Your alarm rings, but you press the snooze button – repeatedly – until suddenly, you jerk awake to realise you have only 10 minutes to get dressed and dash out the door. Sounds familiar?
Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we learn a ‘trick’ or two to making our mornings more productive.
We’ve all been there. Mornings can be hard, especially if you haven’t managed to get enough sleep the night before. But if most of your mornings resemble the scenario above, it may just be a bad habit that’s worth breaking. Here are some simple habits to make your mornings calmer and more productive:
1. The five-second rule
American motivational speaker Mel Robbins’s five-second rule is an excellent way to rouse yourself in the morning. The idea is – when your alarm goes off, instead of hitting snooze or getting up immediately, just count down from five. Your brain is wired to expect some sort of action to happen when you count down to one, so your body is more prepared to get out of bed. The counting also drowns out any negative thoughts that are telling you to stretch out your final minutes of sleep for as long as you can.
2. Set an earlier alarm
Give yourself more time to be productive in the morning, so that you have a better chance to achieve your goals, like getting in some exercise, putting in some work for your passion project, or just meditating and creating a calm, zen headspace. According to a report in US-based news website Medium, start small, by setting an alarm five minutes earlier than when you would usually wake up. The next day, make it 10 minutes earlier, and the day after that, make it 15 minutes. As you tack on more minutes, you’ll develop a habit of waking up earlier.
3. Plan your morning the night before
By planning ahead, you’re able to consciously decide how to spend your time, and create more productive hours in a day. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, makes you more responsible, and increases your focus. If you have a goal you’re working towards, scheduling some time for it every day would likely help you reach it much faster than if you left it to fate.
As you make changes to your routine and track your progress, remember to treat yourself with compassion. Changing habits isn’t easy, so give it your best, but also try to give yourself some slack when you need to.