Life is… busy. There are days spent where you are undeniably active, yet the word active (or even the word busy) does not mean productive. Have you ever reflected back to your day when you’ve finally sat down to take a breath and felt as if you struggled to make it to that moment? You maybe felt sluggish and unmotivated; simply going through the motions or possibly the day was absolute chaos yet still missed the productive mark.
Your dreams will start to feel dauntingly out of reach unless you start to purposefully carve out time to set up your day, or week, for success. Motivation will fleet. Time will start to slip away.
“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” –Harold Hill
How do you move forward? How do we simplify and get back to fundamentals?
As much as I do not want to credit my best days (we will define best days as highly productive and fulfilling) to a simple routine (because I find routines robotic and redundant) there is a striking contrast in mood, productivity, happiness, and overall well being between the days following the routine and the days where the routine was pushed to the side and abandoned.
I challenge you to implement this short routine for one week and to take note how your demeanor changes and how productive you feel at the end of each day. Here are the three golden rules to follow:
Get a full night’s rest:
Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep needed by people at different ages, the recommended amount windows between 7 and 9 hours.
Almost every morning, almost every day of the week, my alarm goes off at 5:45am and the first thought in my head is ‘No, not yet’ and I hit snooze. I try and hit my target of getting out of bed when my alarm first goes off, but it’s a moving target. And a moving target is hard to hit especially when another hour of sleep sounds so inviting.
Here is a brief list of benefits from a full night’s rest:
- Lower stress
- Increased memory
- Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise
- Increased attention and focus
- Longer life
- Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine
If you need more convincing do a quick Google search. Who cares if you wake up at 4:45AM if you just went to bed three hours earlier? You won’t last long.
Once you’re up and standing, make your bed before you do anything else. You’ll be able to check off an accomplishment within moments of starting your day, and once it’s made the temptation of crawling back under the covers will vanish. You wouldn’t want to have to make your bed twice in one morning, would you?
I know I will love the version of myself that is glowing, sweating, and feeling accomplished with a workout ending before 8AM. Once again, this is another moving target. Reminding yourself how great you’ll feel after the workout is a great motivator to get you out the door.
With another quick Google search you can find that exercise will decrease anxiety, depression, and stress. If you neglect to care for you body, every other aspect of your life will suffer. So whatever your preference is, get your body moving.
Nourish your body:
Food is fuel; it’s really that simple. Limiting your breakfast to a cup of coffee in the morning is not going to do much for your brain, or stomach.
Make an effort to get an adequate amount of protein first thing in the morning. Protein dense foods keep you full longer and keep blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger.
Supposedly the magic number is 30g protein for breakfast, so I tend to do my best to get at least over 20g. A classic go to are eggs- each egg has about 6g of protein, and a serving size of cottage cheese has 10g of protein. There are of course plant-based proteins such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and greens. You also always have the common protein shake but I find eating whole foods to be much more satisfying, especially for my taste buds.
A morning routine is absolutely essential in everyone’s life and with repetition there will be tremendous rewards. Positive mornings will not only give you energy boosts but they help you to increase productivity in your daily work.
Achieving goals is a science. If you follow a simple pattern, you can accomplish all of your goals- no matter how big they are.
- Michelle, Marketing Assistant