Morning is by far my favourite time of day..I’m by far the most productive from around 5:00am-11:00am. That block of time is small, but that amount I can accomplish (if I follow my daily tasks) is outstanding. Sometimes when looking at my list of tasks I wrote our for the entire week, I realize I crossed off about half within the first two hours. These two “golden hours” are primetime for me to focus and get things done! This is usually from 7:00am until 9:00am. It is essential that I make use of those two hours everyday to maximize my productivity. There are, however some things I do every morning to help me get into this state. Below are 5 tips in maximizing those golden hours of productivity.
1.Wake up 2 Hours Before Work
This one is difficult for some… My work days are kind of weird. I structured them this way purposely..I work Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:00am-3:00pm and I work from home Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every morning that I go into the office, I get up promptly at 4:30am. I make a quick coffee, put my workout clothes on then sit at my computer and read engaging and highly intellectual content in my chosen field; marketing. I follow a few really great blogs including Quick Sprout’s Neil Patel, Buffer’s Belle Beth Cooper, Moz’s Rand Fishkin, and Will Reynold’s Presentations. Reading a few posts from these marketing gurus gets my creative brain juices flowing and puts me in a highly productive mental state.
2. Exercise in the Morning
This is my favourite and least favourite thing to do during my entire day. I must admit, it is extremely difficult to push myself to get out the door at 5:00am in the morning, but when I think about the feeling afterwards and the feeling that carries me through the rest of the day, it’s totally worth it. I’ve gotten in the habit to throw my gym clothes on the moment I wake up. That’s the most important first step in getting my ass out the door. Whether I workout in the gym or going for a run with my dog outside, my endorphins kick in and not only do I think about the content I just read (in tip #1), I start thinking more creatively on problems that I’ve been facing at work and possible solutions to fix them.
3. Listen to Audiobooks on Your Commute to Work
They don’t have to be audiobooks. You can read too (if you’re taking transit). I’ve learned to make the most out of my commute, by feeding my brain with amazing content. If you think in the long term about how many hours you spend daily in a car, bus, train, subway, etc. it’s crazy to imagine how many years of your life is spent in a vehicle of some sort. In the span of your lifetime, you could spend years of your life commuting. Why not turn your car into a university on wheels and teach yourself a thing or two.
4. Drink and enjoy the experience of coffee
For me, there is nothing better then the first cup of coffee in the morning (and I’m sure many others agree). It is not just drinking the coffee I enjoy, but the experience as a whole. It is almost mindful..the experience from start to finish. Opening the bag of fresh beans, smelling the contents of the bag (so heavenly), grinding the beans then putting the contents into your favourite coffee making apparatus, listening to the sound of the coffee pour into your best mug then taking that first sip. This is my form of meditation in the morning. Really focusing on the sights, smell, sound and taste give my senses an uplift for the whole day. It helps me relax and be more present in the moment.
5. Do your most important task first
This is really important because it sets the stage of how your day is going to play out. There is usually a big, hairy, painful task you know needs to get done at some point..Make it a habit to get it done first thing. The little things (checking emails, social accounts, etc.) take up a lot of time on a larger scale. Save those things for last..Or at least choose two designated times a day to conquer the less important tasks. Once you stop procrastinating and get the big task out of the way, you’re setting yourself up for success. In most cases, the hardest, most challenging tasks are the most rewarding in the end. Get these done first.