Rise and shine! It’s a new day filled with hours of time. The competition of being more productive than you were yesterday has officially begun.
Your level of productivity impacts what work you accomplish today. In the long-term, your level of productivity determines what you accomplish within your lifetime.
Upon waking up, the first hour of the day dictates how the rest of the day will go. Having a productive first hour will make it easier for you to be productive throughout the day.
To master that first hour, you need to establish a system for yourself. What must you do upon waking up? What conditions must be met so you can wake up feeling energized and able to accomplish your goals?
Those two questions form the core purpose of this blog post. Your path to a productive day starts the night before. That’s the secret.
Here are seven ways you can wake up feeling ready to go.
#1: Drink Water Upon Waking Up
It’s a well-known fact that our bodies need water to survive, but drinking water also gives us more energy.
Upon waking up, your body has not received additional water for about eight hours depending on how much time you spend sleeping.
Could you imagine going through a given day without drinking water for eight hours?
Your body needs the water. I learned about drinking water upon waking up from Peter Voogd in his book The Entrepreneur’s Blueprint To Massive Success. Regardless of how tired you feel, drinking water will give you more energy.
Normally, I would go back to bed half of the time. Ever since I left a bottle of water by my alarm clock, I wake up more refreshed because I give my body water right away.
Feeling refreshed upon waking up impacts how the rest of your first hour will go. If you feel sluggish upon waking up, then you are in the risk of having a sluggish first hour. That will almost always result in a sluggish day in which life is viewed as surviving instead of thriving.
#2: Plan Out Your Day The Night Before
I mentioned that productivity starts the night before. Just as students write their essays the night before (as a student myself, I know), you need to write down your goals the night before you want to get them done.
I’ll never go to bed unless I have a sticky note next to my computer listing all of the goals I must accomplish.
As I write these goals, I’ll think about why I want to accomplish these goals. Give yourself a strong reason to accomplish a goal. You’ll increase your desire and likelihood of accomplishing that goal.
If you wake up asking yourself what you should be doing today, there’s a problem. Writing the essay the night before is a problem for students.
But I’d rather write the essay the night before than on the morning that it’s due.
Waking up wondering what you’ll do is like writing the essay on the morning that it’s due. You can make it work, but why dig yourself into that hole in the first place?
#3: Know What You’ll Do First For Your Business
After you identify all of the goals you’ll complete tomorrow, organizing those goals is the next step.
Which task goes first? How long should it take? Ask yourself these questions the night before.
You don’t have to perfectly map out your entire day from start to finish. All you need to know are the first three goals you’ll accomplish upon waking up and everything else that you have to do.
Knowing how you will start your day and pursuing that work will make it easier for you to get into the workflow.
Just as it’s easier to write a blog post when you have an outline, it’s easier for you to tap into the workflow if you know what you’ll pursue first.
The workflow is that point in time when you accomplish goal after goal and feel like one of the most productive people in the world.
We all want to enter the workflow for our businesses.
Getting into the workflow requires the initial momentum that accomplishing three mini goals or pursuing one big goal can provide you with. Then it’s a matter of getting started with what’s left.
The sooner you get into that workflow, the more productive you will be on that day.
#4: Get Enough Sleep
This one sounds simple but most people don’t give their bodies enough sleep. Your body and mind are inseparable and impact each other.
If your body feels sluggish, your mind will feel sluggish. If your mind says you can’t continue running in a race, your feet will feel more tired than they really are.
In our busy lives, sleep is seen as an unproductive activity. People who sleep too long are labeled as lazy. Successful people who live with 4-5 hours of sleep each day are the emblems of excellence.
Some people brag about their lack of sleep and ability to still get stuff done. Most of those people do just that…get stuff done. They’re busy, but being busy doesn’t make you productive.
True productivity is work spent towards the goals that will have the desired impact on your life.
Sleep impacts our overall performance. The less of it we get, the less productive we are. If you get two hours of sleep each day, your productivity is going to decline very quickly.
Let’s not forget to mention that not getting enough sleep is a health hazard that can put you at risk. People who don’t get much sleep go through the motions but aren’t truly present.
With that said, getting too much sleep also has a negative effect on your productivity. Buffer suggests 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep each day to maximize productivity.
I prefer 7.5 to 8.0 hours of sleep each night. Everyone’s body is different in that regard.
What we all have in common is that we have a more difficult time sleeping if we use our smartphones, computers, tablets, or anything else digital an hour before going to bed.
I try my best to not use any device an hour before I go to bed. While I’m usually on my devices before I go to bed, there are some days when I’m not on my devices for at least an hour before I go to bed.
On the days I don’t use a device an hour before bed, I get a lot more sleep in. I’m more productive the following day.
#5: Do A Light Exercise Upon Waking Up
When I wake up, I exercise. On a really good day, I’ll get a quick bite to eat and go on a long distance run.
On most mornings, my exercise consists of stretches and core workouts. I run later in the day.
No matter how easy or difficult your morning exercise routine is, you’ll receive an endorphin boost upon completing the exercise.
Endorphins are hormones in the brain and nervous system that, when activated, boost your happiness and productivity.
The best part is that even a 5-10 minute exercise filled with easy stretches will increase your endorphin level.
It doesn’t take much time to get an endorphin boost, but the impact on your productivity will result in more work getting done in the long-term.
#6: Think About Distractions In Advance
We are surrounded by distractions every day. Each of these distractions can derail our productivity.
Write a list of all of the things that distract you in a given day. Later in the night, create an atmosphere that evades those distractions.
Do you like to go on Facebook when you wake up? Turn the Wi-Fi off. Remove the app from your smartphone if you don’t use it for business.
Put hurdles in front of your distractions so they can’t get in the way of your productivity. But never put hurdles in front of your family.
If you have numerous responsibilities as a parent, wake up earlier. Of course, this decision must be accompanied by sleeping earlier or taking naps so you don’t feel exhausted.
7. Wake Up Earlier
The earlier you wake up, the fewer distractions you’ll battle against.
Think about all of the possible distractions that exist at 6 pm. You may be driving to the grocery store, spending time with loved ones, or participating in another activity other than your work.
Now think about all of the things you are doing at 6 am. Most of the grocery stores are closed. Everyone else in your family is probably sleeping at this time.
Waking up earlier gives you more time to yourself. This additional time results in more getting done, and you won’t have to decide between family and work as often.
If you choose to wake up an hour earlier, leaving that water bottle next to your alarm clock will help out big time.
The more you prepare for productivity, the more productive you will become. High achievers are constantly preparing the night before.
The amount of time you are willing to spend to get prepared can make the difference between achieving your goals and all of those goals collecting dust on the to-do list.