Some people are natural morning people. They’re up at the crack of dawn, watering gardens, jogging, and doing God knows what else.
Then there’s the rest of us. The normal people.
I was never a morning person. I love working late into the night and sleeping into the morning. And then I had kids. And they ruined my work structure.
Through a combination of becoming a dad and working some real jobs, I had to learn some of the secrets to working in the morning. I had to figure out how to fight my natural instinct to stay in bed, and how to get up and be productive.
Starting work early is something we often associate with building wealth, you know, those “5 tips for success from CEOs” type thing. You’ve read them.
If you’re trying to create a killer morning routine, chances are it’s because you got some stuff you need to do. So in this article, I’m going to share with you seven productivity secrets for working in the morning.
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1. It starts the night before
If you want success in the morning, there’s one secret above all else… ready?
It starts the night before.
Let’s be honest, going to bed the night before working in the morning can suck. Especially if you hate your job. At the end of the weekend, there’s nothing you dread more than going to work. And so, often we react by binging Netflix or doom-scrolling Twitter.
It’s our own little “f***” you to the reality that is our life. (By the way, what about finding a job you love?)
Heck, even if you like your job, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to go to bed at night.
But a successful morning starts the night before. Set yourself up a bedtime routine. Make sure you give yourself a break from screens since the blue light from them has been shown to mess with your circadian rhythms.
Take a bath. Read a book.
2. Have a morning ritual
When I used to work in an office building, I often was the first one in the office. I had a long commute in, and I used to leave super early to try to miss the traffic.
Geez, I don’t miss those days.
Anyways, one of the ways I helped to keep myself grounded was with morning rituals that tied into everything else I was doing.
When I read the commuter bus, I would listen to inspirational music or talks. That’s when I discovered a love for personal development speakers like Tony Robbins and Les Brown.
When I got there, I would flip on the coffee maker and make myself toast. There was something about the ritual of the empty office that I ended up sort of enjoying.
Whether it’s making your coffee, having a shower, exercising, or taking your kids to the bus if you have some, working in the morning isn’t just about a CEO morning routine. It’s about establishing rituals that set you up to start your day.
3. Try some light therapy
I talked about circadian rhythms. They’re important when you go to bed, but also when you wake up. I live in Canada, where it’s often dark in the winter. That means it’s often dark for the first 2 hours of my day. I found it really difficult.
So one of the ways I learned to cope with it over time was with light therapy. It sounded stupid the first time I heard about it, but I bought a light box and I make sure I turn it on within 10 minutes of being out of bed.
It makes a difference!
(This is the light therapy box I use!)
4. Get stuff ready the night before
If you have to work in the morning and you are not a morning person, one simple hack is to get stuff ready the night before. Do your best to lay out your lunch, clothes, shoes, and whatever else you need to be ready for work.
It’s annoying to have to do it right before bed, but it can make a difference to your morning.
And let’s be honest, if you hate getting up, having everything done the night before can catch you a few more minutes of sleep.
5. Cold shower
I probably read it on one of those CEO lists, but a cold shower really jolts you awake. I hate stepping into a cold shower, it’s a nightmare. So if you’re not as hardcore as all the CEO is taking ice baths in the morning, try starting with the hot shower, turn the knob cold for 30 seconds, and turn it back.
It’s a good way to wake yourself up without ruining your life.
Research shows the benefits of these temperature shocks in the morning, and it can help to wake you up.
I think pretty much everybody knows that exercise can be part of a morning routine. But I’m going to be a bit controversial here.
I would only exercise in the morning if you enjoy it. Trying to drag yourself out of bed at 6:00 a.m. to do something that makes you miserable is a recipe for failure.
If you do want to exercise in the morning, start really small. Try doing push-ups or 5 minutes of yoga
I’m pretty consistent at hitting the gym. And over time, I realized that The Sweet Spot is actually later in the day for me. I work for a few hours, hit a plateau, and then go to the gym. It gives me a boost for the rest of the day.
7. Work right away
It may or may not be your jam, especially if you’re working from home. But I really love getting up and starting work right away. I often will work for an hour before anyone else is awake in my household.
That means that by the time lunch rolls around, I’ve done quite a bit. And I just find my brain is more productive in the morning.
It’s not always possible, but if you are working remotely, I totally recommend trying to start first thing you wake up. And as a bonus, you get more hours together at the end of the day to do whatever you want with.
When it comes to working right away, these are some of the things that have worked for me. Whether you are a first-time morning worker, or you’ve been doing it for life, I hope these are helpful for you.
Now Read: 12 High Income Skills to Teach Yourself