How you start your morning says a lot about your day. And your days will determine your weeks, months, and years. Hence, if you want to have a good life, you need to start with your mornings. Your morning sets the pace for your day. When you start strong, you can finish strong. But when you start weak, most likely, you’re going to finish weak.
This is why it is important to keep your motivation and stay productive in the morning. Because your morning sets the tone for your day, you want to start your morning in the right way and avoid bad habits that will ruin your morning.
This article from Forbes says it best:
When you have a positive morning in which you’re spending your first few hours (or first few minutes, depending on how long you have) doing things that you already decided in advance you really want to do, you’re starting your morning with intention. When you start your morning with intention you can bring your morning “wins” with you into the rest of the day.
So, my friend, learn how to build a productive morning routine. And better yet, learn how to avoid bad habits that will make you less productive and less inspired in the morning.
Here are the 7 things you should NOT do in the morning if you want to maintain your productivity and keep yourself inspired for the rest of the day…
1. Checking social media the first thing in the morning
I know, this is what most people will do the first thing in the morning. Many people use their phones as their alarm clock. And after they switch off the clock, the phone is already in their hands. Hence, it is so easy and so convenient for them to check their phones. Never let this happen to you.
People tend to scan Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, or email to see who has reached out to them. This bad behavior will ruin your productive morning.
When you start your day checking social media and see what your friends posted on Facebook, you are being influenced by what people posted. Imagine seeing a negative post early in the morning, guess what will happen to your mood? You will start your day in a bad mood.
Plus, you don’t want to bombard your brain with too much information the first thing when you wake up in a relaxed state.
You have no control over what you’re going to discover on social media. This is why social media is addictive. And most of the news on social media are negative. That’s why you want to avoid it in the morning.
Besides, social media makes you want to compare yourself with others. When you see a friend who is having a great start, driving a Mercedes, and is enjoying a luxury breakfast in an expensive hotel, it makes you feel inferior when you look at your own situation.
But the problem is that your friend didn’t have that every day. You only see what people posted on social media, you don’t get to see the back story. And it makes you feel lousy and inferior.
This is why you should never check social media or play with your phone the first thing in the morning. VulcanPost.com has an interesting article on this subject, you should check it out.
2. Starting your day at random
The next thing you should avoid making in the morning is starting your day at random, without any plan or intention. Why? Simple, you will end up wasting a lot of your time.
Imagine you wake up an hour early but you have no idea what to do with the extra hour. What will happen? Most probably you will waste the extra hour on social media, playing games, watching YouTube, or doing unproductive activities like laying on the bed doing nothing.
When you start your morning without a plan, you fail to use your mornings effectively and productively. I’m not saying that you need to plan every minute and every second of it, but you need to have some intentions for what you want out of your mornings. This is why having a morning ritual helps.
You become reactive when you don’t have a plan. You react to whatever comes to you. But things are different when you have a plan. You know what to do and what to expect. You can jump straight into the tasks without using too much of your willpower in the morning.
So, make plans. Know what to expect from your mornings. Just think about your ideal morning and then plan it and make it happen.
3. Reading and replying emails
Are you someone who checks and reply emails the first thing in the morning? Worse, some people do it when they are still laying on their bed.
Trust me, if something is urgent enough, that fellow will just call you rather than email you. When people email, they expect there is a delay in receiving the reply. You don’t expect to email and get a reply instantly.
I know you care about your work. But there is time for work. So, don’t check or reply to emails the first thing in the morning.
Just like checking social media, you will never know what to expect from your emails. What if you receive an email from one of your clients who want to cancel and get a refund on his purchase? Do you think this will make your morning great?
Not likely. Your mood will be affected, and you will feel down. This is why I don’t check emails when I just got up in the morning.
4. Hitting the snooze button
Many people snooze a few times before they get up. What’s the point of setting the alarm on time when you are going to snooze, right?
Let me give you an example. If you wake to get up at 7 AM and you set your alarm at 6:45 AM, you give yourself 15 minutes to get up. You know that in those 15 minutes, you can snooze twice, and you can sleep for 15 minutes more.
And every time you snooze, you are training yourself to procrastinate and delay waking up. Eventually, it becomes a habit. And it can affect every other of your life too. When it comes to doing your work, you procrastinate and delay your work until the very last minute.
Why? You have been trained to snooze and delay waking up. You know you have an additional 15 minutes, and so, you use that 15 minutes to sleep more.
Hitting the snooze button makes you less discipline. And it trains you to become someone who likes to procrastinate.
Furthermore, hitting the snooze button may make you feel foggy and more tired after you wake up. And relying on snoozing will mess your body’s internal clock, which can cause some major health problems in the long run. Read this article for the negative effect of snoozing.
From now on, don’t hit the snooze button. Once your alarm goes, switch it off and wake up.
5. Skip or eat unhealthy breakfast
Your energy level is greatly influenced by what you put into your body. If you don’t eat any breakfast, it is like driving on empty fuel. You can’t go far on empty fuel.
Don’t skip your breakfast. The word, “breakfast” means to break-the-fasting after a long night’s sleep. You need to eat to give your body and mind energy to operate and perform at peak.
And since you are going to be eating anyway, try to eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t take sugary foods like a doughnut or a sweet smoothie as breakfast because your body doesn’t need that much sugar in the morning. When you overload your body with sugar in the morning, you will suffer a crash later.
This article from Rush University Medical Center suggests these 4 types of breakfast:
- High-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk or soy or rice milk substitute
- Low-fat protein shake with fresh/frozen fruit
- High-fiber toast or bagel with tablespoon of peanut butter
- Select protein bar and yogurt or a glass of milk
You should read the article to learn more about why taking a healthy breakfast is important in the morning.
6. Make too many unnecessary decisions
Making too many decisions in the morning can quickly deplete your willpower and energy. It makes you tired and exhausted quickly.
Consider what to wear for the day. Do you need to put a black suit, or just wear casual? Well, Ryan Holiday explained why you want to avoid making too many decisions in the morning in this article on Inc.com.
He gives an example from ex-President Barack Obama. Do you notice that Obama only wears blue or grey suits? This was what he said in an interview:
You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.
When you try to make too many decisions, you end up using too much of your mental power and that makes you feel tired and exhausted. You can’t focus and you don’t feel motivated when you’re fatigued.
Therefore, try to automate things and avoid making too many decisions in the morning. What you need is a morning routine…
7. Starting your day without a routine
You don’t want to start your morning at random. And you don’t want to kickstart your day with making a lot of unnecessary decisions. Thus, what you need is a morning ritual.
In other words, you want to jumpstart your day in a similar manner each day. This way, you develop good and productive habits, save a lot of your energy, and you become proactive because you already know what to do.
Besides the example from Barack Obama, Ryan Holiday also said that he’s the same:
I’m the same way. Every day I eat at the same taco place down the street from my house. I order the same salad. I phone in the order before I hop in my car. 10 minutes later, I’m home with the salad, reading while I eat it.
Here’s the funny truth though: I’m sick to death of this salad. Every time I tell myself, “Hey, let’s go find something new,” I end up driving around town frustrated, and end up with something that costs more, is less healthy, and takes more time.
While you don’t have to eat the same breakfast every morning, but you do need to develop a morning routine to help you stay productive in the morning.
Your mornings are important because they set the tone for the rest of your day. So, avoid making these 7 things in the morning. If you want to be productive and have the energy to tackle the day, you need to start your morning right
Are you making any of the 7 unproductive habits mentioned above? Do you check social media first thing in the morning? Do you start your day at random and without a plan?
Let me know in the comment section below.