- Early birds get the worm!
I always used to believe that it didn’t really matter what time I got up. After all, I was going to be awake for the same number of hours either way, right?
Well, maybe not so much.
Being in tune with circadian rhythms can improve your quality of sleep which lowers your production of stress hormones, improves immune system, regulates appetite, and can decrease blood pressure!
Not only that, but early risers have reported that getting started earlier simply makes them feel more productive. Hopping up out of bed for that early morning run or blasting through a quick chore or two before sitting down to breakfast and a warm cup of tea leads to an instant sense of accomplishment that will follow you throughout your entire day.
- Make your bed
Admiral William McRaven of the US Special Operations Command, who is by definition a successful man, said in his Commencement speech at the University of Texas “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
In addition to giving you that first little zing of accomplishment, making your bed in the morning will set in your mind that the sleeping portion of your day is over. It’s rather like closing a book. You know that you have finished something.
Also, there is nothing more satisfying than walking into your room and seeing everything neat, tidy, and looking well put together.
- Schedule a morning workout.
Whether taking a morning run, doing yoga, or simply dancing to the music on the radio, getting your body moving first thing in the morning will make you feel more awake, energetic, and ready to meet the challenges ahead.
Having a morning workout does a myriad of things for both mind and body. Aside from the obvious benefits of potential weight loss as well as building muscle strength and stamina, the morning workout will make you feel more determined to strive for your successes for the rest of the day. Just like making your bed, each new accomplishment inspires you to reach for more.
But most importantly, your body will thank you for it!
- Practice self-care
On those days where we are stressed or over tired, self-care is often the first to suffer. While at least one of the previous things on the list could loosely be classified as self-care, in this section, I am referring more to skin care routines, manicures, haircare, etc.
Losing the time that we take simply to pamper ourselves can be detrimental to more than just the glow in our skin. Improving our appearance in our own eyes or pampering ourselves with a long hot bath in sweetly scented water with candles and a good book encourages our mind to realize that we value ourselves. It increases our self-esteem and decreases our stress levels. It can also be an important part of our daily schedule in either winding down for bed or mentally getting ready to greet the world.
The human mind is rather finicky. It likes order. When these routines are abruptly changed we can feel out of sorts and like we have left something unfinished which immediately distracts us from other tasks we should be focusing on.
- Clean as you go
Most of us lead busy lives. Work, chores, school, or friends fill up our days from beginning to end. We run from one task to the next with little time in between. We’re tired. It is easy to become overwhelmed when one of these things is pushed aside to make room for the others and it’s even more simple to put the chores off for a little extra television or Facebook time. The problem is that when we do this, the mess builds, and we lack even more motivation to tackle the job.
Unnecessary clutter may be distracting and overwhelming, but do not despair! Cleaning as you go will remove much of the stress!
When finished with a dish, immediately rinse it and place into the dishwasher or in a neat and separated stack on the counter. Laundry can be sorted as soon as you take it off, and anything that you remove from its place should be returned there as soon as you are done with it. These things only take a few seconds to do but will save you potential hours of picking up. After that, the only things you have left to do are the room by room chores such as mopping, dusting, or vacuuming which you can split up into manageable portions in your schedule.
- Practice the one-minute method
In the interests of further streamlining your chore time, consider the one-minute method. For those of us who have difficulty committing to longer chores, this way of cleaning is the perfect compromise. Basically, any one task that you see that can be finished in one minute you should do.
It’s just like Newton’s first law of motion. As soon as you finish what you started, you will find yourself doing more and more until you have finished everything because you are up and moving already. Aside from the physics of the situation, each time you accomplish an undertaking you will be rewarded with your own sense of achievement and will want more.
- Stick to your schedule
A good schedule is one that can be changed; it is true. However, if you continuously push your duties to the next day or even week then you will never finish (or start) anything at all. If you, like me, have a tendency to procrastinate until the final second on everything in general, you must stick to your schedule like glue. After you have learned to maintain a strict schedule, then you can slack off here and there if you must.
You probably won’t want to, but you can.
An excellent schedule is essential for making sure that everything which should be finished actually becomes so. Break all your obligations into manageable portions so that you do not become overwhelmed. When choosing a planner pick something that will not require more work than you are actually likely to put into it. You will want something attractive so that you will want to look at it, versatile so it will do everything that you need it to, and preferably conveniently portable so that you can add to or subtract from as necessary.
I like to tell people that my planner is my life, and I mean it. Without that planner sitting in front of me in gold, white, and green I would not achieve half as much as I do.
Make a schedule. Learn it; live it; love it, and most especially use it.
No journey would ever begin without taking that first tiny step. You are beautiful. You are accomplished. You can do this.