“Here’s some of the things I’ve changed in my life to become a morning person.
1_A good morning starts the night before.
Get all the things you need ready the night before. It’s a double time saving as some morning-tasks take longer as your brain is still waking up. I get my laptop and gym-bag by the front-door ready to go and get my clothes in a pile ready to put on.
Mentally prepare for the next day by scanning your calendar. Knowing what’s on and where you need to be, removes any lingering questions from your head.
Clear your mind for sleep. Phil Jones, MD of Brother UK and president of Forever Manchester, told me he has an iPad by his bed to note down anything on his mind so he can wipe it from his conscious and have a good night’s sleep. He can then pick up his thoughts again in the morning.
Work out what helps you sleep. Getting to sleep is a challenge for almost all and so much has been written on how to get a great night’s sleep; what worked for me was simply reading, and occasionally herbal sleeping pills.
2_Improve the transition from fast asleep to wide awake.
Use a Fitbit as an alarm. It’s a wrist-based fitness tracker that’s comfortable enough to be worn in bed, and it includes a silent vibrating alarm. It’s a far more gentle way to wake up, with the added benefit of waking just you up, and not your partner.
Don’t hit the snooze button. A study in 1999 that involved Harvard Medical School found that the going back in to sleep mode disrupted your ability to concentrate.
Get a Wake Up light. These devices simulate sunrise, filling a bedroom with a glow around thirty minutes before wake-up.
3_Wake up earlier and make it count.
Reclaim the morning and get up earlier. There’s no feeling like being in the office at 7am and having a full 2 hours before everyone else comes online. Don’t aim too early at first; stagger yourself back slowly in twenty minute increments.
Don’t waste those extra hours in the office. Set yourself micro-goals that will impact on your day, with a 9am deadline. I want to wrap up my replies to urgent emails, set out my to-do list for the day and I like to include a social element. Catching up with a member of the team before 9am is a rewarding way to start the day.
4_Reward yourself every morning.
Do something you wouldn’t normally do each day, something that makes you happy.It’s a great to hack your morning to increase productivity, but if you can build in something that also makes you happy then you have a double win. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a donut at your desk, a smoothie and a newspaper in a quiet part of the office or something that has bacon in it.
5_Exercise to gain energy in the morning, not lose it.
Do it. Do it. Exercise first thing. Exercise in the morning gives energy, rather than taking it. I always hit the gym first thing: it gets my body and mind fully awake to hit the rest of the day.
Get someone else to motivate you. I love training alone, but I never put in as much work at the gym as when I’m with someone else.
Exercise gets you out the house earlier. There’s no need for a shower if I’m going to be caked in sweat in twenty minutes, so the only thing standing between me and leaving my house is putting on my gym kit.
6_Save coffee till later. Go water. Go juice. Go vitamins.
Ease the body in with something that isn’t coffee. Sleep is hard work for the brain, it needs to make sense of all the craziness of your day. When you wake up, don’t provoke it with coffee, but feed it with the hydration and nutrients it needs to get up and running.
There are other coffees. Early morning nutrition is vital.
Go Berocca. Just launched in the US, Berocca fills you with vitamins and gets you hydrated with water.
Have an awesome morning tomorrow!”.
Al Mackin co-founder & CEO of Formisimo and founder & chairman of theEword