10 Tips to Ensure You Avoid Unproductive Mornings
Make a Productive Start to Every Day

We can open this feature by saying that if you’re already a morning person, the chances are that you’ll have no issues implementing these tips into your routine. You’re effectively part of the audience that could likely contribute tips of your own on the subject. However, targeting you alone would be the easy option, and we want this feature to become actionable by as many people as possible. That means that even night owls with the desire to perform better during the first part of the day have every reason to get excited too.

The use of these tips will require some willpower, but it can be worth it. Among the most satisfying feelings in the day is the thought that you accomplished something even before most people have started. It’s a great way to feel good for the rest of the day, no matter your plans. If you experience that feeling only rarely, give these 10 tips a go to put you in the best possible frame of mind.

1. Start by Getting Your Sleep Right

If you’ve been with us here at 10 Tips for a while, you’ll have noticed that we prefer the completionist approach, even if it might mean stating the obvious. That’s what we’ll do with this tip, but it is central to everything else. If you get up and still feel tired, you’ve immediately got a productivity hurdle in your way. We’ve covered sleep habits and the extra health benefits on numerous occasions throughout the site, so feel free to look up those features if you need help. At the most basic level, however, you should set yourself up for a good night’s rest if you want to reap the rewards of a good night’s sleep quickly.

2. Disable the Snooze Button

We won’t spend this entire feature on the sleep side of things, but one tip we always like to bring to the attention of our readers is that the snooze button is your enemy. You need to try to condition yourself to think about what you could achieve with those extra 10 minutes.

At a scientific level, you run the risk of your body beginning a whole new sleep cycle if you hit the button. Naturally, it won’t get the rest it expects with just a few minutes to play with, so you could potentially wake up feeling worse than when the first alarm went off.

3. Keep Your To-Do List in Check

You might be the kind of person that only adds the most pertinent tasks to your to-do list, or you might live by an up to the minute itinerary with every moment mapped out. If you want to focus on early morning productivity, it might make sense to cut down on the number of jobs. If your time is all yours and you want to get things done, it’s all too easy to roll over and go back to sleep if you have a mountain of jobs awaiting you. If you can spread the tasks out, it’s far easier to choose one to start with and set yourself up nicely for the day.

4. Save Your Emails for Later

It’s shocking just how many people’s morning ritual begins with an email check. There’s a good chance that you rank among their number and it should be top of the priority list for habits to break. A simple glance at the emails you received overnight can soon kick off long reply chains or give you something else to think about. Set several times throughout the day to check those emails, but ensure that first thing isn’t one of them.

5. Get a Head Start in the Morning by Preparing the Night Before

Preparation is common among productive people, and if you can devote some time to it the night before, you’ll be ready to dive right in when you get up. If your goal is general productivity boosts, it can be as simple as deciding on an outfit for the following day. If it’s work-related, you can pluck from your to-do list for the day ahead or set up document templates – basically anything that saves you preparing before you can get anything done.

6. Stick to the Plan

When you’ve gone to all that trouble to prepare, it’s essential to avoid distractions. Even those with the best intentions can suffer from getting sidetracked, especially if they don’t have a clear direction for the day. Know what’s next when a task finishes and you can move seamlessly from one to another with minimal downtime.

7. Don’t Forget Your Breakfast

While it can be tempting to dive right in on your planned tasks, it is vital to make time for breakfast first. You have a productivity advantage over everyone else that doesn’t eat it, as it provides the fuel to get tasks done to the best of your ability. It boosts concentration too, so you’ll make the most of your time through efficiency.

8. Set an Overall Goal for the Day

You’ve already done the hard part when you come up with individual tasks. Ordinarily, it is simple to come up with the broader goal but difficult to break it down. You’re already a step ahead, so consider your tasks and think about what you’d like to have achieved by the end of the day. This could be a certain number of something or a more significant event that all your smaller tasks contributed to.

9. Give Yourself Some Personal Space

Not all tasks are all about you. If you need to go into an office, public building or any other shared space, try to get there ahead of everyone. Life gets in the way when there are people around, so take advantage of the opportunity for some unbridled productivity without any risk of being disturbed.

10. Value Every Second

To finish off this feature, I’d like to mention the value of time. You have the same amount as everyone else and it’s what you do with it that counts. The most successful people don’t have any more of it than you, so if you find yourself procrastinating or tackling something that doesn’t appear on your to-do list, consider whether you would be better off diverting your efforts elsewhere. This is the best way to achieve your potential.