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12 Ways to Motivate Yourself Every Morning

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12 Ways to Motivate Yourself Every Morning

It’s funny how morning motivation works. On some days, you wake up with so much energy and motivation that you’re ready to take on the world. Other times, it feels like you have just enough energy to crawl out of bed.

Even though motivation seems random, it’s not. It takes effort to feel motivated. More specifically, it comes when you’re passionate about something.

Don’t worry if you find it hard to get up and go to work every day. According to a Gallup study, 60% of people are emotionally detached from work and 19% are miserable at work. And, a mere 33% of respondents felt engaged.

Once again, motivation requires effort. Keeping yourself refreshed and renewed is something you need to do every day. In that light, here are 12 ways to get motivated every morning to get you through the day.

1. Get plenty of sleep.

Do you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Well, the culprit could be that you aren’t getting enough sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that most people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re falling behind on sleep, you might need to adjust your waking and sleeping times. Thankfully, to get more sleep, you can try the following methods:

  • Maintain a consistent circadian rhythm by rising at the same time every day — including weekends.
  • Take advantage of sunlight in the morning to help your body produce the right hormones for sleep and motivation in wakefulness.
  • Don’t rush through your evenings, including finishing your evening meal at least four hours before going to bed.
  • At least 30 minutes before you go to sleep, turn off your screens. After all, blue light from your TV and phone impairs your sleep.
  • Use sleep aid supplements, such as melatonin, if you have trouble falling asleep.
  • Strenuous exercise should be avoided within four hours of bedtime to prevent disruptions in sleep hormone production.
  • Keep your room like a cave. In other words, your bedroom should be dark and cool.

2. Don’t hit snooze.

Avoid hitting snooze in the morning. In addition to being bad for your psyche, it’s also bad for your motivation.

“After you hit snooze and drift off, your brain starts its sleep cycle all over again,” Alan Henry said on “When the alarm goes off a second time, you’re likely at an even deeper, earlier part of your sleep cycle, which results in you feeling evenworse than you did the first time.”

Additionally, refrain from waking up surrounded by blaring alarms, radio static, or irritating talk news. Choose a soothing, upbeat alarm instead. Getting up will be much easier if you listen to your favorite song or listen to a funny podcast.

3. Pose a few positive questions to yourself.

According toHenrik Edberg on, whenever you wake up, ask yourself five empowering three-part questions, as follows:

  • What am I ______ about in my life right now?
  • What about it makes me _______?
  • How does it make me feel?

“Put in your own value in the blank space,” he says. “For instance, a couple of my questions are:”

  • What am I happy about in my life right now?
  • What am I excited about in my life right now?

“It’s important that you really feel how it makes you feel,” Edberg adds. “When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it.”

Morning questions can fill you with motivation, appreciation and positivity based on the way they are framed.

4. Your biggest dreams should be visible to you as soon as you wake up.

In order to live a fulfilling life, our brains constantly need reminders of what we hope for. By writing it down, we become conscious that what was once a dream and thought suddenly becomes tangible and clearly visible.

As a result, it is no longer just a vivid imagination. But, instead, something that could actually come true.

5. Establish routines.

Getting yourself out of bed in the morning requires more than your morning routine. Just as important is what you do in the evenings before you hit the hay.

As an example, by picking up clutter and cleaning the mess around your house before you go to sleep, you can wake up to a clean home. In turn, this helps you feel energized and refreshed in the morning.

Before you sleep, take the time to read for a while. As a result, your brain will disengage from the day’s activities.

In the morning, your routine could consist of making your bed, watching a TED Talk, journaling, or decluttering your workspace. An efficient morning routine improves mental health, lowers stress levels, and increases energy levels.

Whatever consists of your morning routine, I also suggest that it includes at least one thing that you love.

As Tony Robbins says, “There are 2 different kinds of motivation: Push requires willpower, and willpower never lasts. What will last is pull – having something so exciting, so attractive, something you desire so much that you have a hard time going to sleep at night, you get up so early in the morning and take it to the next level. That’s what you’re looking to get.”

You can utilize pull motivation by incorporating at least one thing you enjoy into your morning routine. As I walk my dog, I listen to one of my favorite podcasts. It may sound corny. But, as I anticipate listening to a new episode, I am excited to start my day.

6. Map out your day.

Write down your goals for the following day before you go to bed. Also, organize your projects by priority. And, take note of any appointments you have coming up on your schedule.

It may seem like a lot of planning. But, this ensures that you’re in control of your day. As a result, you’ll stay motivated, on track, and won’t be distracted by other things. Also, since you know what needs to be done, you’re reducing the number of decisions you have to make. In turn, this preserves your energy throughout the day.

7. Wear something that makes you feel good.

The right outfit can make or break your day, even if you don’t realize it. The reason is that when you feel comfortable and look good, you project confidence. In most cases, that’s a big motivator for us.

It sounds simple. But, wearing a wardrobe that you are excited to wear can boost your motivation for the day.

8. Stretch and exercise.

Regular exercise releases dopamine, which is the chemical responsible for making us feel happy. To put it another way, this is our biology’s “feel good” pill which boosts our positivity.

Plus, you’ll stay fit, healthy, and in great shape if you do this frequently.

9. Make yourself accountable.

It’s more likely that you’ll follow through when you get someone else involved in your productivity. Furthermore, this can give you something to look forward to.

“Your motivation to get out of bed can be enhanced by planning with a friend that you will both work out in the morning from your own homes or follow an online exercise routine at the same time from your respective locations,” says licensed psychologist Selena Snow, PhD.

It is also possible to hold yourself responsible for helping someone else. For example, helping a colleague catch-up on an assignment because they were under the weather.

10. Have a morning mantra.

“Words hold a lot of meaning, so imagine the power of saying something motivating to yourself each and every day,” says holistic business coach Tiffany Napper. “A great mantra should incite a feeling inside you — a feeling that you don’t quite feel in your soul yet but you want to… a feeling of empowerment.” After one week, evaluate how you feel after repeating it 20 times every morning with heart and soul for the next 7 days.

Tiffany suggests the following morning mantras to brighten your day:

  • I am worthy just as I am.
  • I will achieve great things through small steps.
  • Everything I need is within me.
  • I am fulfilling my purpose in this world.
  • I am centered and at peace.

11. Surround yourself with inspiration.

Keeping something inspirational in your room, such as a favorite painting or framed photo, can provide inspiration. Another option is to create an inspiration board, a compilation of pictures, quotes, or anything else that makes you happy, and keep it in your room as a reminder. As a result, you will see happy, positive thoughts in the morning and at night, instilling motivation as soon as you wake up.

12. Shake things up.

While routines serve a purpose, there’s a danger of them becoming mundane very quickly. As a consequence, your motivation can diminish as you do the same thing every day.

To avoid getting stuck in a rut, do something different. Perhaps you could try a new route to work, visit a new café, or try something new from the menu. Adding variety to your life not only boosts your energy, but it also motivates you.

12 Ways to Motivate Yourself Every Morning was originally published on on Sept. 21, 2022 by Albert Costill. Image Credit: Aphiwat Chuangchoem; Thank you!

How to Make Time for the Most Important Meal of the Day

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People try something different, but the science keeps telling us breakfast is important.

We’ve all heard the advice before — “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, most of us laugh it off and do not take the notion seriously. And what about all of the intermittent fasting people? Is that a health fad that’s going to be a problem down the road for many people? So why would breakfast be more important than lunch or dinner?

Rush University Medical Center reports that the phrase actually stands true. Eating a healthy breakfast is an excellent start to your day. It can increase metabolism, improve your focus, and serve as a boost of vitamin and mineral intake. In addition, you’re less likely to be caught snacking throughout the day.

The Cleveland Clinic says that people who skip breakfast have a 55% higher chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. One reason you don’t want to skip breakfast is that eating a morning meal speeds up your metabolism, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. So in other words, this means breakfast can actually keep you from gaining extra weight, provided you eat healthy meals.

Unfortunately, many adults say they skip breakfast simply because they can’t find the time in the mornings. However, you don’t need to have a fancy, sit-down breakfast every day. Even simple, on-the-go options can be nutritious.

So what can you do to make more time in the mornings for the most important meal of the day? Here are some tips to get the most out of your morning meal time.

1. Establish a morning routine.

Creating a morning routine is one of the most significant improvements you can make to your schedule. Adding some structure to the mornings can help you feel more rested, confident, and prepared for the day ahead. In fact, successful people are known to recommend a morning routine as a leading contributor to their success.

Start by figuring out the major tasks you need to complete in the early hours before work. Showering, getting dressed, and brushing your teeth should be priorities! If you like morning runs, make sure to configure that into your schedule.

Speaking of schedules, creating a to-do list for the mornings is a great way to keep yourself on task. You’re less likely to forget things or get distracted. Want a digital checklist? There is excellent scheduling software to choose from, and the ease of access will make you more likely to use it.

2. Meal prep is key.

Planning ahead is crucial if you want to maximize your time in the mornings. One way to do this is meal prepping. Sometimes it can be hard to wake up earlier to cook an excellent breakfast. But what if you didn’t have to get up extra early to have a nice meal?

Preparing your breakfast in advance can help with conserving your precious morning hours. You can prepare as much or as little ahead as you want. Depending on how much time you want to spend on cooking, you can choose to pre-cook elements of your meal. For example, you could cook bacon the night before and use it the next day in your omelet. Eggs are much faster to cook than bacon!

A great way to plan your morning meals ahead of time is to schedule your breakfasts. Decide what you will make on each day of the week. This way, you won’t have to decide in the mornings. As mentioned above, cook certain foods in advance so you can easily reheat them or incorporate them into more elaborate foods.

Meal prepping is also perfect for helping you eat healthier. You eat better when you’re not rushed in the mornings and grab your breakfast on the way out the door. Have you always wanted to make a fruit smoothie but never had the time? Make one the night before! Using fruits like bananas and strawberries are excellent sources of vitamins, and adding protein powder is perfect to keep you full and energized.

3. Go to bed earlier.

Benjamin Franklin knew what he was talking about when he said: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But seriously, how can you expect to be ready to go in the mornings if you stay up past midnight?

Creating a healthy sleep schedule is necessary for waking up feeling refreshed. The Mayo Clinic says adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. So make sure you’re treating your body right by getting enough hours.

What if you’re so used to going to sleep late? There are many tips out there to help your body adjust to an earlier bedtime. These could include using lavender essential oils or engaging in a relaxing activity, like listening to calming music.

Without proper sleep, you can’t expect to feel great naturally when you wake up. So get to bed earlier and make time for a yummy breakfast!

4. Use a slow cooker.

Slow cookers are fantastic tools for making low-effort yet delicious meals. They do all the cooking for you while you sit back and relax. Or, maybe while you’re at work. Most people use them for dinner, but why not use them for breakfast?

Most slow cooker recipes require the food to cook anywhere from four to eight hours, which means you can cook breakfast overnight. This takes time off your hands in the mornings. Instead of making your meal when you wake up, all you’ll need to do is dish up your plate!

There are many slow cooker breakfast recipes out there to try. From breakfast casseroles, to oatmeal, to cinnamon rolls, there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. Not to mention, slow cookers can be purchased at a relatively low price. This is a great way to schedule your meals while also freeing up more of your time in the morning.

5. Do all you can the night before.

Another way to give yourself more wiggle room in the A.M. is to prepare your tasks in advance. It’s like meal prepping, but instead, you’re prepping yourself!

Pick out your outfit the night before. Set out any products you use to groom yourself (deodorant, hairspray, etc.). Prepare any work-related items that you’ll need for the next day. For example, if you’re a teacher, this could mean printing out worksheets or grading papers.

In other words, organizing your home in ways that make it easier to grab what you need in the morning is an excellent idea. Knowing exactly where everything is and having things visually laid out means you’re less likely to forget something you need. Additionally, you’re less likely to feel rushed, and therefore stressed, while getting ready.

Don’t rush yourself.

Remember, scheduling your mornings to be more efficient means you should be taking away from your stress. Planning shouldn’t feel like a nightmare. Make things easier, not harder, on yourself. Try out different routines until you find one that feels best.

Make sure you’re scheduling time for a nutritious morning meal. Even if you prepare ahead of time, without a good schedule, there might not be time to sit down and eat. You don’t want to have to scarf down that delicious breakfast in the car without being able to enjoy it.

Most importantly, don’t rush in the mornings. This adds stress to your life, and you want to eliminate it as much as possible. Mornings shouldn’t have to be hectic. Make that to-do list. Scramble those eggs before bed to reheat in the morning. Schedule your time wisely. After all, the first step toward success is enjoying the day’s most important meal.

How to Make Time for the Most Important Meal of the Day was originally published on Calendar by Angela Ruth. Featured Image Credit: Photo by Daria Shevtsova; Pexels; Thank you!

The Key to a Strong Morning Routine Starts at Night

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Your Morning Routine Starts at Night

Not everyone is a morning person. There are many reasons why this might be the case. However, it shouldn’t become a scapegoat for a sorry attitude and lack of productivity each morning. We can all do a little more to make our mornings manageable.

Many so-called “morning people” have found success through daily routines. The routine gets them into a groove that makes starting each day simple and easy. Developing your own daily routine can help you become more of a morning person or at least less of a morning monster.

The important thing to note here is that a strong morning routine doesn’t begin with the sound of an alarm clock. If you want each morning to be successful, you need to start things off the right way the night before. Here are just some of the things you should be doing at night and why they can help you have a great morning.

Stop Staying Up

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” While you won’t wake up with a couple of extra IQ points this way, this saying bears a lot of truth. With a regular job, you can’t control when you have to wake up in the morning. What you do have control over is when you get to bed.

The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep a night. If you’re constantly waking up at 6:30 in the morning, that means you should be sound asleep by 11:30 P.M. To accomplish that, you might need to be in bed with the lights out by 11. Your evening routine should accommodate that timeline.

Try to estimate how long your nightly routine will take. You shouldn’t begin winding down at the time you wish you were asleep; it should start much earlier. You can even time your desired nightly routine to ensure you’re ready for bed in time to get enough sleep.

Turn Off Your Devices

Putting your phone away at night takes a lot of self-control. Admittedly, scrolling through funny videos while lying in bed can be pretty enjoyable. But, unfortunately, late-night screen time can ruin your morning routine before it even begins.

For starters, you can easily get sucked into social media and stay up much later than you originally intended. The later you are awake, the fewer hours of sleep you get. The fewer hours of sleep you get, the harder it will be to wake up in the morning. Feeling grumpy and sluggish in the morning will push your routine all over the place.

The second reason being on your phone at night is terrible for you is because of the blue light. This light, emitted by electronic screens, has been linked to increased rates of attention and reaction times. This is all well and good during the day, but it can get you wired up at night. An extra attentive brain is not going to settle down easily.

Watch What You Eat

If you usually eat an early dinner, right before bed is when you’re going to feel a little snackish. This can be dangerous if not handled properly. Late-night snacking can be bad for your health and your sleep schedule, making it more challenging to begin the next day on the right foot.

Your body doesn’t process food as well while you’re sleeping. So instead of burning calories through regular activity, you’ll store more fat and gain weight more quickly. This can also disturb your circadian rhythm, which is the natural way your body falls asleep and wakes up each day.

What you consume is just as important as when you do. For example, drinking caffeine or alcohol late at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and get enough rest for the following day. Food with high sugar content can also cause some issues, even if they are delicious.

Some foods and beverages are actually suitable for consumption before bed. Cherries, for example, have natural melatonin. Likewise, a cup of tea before bed can help you to relax as long as it doesn’t also contain caffeine.

Plan Ahead

Have you ever lay awake in bed stressing over the events of tomorrow? Unfortunately, this exercise doesn’t usually end up being all that productive. Instead of repeatedly experiencing an existential crisis each night, you should incorporate some planning into your nightly routine. This will help you follow a consistent sleep schedule and set the stage for a solid morning routine.

There are quite a few things you can do at night that make mornings easier. You can pick your outfit for the next day and have it ready and waiting. Pack up anything you’ll need for school or work, so you don’t forget something important during a morning scramble.

You can also go over your schedule for the following day. Got a meeting planned for the first thing in the morning? Get it confirmed the evening prior. A simple confirmation can put your mind at ease and allow you to drift into slumber free from worry.

Fall Into a Routine

Keeping a consistent schedule is perhaps more critical than when you go to bed and wake up each day. Your body cannot adjust to a sporadic sleep schedule. You won’t feel as rested when you wake up at different times each day on varying hours of sleep.

This is an essential point for those who operate on schedules that stray from the norm. Those who work nights, for instance, can’t be expected to wake up at 6 A.M. when that’s the end of their shift. Instead, these individuals will benefit significantly from a consistent sleep schedule that fits their needs.

After a few days, you can start to adjust your own circadian rhythms. Even though you’re working through the night or following another irregular schedule, you can feel awake and refreshed every day. Routines can also help you quickly adjust to different time zones while traveling for business or leisure.

Work on Your Timing

There are plenty of beneficial activities. Sometimes the problem lies in the timing of it all. Moving some activities from night to morning, or vice versa is a small yet simple way to make a huge impact.

Exercise is a prime example. Getting proper daily exercise is vital for your health. However, exercise right before bed can pump your body with adrenaline, making it difficult to fall asleep. So switch that routine to the morning instead, and you’ll wake up your body for the day.

Evening exercise, on the other hand, may be the best of both worlds. It’s early enough that you still have time to calm down for nighttime. You’ll also burn some extra energy, so by the time bedtime actually rolls around; you’ll be sincerely tired. It’s all in the timing.

Consistency cannot be understated when it comes to any one of these takeaways. If you don’t stick with a plan for long, you won’t reap the benefits. Craft a strategy using this guide and plot your progress over a month. You should begin to see how evening and morning routines start to help you feel progressively better.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Maria Tyutina; Pexels; Thank you!

The Key to a Strong Morning Routine Starts at Night was originally published on by Max Palmer.

Successful Founders Do the Morning Routine Better

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morning routine

“Most of us would agree that having a healthy morning routine allows you to achieve your goals and ambitions easier and faster,” Dovile Sinke writes for 21 Day Hero. “Several health benefits such as better mental health, lower stress levels, increased energy, improved sleep quality, etc. can be achieved due to having a daily morning routine.”

As such, it’s no surprise that the most successful founder not only have a morning routine, they do it better. How? Well, here are just 12-morning routines that successful founders swear by.

1. Make sure you get enough sleep.

A study conducted by Royal Phillips showed that over five years, 44% of respondents had reported worsening sleep. In addition, nearly one in three Americans sleep less than six hours a night.

What’s the big deal about that?

According to the experts, we should sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. If that doesn’t happen, it can lead to a variety of disorders, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. All of these can lead to death.

Although we’re not trying to play down this issue, it is clearly impossible to perform well if one isn’t in tiptop shape physically or mentally.

It’s for this reason that successful people prioritize sleep. However, if you are struggling, the CDC recommends adopting these habits:

  • Consistency is key. In other words, get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Try to create a cave-like atmosphere in your bedroom. That means it should be cool, dark, and quiet.
  • TVs, smartphones, and other electronics should be banned in your bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • During the day, do some physical activity.

Putting in place a relaxing evening routine is also essential. A few ideas include meditating, reading, journaling, taking a bath, or reviewing your schedule for tomorrow. Clearing your mind and relaxing are two simple and effective ways to unwind.

2. Drink 12-16 ounces of water.

If you have slept for eight hours, you most likely feel lethargic and probably dehydrated. After all, during those hours of sleep, your body is working to recuperate from the day’s wear and tear. And, what’s more, your brain also requires water.

With that said, whenever you wake up after a deep sleep, slam plenty of water as soon as you wake-up. It is beneficial to drink water within 30 minutes of rising because it boosts blood flow, improves overall wellbeing, boosts alertness, and increases mental clarity.

What if you’re a coffee lover? You can still enjoy your morning cup o’ joe. But, you may want to wait. Research suggests that the best time for drinking coffee is mid-to-late morning, about an hour or two after your cortisol levels have dipped back down. So, if you wake up at 7:00 a.m., you should drink your coffee between 10:00 a.m. and noon.

3. Stimulate your mind.

“As an entrepreneur, you are a visionary and a dreamer who constantly thinks of new ideas or solutions to problems,” writes Nancy Solari for Lifehack. “It can become overwhelming having so many goals in your head, and you might feel like you are biting off more than you can chew.”

“To process your thoughts constructively and efficiently, you should stimulate your mind first thing in the morning,” such as;

  • Journaling. Consider the week ahead, note down tasks you’d like to complete, or just jot down whatever thoughts you need to get rid of. Writing in a journal can help you declutter your mind, which can help you feel refreshed when you wake up.
  • Self-reflection. Set aside anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes for this. By becoming aware of your feelings and emptying your head of anything holding you back, you will find it easier to focus on other things.
  • Read or solve a crossword puzzle. You can also improve your concentration by reading or doing a crossword puzzle in the morning. You can read just a page or one article in a newspaper in the morning if you feel you don’t have much time.
  • Watch the news. Watch the news or listen to a funny or inspirational podcast if you want to relax and veg out in the mornings. You don’t have to do much to do these activities, but they allow you to be aware of what is going on and provide a reprieve from constantly thinking about your business.

4. Practice mindfulness.

One of the most common habits of highly successful people is a quick meditation session in the morning, and ten minutes of mindfulness every day can help you get started in the right direction. Harvard researchers found that meditation effectively reduces stress and anxiety, so meditation can help people focus, sleep better, make better decisions, and regulate their thoughts.

Many widely successful entrepreneurs like Oprah, Arianna Huffington, Jeff Weiner, Russel Simmons, and Marc Benioff all meditate. In fact, Winfrey meditates each morning and evening for 20 minutes consistently. She explains that meditation allows her to be in tune with her mind and body. A quick meditation session in the morning is a must for Arianna Huffington as well.

5. Get the blood pumping.

There’s no way to overstate how good exercise is for you.

“I find exercise the most natural and effective mood booster there is,” writes Richard Branson. “You only have one body and one shot to look after it – and the older I get, the more important I realize my health is.”

“If people feel their best, they will be their most productive selves at work,” adds Branson. “I find exercise the most natural and effective mood booster there is.” In addition to increasing your energy, this morning routine improves memory and mental sharpness, promotes creativity, and reduces stress.

Know that you might not have the availability as Branson. Ideally, though, you should try to squeeze on 20 to 30 minutes per day exercising. If you’re really crunched for time, at least go for a morning run or walk or a 10-minute yoga workout.

And if done consistently, it can keep you in better physical shape and better health, allowing you to be more productive. So try to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day, even if you can’t squeeze it into your morning routine.

6. Engage in self-care.

Entrepreneurs and founders rarely discuss self-care or don’t make it a priority. However, you must also take care of yourself if you want to succeed.

Self-care can take many forms, but one or two of these acts should be included in your daily routine. The key is to slow down whatever you are already doing. For example, instead of grabbing a cereal bar or hitting the drive-thru for breakfast, make a healthy omelet. And, while you do, listen to your favorite tunes.

7. Make your bed.

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” said Naval Adm. William McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, in his commencement address at the University of Texas at Austin. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”

“By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed,” he added. “Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”

“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right,” said McRaven.

“And, if you have a miserable day by chance, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

8. Jump into a cold shower.

Some highly successful people swear by cold therapy, even though a cold shower may sound like the absolute last thing you’d want to do to start the day. For example, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey begins his day by taking an ice bath every morning.

In addition to creating a jolt to the system, a cold shower can increase oxygen intake and circulation — getting you ready for an eventful day. Moreover, there is research that cold showers can strengthen your immune system and relieve symptoms of depression.

However, be aware of the risks as well. For instance, if you have heart disease, the stress of a cold shower could lead to an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia.

But, if you want to proceed, exercise physiologist Zach Carter, CSCS, recommends giving your body time to adjust. You can receive some results from thirty seconds under a cold stream. And, after three minutes, the benefits of drinking cold water start to wane.

9. Declutter.

When your home or office is clutter-free, you’ll feel less stressed and less anxious and spend less time getting ready for your day. But does that mean you have to spend several hours each day doing this? Nope.

You could dedicate 10-minutes in the morning to filing paperwork, cleaning out your calendar or inbox, or putting or your breakfast dishes.

10. Set your goals and priorities in stone.

If you want to succeed, you can’t ignore the importance of goals; they serve to motivate you while providing direction for your life. Many people, however, do not set smaller goals daily even when they have solid long-term goals. Examples could be spending less time in your inbox or mapping out your social media content calendar for the month.

Think about the day’s most important goals and priorities during the morning. What would you like to accomplish? What are your top priorities?

After identifying your goals and priorities, add them to your calendar. When you do, this makes them non-negotiable. And it prevents less essential items from eating up your valuable time.

11. Focus first.

Doing your most important work first makes sense, and many entrepreneurs swear by this concept. Why? Because this is often when we have the most energy and fewer distractions like your kids or non-stop notifications.

Dr. Ivan Zakharenkov, whose company helps veterinarians transform their business operations, says, “the first 90-180 minutes of the day is when the brain is most productive in combining the information deposited in the long-term memory during sleep.” So he takes advantage of this valuable time.

“I drop into doing the most important work that I lined up the night before with all distractions turned off.” While business coach Melitta Campbell plans each day ahead of time, “so I wake up with intention. Before getting out of bed, I remind myself of that day’s goal and my first steps toward this. It prevents me from being distracted by social media or email, i.e., other people’s priorities!”

The founder of the eCommerce store Brown Skin Dark Lips, Natalie Glover, has an innovative approach. “Every day, I log into Zoom at 5:30 am to join a power hour with fellow entrepreneurs. We sit in silence with our cameras on, and I focus on tasks which need uninterrupted quiet time and concentration before the children wake up.”

Glover is building her business while she finds companionship here. “Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, something only fellow entrepreneurs can empathize with. So if I can physically see that I’m not really alone, it’s encouraging and motivating on the difficult days.”

12. Be predictable, yet flexible.

Although most entrepreneurs don’t enjoy predictability, sticking with the same morning routine can sometimes be a good idea. When the following chain of events and activities is predictable, getting ready for the day requires less mental energy and focus. As a result, you can focus on what’s truly important and conserve your energy.

At the same time, if your morning routine is no longer cutting it or you feel that you’re in a rut, don’t hesitate to shake things up. Remember, it’s your routine. So, do what works best for you.

Image Credit: Taryn Elliott; Pexels; Thank you!

Successful Founders Do the Morning Routine Better was originally published on Calendar by John Hall.

11 Morning Routines to Save Your Day

By | Time Management | No Comments
11 Morning Routines to Save Your Day

The morning routines of nearly every person have been turned upside down over the past year. As a consequence of lockdowns, self-isolation, working from home, and other family responsibilities, creating productive morning routines can seem like a difficult task. And, now that things are somewhat returning to normal, routines are shifting yet again.

However, instead of dismissing these changes as an inconvenience, implement a morning routine that will save your day. As Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning”, writes, “Focused, productive successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life.”

With that in mind, here are 11-morning routines you should try out today.

1. Wake up 15-minutes and be selfish.

Mornings, according to Chief Hop in Stranger Things, “are for coffee and contemplation.” And, I couldn’t agree more.

Personally, I’ve never been the type of person to roll out of bed and jump into the day. I need to wake up and just be for a couple of minutes. Coffee or tea is another requirement. And, as I’ve gotten older, this quiet time allows me to catch up on the news, respond to emails, or review my plans for the day.

At the same time, I also understand that this isn’t possible for everyone. If you have a newborn, having any amount of free time is wishful thinking. But, if you constantly feel like your mornings are a chaotic rush, you might want to get up earlier.

That doesn’t mean forcing yourself to get up at 5 a.m. — especially if you’re not a morning person. But, you could just set your alarm 15-minutes earlier. It might not seem like much, but you can spend that time however you want, like engaging in a daily self-care routine.

2. Engage in morning creativity.

“Creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself and connected to the world,” Christianne Strang, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Alabama Birmingham and the former president of the American Art Therapy Association, told NPR.

“Anything that engages your creative mind — the ability to make connections between unrelated things and imagine new ways to communicate — is good for you,” adds Girija Kaimal, a professor at Drexel University and a researcher in art therapy. Specifically, being creative helps you imagine a more hopeful future and activates the brain’s reward center. And, it can lower stress and strengthen your focus.

Know that you have 15 extra minutes in the morning, you can color, sketch, write, or knit part of a scarf.

3. Exercise…for under 10-minutes.

“The benefits of breathing and meditation are undeniable; just a couple minutes of relaxation can make your mind sharper, your senses more alert, and your entire body more peaceful,” notes Lily Herman over on The Muse.

“But in practice? Taking time to step away and meditate can seem daunting, not to mention confusing and difficult in the beginning,” says Herman. “I’ve personally tried getting in the zone to meditate on many occasions and have never really been able to find pure relaxation.”

The answer? Trying out the following two super-quick exercises;

  • To increase your energy, set a timer and close your eyes for two minutes. Next, breathe in through your nose and four counts and out for three. This will stimulate your sympathetic nervous system making you feel more active and animated.
  • To feel calmer, do the opposite. Inhale for three counts and exhale for four. This will trigger the parasympathetic nervous system making it easier for you to relax.

If you want to get your body moving, and you have the time, consider going for a morning run — or at least a brisk walk. You could also try a 10-minute yoga workout. Physical activity increases blood flow, stimulates the brain, and enhances your mental performance.

4. Establish a tech-free zone.

For the most part, I’ve done a solid job of following my circadian rhythms. Because of this, I tend to follow the same wake-sleep pattern. And, that means I’m not reliant on an alarm — my dog also shares this routine and gets me up at the same time every morning.

But, not everyone is as fortunate. So, it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra layer of security. In this case, an alarm clock.

Instead of using your phone though, go out and purchase an actual alarm clock. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. After all, it serves one purpose, to wake you up at a specific time.

The reason? It’s a simple way to prevent you from laying in bed and scrolling through emails, social media, or the news. In addition to being a waste of time and distraction, it’s not good for your health and well-being. Case in point, in the midst of this seemingly neverending pandemic, doomscrolling has become an unhealthy habit.

5. Take care of the little things and then eat your frog in the morning.

If you’ve ever searched for productivity hacks, I’m sure you’ve come across the saying “eat the frog.” You’re not eating an amphibian for breakfast. Rather, it’s a metaphor for your tackling your most important or challenging tasks for the day first.

In theory, this makes sense. We tend to have the most energy and focus not too long after waking. What’s more, this presents distractions and procrastination from holding us back. And, we can all take a sigh of relief once these responsibilities are done and over with it.

But, there’s something to be said about addressing the little things first. While you may not consider these a priority, they can interfere with your focus by creating mental clutter. For example, if you have to make an appointment with your vet or answer a question in an email, these will keep nagging at you until they’re crossed off.

So, why not get these out of the way bright and early? As an added bonus, this will also help you build momentum to actually eat that frog.

6. Quell negative thoughts and refocus.

Dr. Greg Hammer, a physician and professor at Stanford University Medical Center and author of Gain Without Pain: The Happiness Handbook for Health Care, recommends taking a four-step intentional approach to start your day.

  • Gratitude. Regardless if this is in a journal or a mental note, acknowledge three things that you’re grateful for.
  • Acceptance. Observe, feel, and accept whatever you can not change.
  • Intention. Make the decision to direct your energy towards the things that“are healthy, whole, kind, praiseworthy.”
  • Non-judgement. If you catch yourself categorizing something as good or bad, stop yourself and embrace“benevolent indifference”

7. Listen to your morning playlist.

“Regardless of whether you end up at a downtown office or sitting behind your in-home office desk, the morning is where you find the energy you need to power through the day,” writes Jordan Taylor Sloan for Mic.

“Scientists have found that songs with heavy bass (hard rock and hip-hop) inspire feelings of power, and produce a surge of confidence and more complex conceptual thought — a perfect start to any day,” he adds.

8. Activate all of your senses.

You’ve probably never realized this before. But, as soon as you rise and shine, all five of your senses are being put to work. It could be the sound of the alarm clock or birds chirping. If you have a coffee maker with a timer, you might smell that brewing. And, you can feel and see the sun on your skin.

Instead of tuning out, pay attention to these five senses. And, infuse them into your morning routine. Examples could be noticing how your feet feel on the floor when you first get out of bed or what colors you see. Savor the taste and smell of your breakfast. And, consider how your morning playlist makes you feel.

Tapping into your senses will help you make better decisions. And, more importantly, it can help you slow down, be more present, and appreciate what you have at the moment.

9. Take a shower.

“Humans tend to perspire at night,” says Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a dermatologist in New York and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “When you wake up in the morning, there’s all this sweat and bacteria from the sheets that’s just kind of sitting there on your skin.” So, taking a shower in the morning will “wash all of that gunk and sweat off that you’ve been sleeping in all night.”

While we tend to balk at taking a cold shower, you might want to give it try. Exposing yourself to cold water can increase blood flow and neurotransmitters.

10. Soak up the morning sun.

In the morning, sunlight promotes wakefulness in the body. The reason? It suppresses the production of melatonin, which gives you more energy. Open the blinds as soon as you wake up and/or flip on the lights to give your body energy. And, make sure you get plenty of sunlight throughout the day, whether you’re walking your dog or sipping your cup of coffee on the patio — just don’t forget the sunscreen.

What if you wake up before the sun has risen? Purchase an alarm clock that can mimic a sunrise. Examples include the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock or the HomeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock.

11. Don’t overload your morning routine.

It may seem counterproductive to say this after giving you so much advice. However, your own morning routine should be one that is most effective for you. Also, make sure to keep it short and simple so that it’s not overwhelming. After all, it’s not sustainable to have a morning checklist or routine that makes you stressed before you even wake up.

7 Tips to Develop the Perfect Morning Schedule

By | Business Tips | No Comments
50 Top Productivity Quotes For Work and Life

Ask any entrepreneur how they do it, and they’re bound to tell you it starts with their morning schedule. “If you win the morning, you win the day,” business guru Tim Ferriss likes to say.

What does it take to “win the morning”? While every entrepreneur has a different routine, they all know the importance of maintaining a healthy, consistent morning schedule. Here are their secrets:

1. Improve your sleep regimen.

The most important part of any solid morning routine is what happens beforehand: sleep. To build the energy, focus, and stamina you need for the day, get between seven and nine hours of uninterrupted rest each night.

How can you maintain that when there are so many demands on your time? Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Keep technology, bright lights, and anything that makes loud noises out of the bedroom. If you experience uneven or poor sleep, keep a sleep journal and ask a medical professional.

2. Wake up early enough.

Although some entrepreneurs swear by waking up before sunrise, not everyone is a morning person. What’s important isn’t necessarily waking up at 5 a.m., but rather waking up early enough to focus on yourself and prepare for your day.

Determine how early you need to wake up by writing down your morning habits. Include everything from brushing your teeth to eating breakfast to taking a jog. Note how much time each task typically takes you. Then, work backward from when you need to leave the house, leaving a five- or ten-minute cushion in case everything doesn’t go as planned.

3. Meditate on the day ahead.

Many health conditions that working professionals suffer from can be traced back to stress. Entrepreneurs have high-stakes meetings with investors, budget reviews, HR matters, and more weighing on their minds.

One of the best ways to start the day well is to meditate. Meditation is proven to reduce stress, fight depression, and increase energy. Some people simply listen to their breathing, while others pray, and still others chan a mantra. Whatever helps you find calmness and clarity for the day ahead, go for it. 

4. Squeeze in quality time.

The proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” has stuck around for a reason. Almost 10 million Americans work 60 or more hours per week, including a good number of entrepreneurs.

Rather than get to work as soon as you wake up, treat your mornings as time away from it. Write in your journal, read a book, go for a walk, or eat breakfast with your family. Whatever is fun for you first thing in the morning, make time for it.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast.

Work days are long. To ensure you have energy for the whole thing, start your day with a glass of water and a healthy breakfast. Even if you’re not a “breakfast person,” water will wake up your body and flush out toxins. Follow it with a banana, a couple of eggs, or a cup of yogurt. Avoid foods heavy in simple carbs, such as sugary cereals and fruit juice.

6. Do more with your morning commute.

Between work and family life, there’s never enough hours in the day to get everything done. If you have a daily commute, use it to your advantage: Accomplish minor tasks, such as online scheduling and answering emails, on your commute so you can focus on the big tasks during your scheduled work hours. If background noise is an issue, use ear plugs to preserve your focus.

7. Know your most productive hours.

Balancing work and life doesn’t necessarily mean that you must work a 9-to-5 job. Think about the hours when you feel sluggish: Is that post-lunch lull a problem? Do you struggle with mid-morning meetings?

If you’re an entrepreneur, simply tell your team that you’re shifting your schedule. Otherwise, talk to your manager about it. If you really shine during the 6-9 a.m. period, she might let you come in early and take off before everyone else. Just be sure you’re available for your work appointments and meetings.

Entrepreneurs who succeed maximize their time. Set up your morning schedule for success, and watch everything else follow in its footsteps. 

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