Mornings can be tough for anyone. And there are tons of articles out there that might make you not feel like having a morning routine like a CEO, but you can set routines as anyone can to feel a little less groggy. A good morning can be hacked and make your day go a little smoother. So here are 21 hacks; take from them what works and try it for 21 days to set a habit. Start with 1 or all 21. Hacks and habits help you learn and learn fast.
1. Don’t lay out clothes the night before
Take time at night to wind down. If you hype your mind up with too many set-ups for the next day, it might actually hurt you. Don’t rile yourself up when you need to calm down.
2. Do a brain dump into a journal the night before
Write in a journal and get the thoughts in your mind out on paper. Scribble your thoughts, disappointments, and ideas down so they don’t keep you up. Getting enough sleep matters and you won’t be able to if thoughts are occupying your mind.
3. Don’t hit snooze
Hitting snooze justs gets you into “junk” sleep and makes you more tired. Put your alarm on the other side of the room if you have trouble hitting that button out of habit.
4. Wake up and breathe
When you first wake up, take deep breaths. Deep breathing has been shown in studies to calm the mind, even symptoms of PTSD in some cases. Deep breaths clear the mind and help prep you for the slew of decisions you have to make during the day.
5. Wait to check online first-thing
Get in some time to let your mind breathe and adjust to daylight or waking up before checking online. Your morning does not belong to your boss. Give yourself time to wake up.
6. Make your bed
Starting off the day with one habit and getting in that routine sets your mind up to know that the day is beginning. This is a tactic used in military training to help them get disciplined. Plus coming home to straight sheets is always nice.
7. Exercise for ten minutes
Start your day off with some exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. Exercise can kickstart your ability to make connections in your brain, firing synapses faster, and your metabolism, burning calories before you’ve ever eaten. Also getting outside boosts your mood, and connects you to the circadian rhythm, how the sunlight or day goes.
8. Schedule accountability
Whether it’s a 6 am running partner or a 10 am meeting, having accountability planned into your morning holds you accountable. You won’t waste time if you have a non-negotiable in your morning. If you struggle with anxiety, of course, take that into consideration if it will make you, even more, stressed the night before.
9. Drink water
Most of us don’t drink enough water. Fit several ounces into your morning so you can get enough in your day. Having enough water in your body fights illness and improves mental clarity, among a slew of other benefits.
10. Eat an egg
Eat an egg, some research from Harvard shows having an egg a day is good for your health. The fat and protein in eggs sustain energy through your morning.
11. Drink coffee
Black coffee can keep you alert and even benefit your body. Don’t hurt yourself with too much, but a cup can get you going and improve your memory.
12. Read calming material
Whether a poem, a mantra or a scripture, reading something that helps calm you and bring you out of your day-to-day helps relax you for the day ahead.
13. Have a grab bag ready
Having a bag of essentials, such as lip balm, a bar for snacking, a pack of gym clothes and some cash is always smart. Have it sit by your door so you can be ready if you’re running late.
14. Bring fruits and veggies
If you don’t eat breakfast, bring fruits and veggies to the office or wherever you work. Having a snack in the morning that is packed with nutrients and vitamins, like carrots or some grapes, boosts energy and focus for your day ahead. Pack them into a container and go.
15. Stand strong
Stand in the mirror with hands-on-hips and breathe deep. The “superhero stance” boosts confidence by increasing testosterone. This helps calm your nerves before starting the day and makes you feel powerful.
16. Knock out a simple task first
This might seem counterintuitive, but studies from Harvard show small wins help us roll over them into bigger wins. Email that person you’ve been putting off or call to fix the machine at work that’s been broken forever.
17. Make a top three tasks list
Try to get your three biggest priorities done. If you work in a relaxed environment, maybe even at home, it can be easy to have your attention and energy split by dozens of emails. Set your intentions to get your big three tasks done and you’ll feel better. Try to finish one by noon.
18. Boost immunity
Eat a melon slice or drink kombucha, both loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants, if you feel a little under-the-weather as you start your day.
19. Knock out emails in one go
Try to email as many people and knock out as many small tasks in thirty minutes go as you can. This helps get little tasks done quicker and contributes to those small wins.
If you feel sad or unmotivated, smile to yourself. It boosts your mood, even if it feels silly or fake. Do it for a few seconds and it’ll boost your mood.
21. Respect yourself
If something fails or gets missed or you fell behind yesterday, don’t think about it today. Or take a breath, acknowledge you are human and make sure your supervisor knows that too. Self-respect will carry your mental health throughout the day.
Overall, find what works for you. Everyone has their own morning hacks that work for them. The most important part of hacking is just setting those few routines that get you into your morning without feeling lost. If you forget to bring a snack or don’t feel like emailing, don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s always tomorrow.