health causing you to lack the necessary rest your body needs.

Doing something that lights you up can help shift the mood. Force your mind to think of good thoughts. 

Do One Thing You Love

Your brain relaxes when you do something that is delightful. It puts you in a safe zone where you can enjoy yourself for the time being.

Doing it just before going to bed is the best time because it helps to seal the positive energy that will condition your mind the next day.

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Productivity is a way of living

It’s about achieving maximum output, getting shit done, and not wasting time. Tools, apps, or hacks, don’t work if you lack the right mindset.

Say no

...to things that don't thrill you. When you think ‘meh’ about something, always say NO. That eliminates wasting time on shit that you're not excited about.

Willpower is overrated

If something distracts you, eliminate it. Don’t think you’re immune to your distractions. Remove them.

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Live a 24-Hour Life
Live a 24-Hour Life

We, humans, want pleasure and results as soon as possible. We start taking action, but it often happens that we fall off the wagon because we don’t see results that fast.

From then on, eve...

Commit to Your Health

To increase the level of your health, and by default the level of productivity, because you will be more energetic and focused:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Create a healthy diet for yourself
  • Move more.
Develop a Morning Routine

A morning routine aims to make you alert, help you take care of your health, intellectual and spiritual growth. Develop 2 types of habits:

  • Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the present
  • Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the future

Ideally, you should focus to form habits that give you both — such as exercising.

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How Your Brain Remembers

What we remember about the pleasurable quality of our past experiences is almost entirely determined by 2 things: the emotional peak and the end.

So try to structure your days so that ...

Have a “Shutdown Ritual”

Although the workday is over, your mind is still going strong. You gotta get your brain out of “work mode” to relax.

A simple ritual can help: Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.

Turn Weeknights Into Weekends

Weekends are great because we get to spend our time the way we enjoy most.

Spend 2 hours with friends or family and you just turned a dull Tuesday night into a happy Saturday.

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Give it rest

Your rest is the most important thing you can do for your mind. 

Our best way to rest is to sleep at night. During the key hours of rejuvenation, our mind gets ...

Exercise it

The endorphins that you get as a result of exercising work wonders for your mind. Researchers have shown that exercising improves overall brain function, long-term memory, and information processing skills.

Push it to the limit … sometimes

Ask your mind to remember things that you would not ordinarily try to. 

  • Recitation alone helps to build memory muscles in a way that helps our mind remain healthy. 
  • Use it to create new habits by way of 30-days or 21-day experiments.
  •  Erase some words from your vocabulary for the week or month. 

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