Here’s one thing you can do in 10 minutes or less that will keep your brain focused, sharp, and working optimally for you.
Ask yourself one powerful question first thing when you wake up: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?
And here are five reasons why this question is good for your brain:
1. It simplifies your decision-making
Our brain functions so much better when it’s not bogged down with evaluating priorities, considering the pros and cons, and going back and forth on small things that can be a huge waste of time. If you have to make a choice on something, you should do it as early in the day as possible.
2. It taps into your willpower bright and early
We all have only a finite amount of willpower that we can distribute on what we want to do each day. It’s not negotiable. So, in order to maximize it, it’s best to have a plan of attack early in the morning so you know exactly where to focus your energies, and why.
3. It encourages strategic thinking
In order to accomplish something that is of value to you, you’ll need to assess what needs to be completed on that particular day. Maybe you know there’s a deadline at work for one project that you can’t delay any longer, and asking the question will push to you think about what you need to do right now.
4. It keeps you focused
Once you ask the question, you’re much less likely to give a frivolous answer, and instead, you’ll push yourself to be honest about what’s a top priority for you. Maybe you didn’t give it a lot of time or maybe you procrastinated, but that’s over now. The question is out there, and now you have to address it and move on to the next step, which is action.
5. It boosts your critical-thinking skills
By posing the question to yourself, you’ll come up with a few scenarios of what the answer might be. Maybe it’s starting a difficult task, or analyzing a problem you haven’t been able to solve for days, or finishing up an assignment that’s 90% done but needs some fine-tuning.
Either way, you’ll need to assess your why and how before you give an answer, and that will keep your brain on its toes. Which is exactly why you want to train it this way in the morning, so it knows how to run smoothly the rest of the day!
This article originally appeared on Quora.