I am simply not a morning person. I would much prefer to spend a few extra hours in bed each day, not feeling rushed or hurried. Unfortunately, real life demands that I often rise before the sun, am out the door before daybreak, and sometimes don’t leave the office until the sun has already set. These types of days can be especially taxing, leaving me feeling sluggish and irritable in the early morning hours. Thankfully, over the years, I have developed some tried and true methods to assist with alertness and productivity in the mornings.
Keep a Schedule
I know that most people relish those Saturday mornings when they can sleep a little later, but for me, I’ve found that to be counterproductive. I do tend to sleep a little later on the weekends, but find that I have a more productive week and days with better focus when I maintain a routine. Though there are some nights when I might get to bed a little later or sleep an extra hour in the mornings, for the most part, I keep to my routine. I go to bed each night around 11pm and sleep until 6am.
Different bodies require differing amounts of sleep, so it’s important to take that into consideration. For me, 7 hours works great. Some people, however, need 8 hours, while I’ve also known some people that function perfectly with 4.
Buy the right Mattress and Pillows
Not all mattresses and pillows are made alike; not all people require the same things. For me, I enjoy a fairly soft mattress and pillows that are firm. My mom, on the other hand, like a soft, feathery pillow and a very firm mattress.
It’s important to buy a mattress that makes you comfortable and is a good fit for your sleeping style. If you aren’t sure, try them out in the showroom, or take advantage of free in-home trials that many mattress companies now offer.
Pillows are equally important, as they support your neck and help to ensure that your spine is properly aligned. Pillows designed specifically for back, side, or stomach sleepers can be a great investment. Just like with a mattress, it’s also important to take into consideration the amount of firmness you need for comfort.
Investing in new pillows and a mattress can be a big investment, but quality items will last for many years. It’s well worth the money!
Give yourself 15 minutes.
I have to be out the door each morning before 7:45am. It takes me about an hour and a half to get through my morning routine, yet I give myself a 15 minute buffer. I am a slow riser, so I like to use that time to wake myself up. I get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off, make a cup of coffee, then just sit and give my body some time to adjust. This is a crucial time for me. I’ve found that when I don’t have those few minutes of quiet and peace in the mornings, my day often feels rushed and I feel out of sorts. I need those minutes for mental clarity, to help me recall my to-do list for the day.
Plan the night before.
A productive morning actually starts the night before. By taking just 10-15 minutes to do a little planning, I can make my morning easier. This can be as simple as packing a lunch, getting the coffee pot ready to go, choosing clothes, ironing, or taking a shower. By eliminating these small tasks, I can save myself some time and plan for a more productive day.
For more productivity tips from the experts, please visit Fast Company.