Mornings are the time of the day that are most neglected. "Morning people" are either looked at with awe or confusion, because a lot of us wake up with just enough time to shower, get ready and get out the door. While I know that my peak performance is not before 7 a.m., I do enjoy mornings. If you would like to make more out of the time before your commute, here are a few suggestions. Sometimes it's not about waking up earlier, but taking advantage of the time you already have.
Limit your screen time
I'm still trying to break myself of the habit of scrolling through all of my newsfeeds before bed. The blue lights from your phone affect your quality of sleep. The same can also be said for checking your phone first thing in the morning. Make a habit of not touching your phone until your feet hit the floor. For two reasons: I'm sure it affects your brain in some way and takes up a large amount of time. You will wake up faster once you get out of bed than if you lay in bed an extra 20 minutes scrolling through everyone's late night instagrams.
Light up your apartment
This has to do with your circadian rhythms. Just as you are supposed to sleep in a completely dark room, you should also turn on the lights or open the blinds when you get out of bed. This tells your body that it is time to wake up. If you're anything like me, you would rather shower in the dark than face the blinding light in your bathroom. Although your eyes are still adjusted to the dark, turning on a light will make such a difference trying to wake up. Half the battle of gaining an extra few minutes in the morning is not spending them in bed.
Complete a simple task
This applies to either your morning routine or once you get to work. The day before, I look at what I have left to accomplish and set aside one task to work on once I get in and to have finished within a short amount of time. Once you cross one item off, moving on to the rest of the day's assignments seems more bearable.
Pick out your outfit
I need to take my own advice here. Standing in front of your closet trying to find something to wear that is also the elusive "business casual" can be daunting. Especially if you haven't done laundry in a few weeks. Inevitably the outfit you plan in your head will be missing an item or two that is in the hamper. Or your shirt won't be ironed. Or you can't locate the skirt that you could have sworn didn't make it into your last Goodwill donation. Don't just plan out your outfit in your head; assemble all of the pieces and make sure everything is ready for the morning.
Create a morning routine
You may remember my post a few weeks about the importance of creating a morning routine. Having a set order not only helps you get to work on time, but also gives your morning some structure that will hopefully carry on throughout the day.