If most students have something in common, it's this: we all wish we could be more productive and get things done sooner, but we procrastinate a lot and waste a lot of time scrolling through our phones, checking social media, watching Youtube videos and sometimes we even sit around and do nothing. Everyone's heard that the start of your day sets the tone for the rest of your day, but is this really true? Are there things you can do in the morning to set yourself up for success during your day? Are there routines you should follow to maximize your productivity and creativity? There are, and it all boils down to this: your morning routine.
Successful people are often asked about their morning routine because others believe that by imitating their routines, they can take steps towards the success that they so desire. Just as I'm sure some students have a solid morning routine in place, I'm also willing to bet that many students don't have a routine, and instead find themselves wasting time each morning on things that don't add much value to their lives. While I myself am no expert, here's some input on things you can do as a student to add some structure to your day, and hopefully improve your productivity.
1. Wake up and exercise.
Many CEOs in New York like to wake up and try some yoga, go for a walk or hit the gym. It's really up to you. What's important is that you find a way to get your blood flowing and wake up your brain. Why is exercise so good in the morning? Amongst multiple reasons, people often work out to either stay fit or lose weight. By exercising in the morning, you're eliminating the possibility of having to put off your workout later, you're taking care of yourself and you're also being productive in a way that requires less mental effort than school or work.
2. Read (or watch) the news.
Yes, this may sound boring, but it's important to keep up with the world around us. Often times we find ourselves so chained by our schoolwork and other activities that we become isolated from events in the world of global economics and politics. Keep a news app on your phone, scroll through some news sites on your laptop or throw on news videos while you eat breakfast.
3. Work on a personal project.
With all the hustle and bustle of school, it's easy to push our personal goals to the side so we can keep up with our workloads. Carving some time out of each morning to work on something that's just for you, especially if it's creative, will set a positive, productive tone for your day. Don't believe me? Individuals like Beethoven, John Milton and Maya Angelou all tackled their personal projects in the morning – just think about how successful they were.
4. Plan your morning the night before.
This isn't something you can do in the morning, but it is something to consider. After all, it adds structure to your morning and will limit the amount of decision making you encounter once you finally wake up. It can be as simple as planning your breakfast, setting your alarm, picking out your clothes for the day, outlining the homework you want to complete, etc. Think of the things you'll need to accomplish and find a way to organize them.
5. Set a goal or intention for your day.
Be mindful of yourself, your health and your goals for the semester. Writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them, so go ahead and lock your ideas down on a piece of paper. It doesn't have to be anything over important – your goal can be as simple as promising to treat yourself with kindness, or it could be very specific and state a task or project you want to make progress on.
6. Eat a healthy breakfast.
Some people don't eat breakfast, but it's important to remember that breakfast is incredibly important for maintaining your health. Breakfast helps your heart, your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. Beyond that, students should understand the importance of giving your brain and body the nutrients it needs to function.
7. Take a few moments to reflect.
Think about yourself, your life and your goals. Are you achieving those goals? If not, are you taking steps towards the accomplishments you want to make? It's good to think about these kind of things in a clear headspace, where your thoughts are fresh and you don't have other tasks at the forefront of your mind.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether you want a morning routine or not. The benefits are great and quite practical, but it will take some getting used to for people whose mornings are not structured. Take it at your own pace and try a few different things to see what works best for you. At the end of the day, if a morning routine will help you become successful like the role models you admire, then what have you got to lose?
Lead Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt via Pixabay