After that horrid alarm disturbs your deep morning slumber, you drag your feet to the washroom to begin your day.
You feel super drained and groggy.
You believe you’ll feel energized after breakfast.
But you don’t.
You feel sluggish and unmotivated to start your work even though you’re well-rested.
So, you check your email. No harm, right? Starting with something light should slowly get you in the groove.
But before you know it, you’ve spent half of your morning on Instagram, Facebook and that dreaded Candy Crush.
And now you feel pangs of guilt for having wasted half your morning on social media.
I feel you.
I’ve been there.
I started implementing a few daily habits into my morning routine to kickstart my day and boost my energy. And they actually worked. Adding these few habits into your daily morning routine will amp up your productivity!
Let’s dive in to see what they are!
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- What to do the night before
- How to feel energized in the morning
- How to stay energized throughout the afternoon
- Bottom Line
What to do the night before
In order to wake up energized and keep your energy levels high during the day, there are a few things you can do the night before to prep for your perfect energized morning.
1. Plan your day
If you wake up without an agenda in the morning, you’re going to waste a lot of time just getting started.
It’s not pretty.
Planning your day the night before will help these tasks slowly seep into your subconscious so that you are prepared to tackle them the next morning.
I make 2 lists.
2. Avoid eating heavy meals at night
It is a good practice to have a heavy breakfast, medium lunch, and a light dinner.
Growing up in an Asian household, I had this totally reversed. And it’s taken me a long time to change my habits. But it was worth it.
The reason why you should avoid heavy meals before sleeping is you’ll end up with a bloated gut and an extremely high sugar content in your bloodstream.
This will affect the quality of your sleep. And if you don’t sleep well, you’re not going to have a very good time waking up.
I’ve found the best way to eat light in the evenings, it to plan my dinner in the afternoon itself and use a smaller plate to help you eat smaller portions of food.
3. Ditch your phone 1 hour before you sleep
It can be very tempting to just unwind on your phone before you sleep.
But the blue light that is emitted by your screen disrupts your production of melatonin. This is a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle which could lead to a night of disturbed sleep.
If your sleep is disturbed, you will wake up groggy. So, the key to waking up energized is to get good sleep.
Instead of looking at your phone, do something relaxing like:
- reading a nice book
- engaging in some soft and sweet pillow talk with your partner or pups
- indulge in some guiltfree self-care like applying body lotion or using a head massager
- drink some chamomile tea
If you feel the temptation to look at your phone is too much, charge it in another room.
4. Sleep early
If you want to stay sharp and focussed in the morning, you need a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep. You can survive on 4-5 hours but it’s not optimal and you will feel sluggish in the morning.
Besides, a lot of tasks do require a large portion of your brain’s energy and if your brain is tired, you won’t be able to focus properly.
So, sleep early.
Try to get in bed by 10 or 11 pm. And set an alarm for 8 hours after you sleep so that you don’t wake up groggy. The quality of your sleep really matters.
Make the room cold, by lowering your air conditioning temperature and use thick curtains (these blackout-lined curtains are my favorite) to block out all the light.
Now, there are 5 stages of sleep. Stage 1 and 2 are light sleep phases, 3 and 4 are deep sleep and 5 is REM (Rapid Eye Movement). You can read more about sleep stages and cycles here. Our body goes through all these sleep stages when we sleep.
If you wake up when you’re in the deep sleep phase, you will feel tired and your energy levels will be extremely low. This is why it is crucial to understand how sleep cycles work and wake up 8 hours after you go to sleep.
How to feel energized in the morning
By ensuring that you’ve had a good night’s sleep, 50% of your work is done. Your brain will be active and ready to take on the day.
However, there are a few more things you can do when you wake up so that you can maintain the same level of energy throughout the day.
5. Practice daily affirmations and gratitude
We underestimate the effects of positive energy. But trust me, it can change your whole day.
I usually start each day by reminding myself of 3 things that I am grateful for. Being thankful changes your perspective on life and helps you become more positive and content.
Then I say a small prayer or anecdote. It goes like this:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
I picked up this quote from this book that taught me how to stop worrying.
I am a person that gets stressed or anxious easily. And this small mantra changed my life. I repeat it every time I begin to stress over something that is not in my control. And it has helped me become more peaceful.
You can practice daily affirmations like:
- I am and always will be enough.
- I believe I will have a good day. And I will be able to solve whatever problem comes my way.
- I am doing what I do because I want to live a happy life – a life full of intent and meaning.
6. Visualize what your day is going to look like
I always mentally access what goals and tasks I need to complete and visualize my day in my head before I get out of bed.
Since I’ve already planned my day’s tasks the night before, this step becomes super easy.
Visualization is a powerful technique used by some of the world’s most successful people. Visualization activates your creative subconscious and you will get a lot of creative ideas to actually help you with your tasks.
It helps you build a positive and happy mindset and you will be prepared to take on any hurdle that comes your way.
How do you do it?
Just close your eyes in the morning and visualize actually finishing the tasks. Picture the results. This is just the motivation you need to feel energized in the morning.
7. Open the curtains and let in that good sunlight
The morning sun is really good for us. We have a biological rhythm within us that is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. It is also called the circadian rhythm.
Since we use artificial lighting at homes and offices, our bodies find it difficult to differentiate between morning and night – thus resulting in poor sleep.
The best way to sync our circadian rhythms is to expose your eyes and skin to sunlight before 10 am. So, open those curtains and stand on the balcony for at least 5-10 minutes every day.
The sunlight wakes up the cells in our body and helps release beta-endorphins which will make you feel more energized.
8. Drink hot water
Hot water kickstarts your metabolism, clears your intestines, improves your blood circulation, and keeps you hydrated.
That’s a lot of benefits for a glass of hot water, don’t you think so?
More than often, we feel tired and sluggish because we aren’t hydrated enough. It’s the last thing to cross our minds. But it’s so easy to fix! Just drink water.
Dehydration also leads to overeating and sleepiness.
So, keep a bottle of water by your desk so that you can stay hydrated and feel more energized throughout the day.
9. Have a protein-rich breakfast
Cereal, oats, and sandwiches are heavy carbs that will leave you full and sluggish. To combat the sleepiness, we down tea or coffee which is high in caffeine and gives us a temporary boost.
An alternate solution is to have a rich protein breakfast like eggs, greek yogurt, sausages, cottage cheese, quinoa, etc.
This will pump you up and keep you satiated so that you can work without feeling the need to snack or pause for a break till lunch!
10. Tidy up your workspace
Clutter leads to stress for most people.
There are studies done that prove that clutter problems lead to dissatisfaction in adults. And it can negatively impact the mental well-being of mostly women.
Everything else – I either discarded, donated, or kept inside my drawers and cabinets.
Currently, my desk only contains:
- My laptop for work
- My planner (that has all my daily blogging tasks)
- A rose gold pen holder for my pens and pencils
- My phone
- A small succulent (to help purify air)
Once you tidy up your desk and keep only what you need, your mood will elevate and you’ll notice a huge increase in focus.
11. Start with the most important task of the day
Never start your day with easy and short tasks, however tempting that may be.
Work on the most important to-do because this is when your energy and focus are the highest. It usually slumps around noon after we have our lunch.
When you start work in the afternoon, and you notice that you’ve already completed your toughest work in the morning, you will feel better and more motivated to complete the rest of the tasks.
Besides, you’ll be able to breeze through them since they’re light and easy.
At the end of the evening, go through all the tasks you actually finished. This will give you a huge motivation boost and a major feeling of accomplishment.
It will also prep you to stay focussed tomorrow and feel more energized to take on the next day’s tasks.
How to stay energized throughout the afternoon
Sitting all day hunched over your desk is really bad for you.
You need to move. You need to exercise.
When I had insomnia, I thought exercising would help me feel tired and sleepy. But I would return from my walk all energized and inspired to work.
This was when I realized that exercising actually boosts your energy because exercise helps you release more endorphins which is your body’s natural hormone that makes you happy and gives you a feeling of wellness.
Additionally, use an office chair that’s comfortable, has excellent back support, and helps you sit straight.
13. Read and watch something inspirational
We cannot work round the clock at peak motivation. Sometimes, it drops. And no matter how much we try, we sometimes become zombie-ish.
The best way to combat this and feel more energized is to do something fun or just take a break.
Use this 10-20 minute break to watch or read something that will actually motivate you to get back to work.
I usually watch 1-2 pitches on Shark Tank or read a Business book or binge on 1-2 modules of an eCourse. I also love listening to audiobooks during my break.
This motivates me so that when I return to work, I’m fully pumped and filled with creative juices!
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These are all the habits I eventually worked into my routine and it has helped me feel more energized. If you are unable to implement everything at once, don’t throw in the towel.
Work on 1-2 changes at a time and keep tweaking your schedule till you are happy and find something that works for you.
Keeping your energy bar full is no small feat. Don’t look at the number of hours you’ve worked in a day. Instead, monitor the quality of your work.
Track your tasks and go through your completed task list once you’ve finished your workday. This will give you a lot of motivation to help you plan the next day.
What is your favorite energy-boosting hack? Let me know in the comments below!
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