5 Ways to be More Productive in the Morning

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it's getting to that time of year, when your bed is comfier + warmer, so staying in & snuggling is much more appealing than hopping out of bed & getting a quick start on the day. during september, there weren't many days where i didn't start my day after 5:30am. (disclaimer: that early in the morning is still a little bit early for my liking...) so when october hit & i could sleep in past 7:30, i found myself doing just that. and then 8:30... and then 9:30... and then finally when i would get out of bed for the day, it was like 2:30pm and i hadn't done a single thing. 

and it started affecting every other aspect of my life. 

i was scrambling to get everything done before 6 when parker got home. 
i wasn't tired at night, so i'd stay up later... and consequently wake up later...
mack was a TERROR to be around because he was either hungry or bored or wanted all of my attention.
i didn't have anything scheduled out in terms of social media (which is kind of a big deal when you work for yourself & rely on social media as a marketing tool...)
i was late to what seemed like EVERYTHING that was important. (i HATE being late. it stresses me out + i think it's rather rude.)

there were lots of other things too, but you can catch my drift here. it affected a lot of other things. and it also affected my mood. i'm a pretty passionate person (passionate sounds better than moody or angry... ;)) already but then when i feel frazzled or unproductive it gets 129387091723401x worse. 

so i started making a few changes-- to my mornings especially-- & i've seen a huge difference already. so here they are: 

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1. wake up earlier. like i said at the start, in september, my work schedule had me out the door before 5:30 most days. that is not my jam & i usually feel pretty groggy + sleep deprived at that point. so i set an alarm for 7:00am. i like to read a blog post or two to help me wake up in the morning (scriptures make me fall asleep... so i try to save those for when i'm a little more alert...) so my alarm goes off at 7:00am & then i read a blog post or two until i'm more alert & awake.

2. go outside for 5-10 minutes. this is a new practice for me (well, new since june when we got mack) but it has helped me so much. i don't recommend getting a puppy for this, but it sure has helped. every morning around 7:45-8:00 i take mack outside so he can go to the bathroom. the first time outside is typically pretty short, then we go back inside, he eats breakfast & then we go back outside so he can go to the bathroom again. going outside helps wake me up because i get fresh air (and recently it's been pretty chilly, so that'll wake ya up REAL fast) & walking around helps get my body moving more. 

3. get ready for the day. it's no secret that i love to read blogs. but two of my favorite bloggers who also work mostly from home have shared this tip & i have seen major differences in my productivity when i get dressed as opposed to when i stay in my jammies or a pair of sweat pants. i like to shower in the morning as well, so that helps wake me up too. this has been a change for me because i don't typically love getting ready for the day (especially if i'm not planning on going anywhere) but i am WAY more productive + alert when i get ready for the day. 

4. eat breakfast. i'll be real. eating is definitely a chore for me. it's not my favorite thing in the world. but i know how important eating & nourishment is for my body, so i try to make sure that i eat breakfast, lunch & dinner. (i'm still working on eating nutritious meals, but i'll get there..) however, like all of these other tips, i've seen a huge difference in my day when i eat breakfast in the morning.

5. make a simple TO-DO list the day before. i lovvvvve to-do lists. checking things off is so satisfying for me. it gives me motivation to get things done + helps me to stay focused & on track. i try to keep my DAILY to-do lists pretty simple because i am really good at overwhelming myself. so i try to stick to 5-7 things a day. that way, i can accomplish them all. i have a running list of things that need to be done in my planner, so if i finish everything quickly, i can work on something off of the big list. but again, if those 5-7 things take me all day, i'm not too worried because i had them planned.

these things may seem pretty simple & almost "duh" worthy. but i honestly can't believe how much my productivity has gone up in the mornings recently. i've had a bit of a rollercoaster when it comes to schedules over the last few years & i KNOW that i am more productive & less stressed when i am have a schedule & i stick to it.

what tips do you have for a more productive morning?

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