Hey friend, come in a little closer… I’ve got some knowledge to drop.
Your non-existent morning ritual is really screwing you over.
Now I’ll spare you the common lecture of why a morning routine is good for motivation, and I’ll instead offer you an alternative idea– By not having a morning routine, you might be suffering from decision fatigue.
According to Jim Kwik, a memory improvement and brain performance expert that works with the world’s leading CEO’s and celebrities, “You can only create a finite number of good decisions each day.” This is why great minds, such as Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, wear the same thing every day— routine means less time wasted on deciding on menial tasks.
So what I’m saying is, your lack of a morning routine could be majorly affecting your momentum, creativity/innovation, and overall sensible decision making. In an article by Drake Baer, he describes decision fatigue as similar to being “hangry”, which eventually leads to two consequences: acting impulsively OR doing nothing.
Gulp. Thaaaaaaaaaat’s what I’m experiencing. Sporadically deciding on how I start my day has zapped me of my Girl-Boss superpowers.
If you’re like me and you’ve been spending too much time in bed, only to wake up and check your email/news/social media for an hour, then have a mediocre day that leaves you feeling less than accomplished– then it’s time to buck up and put your mornings to work for you.
Here is a list of musts for your morning routine:
- Wake Up at a Reasonable Time. Allow yourself 7-9 hours of sleep, but then get your butt out of bed. Put your alarm clock across the room, have a comfy sweater or robe nearby. For tips of waking up earlier, check out this article.
- Light It Up. Flip the switches, open the blinds, light some candles. Light it up, so that your body knows it’s time to kickstart that circadian rhythm.
- Drink a Glass of Water. Before coffee, wake up your organs with a full glass of water. Add lemon.
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast. Start your day off on the right foot. Don’t neglect the carbs! Early carb loading by means of toast or steel cut oats helps give you energy for the day, and might even prevent your late night sweet tooth.
- Get the Blood Flowing. Doing light exercises, such as the New York Time’s-approved 7-minute workout, and light stretches will help you get your energy levels ready for the day.
- Plan Out Your To-Do List. Make sure you include all tasks, big or small. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, “Even ordinary, incremental progress can increase people’s engagement in the work and their happiness during the workday.”
Once you’ve mastered the musts, then consider adding these elements into your daily routine:
- Make the Bed. Starting the day by checking off this chore gives you an automatic accomplishment.
- Journal. Write 2-3 pages about anything– your dreams, your challenges, goals, experiences, ideas. Daily journaling can lead to higher IQ, emotional intelligence, communication skills, mindfulness, more creativity, and and better self-discipline, according to an article in the Huffington Post.
- Focus Your Breathing/Meditate. Meditation is like weightlifting for the brain. It reprograms your brain for better focus and communication. Try an app, like Head Space.
- Juice and Take Your Vitamins. Get it in. This one is self-explanatory. Find all kinds of recipes on Pinterest.
- Read a Book/Article. According to Jim Kwik, you can read one book per week in only 30 minutes a day.
To sum it up– you could very possibly be experiencing a “funk” just by having decision fatigue. Create a consistent, engaging morning routine and watch how you, and your productivity, blossom once more.
Other articles on morning routines:
Jim Kwik, “My Morning Routine” http://jimkwik.com/kwik-brain-016/
Taylor Pearson, “The Perfect Morning Routine (Backed by Science) https://taylorpearson.me/morning/
Elle Kaplan, “How to Make Better Decisions: Why Zuckerberg and Obama Wear the Same Thing Daily” https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-make-better-decisions-why-zuckerberg-and-obama-wear-the-same-outfit-daily-1b08366b76cd
Sophie Miura, “CEOs Agree–This Morning Habit is the Key to Success” http://www.mydomaine.com/decision-fatigue
Carolyn Sun, “14 of the Best Morning Routine Hacks Proven to Boost Productivity” https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/305438