10 morning habits that will make you more productive, according to psychology

Ava Sinclair by Ava Sinclair | May 10, 2024, 9:27 pm

Getting the most out of your day often starts with how you kick off your morning.

As someone who’s always looking for productivity hacks, I’ve found that the key to a successful day often lies in those first few hours after waking up.

Surprisingly, there are certain morning habits that, according to research, can boost productivity levels for the rest of the day.

These are habits that require no special tools or skills, just a little bit of discipline and consistency.

In this article, I’m going to share with you ten morning habits that will make you more productive, backed by psychology, and ready to conquer your day. Get ready to transform your mornings!

1) Rise early

It’s no coincidence that many of the world’s most successful people are early risers.

According to psychology, waking up early can significantly boost your productivity. It gives you a head start on the day, allowing you to focus on important tasks before the world wakes up and distractions begin.

Early risers tend to be more proactive and better at planning. They have time to set their goals for the day, visualize their success and start working towards it before others even hit the snooze button.

But remember, this doesn’t mean you should compromise on sleep. Ensuring you get enough sleep is crucial for maintaining productivity throughout the day.

So if you’re going to rise early, you need to make sure you’re heading to bed early too.

Starting tomorrow, set an alarm and try starting your day a little earlier. You might be surprised at how much more you can get done.

2) Exercise

Exercise might be the last thing you want to do when you’re still rubbing the sleep from your eyes, but incorporating some form of physical activity into your morning routine can have profound effects on your productivity.

Engaging in exercise first thing in the morning not only help wake up your body, boost your energy levels but also stimulates the release of endorphins, often referred to as “feel good” hormones.

This results in a positive mood and a heightened sense of wellbeing, which can significantly enhance your focus and cognitive abilities.

It doesn’t have to be a full-blown workout either. You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym for an hour-long workout. Even a brisk walk, some light stretching or a quick yoga session can make a significant difference.

It’s an investment in your productivity that pays off throughout the day.

So if you’re feeling sluggish in the mornings, incorporating a bit of morning exercise into your routine can be a game changer. Your productivity levels will thank you for it.

3) Eat a healthy breakfast

Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not just about filling your stomach in the morning. It’s about fueling your body and brain with the right nutrients to kickstart the day.

Studies show that eating a balanced breakfast can improve memory and concentration levels, make us happier and lower stress levels. Not to mention, it can also keep us from overeating during the day.

Opt for a breakfast that is high in protein, fiber and healthy fats. Foods like eggs, avocado, whole grains, fruits and nuts are fantastic options. So remember to make time for a good breakfast before diving into your day’s work.

4) Prioritize your tasks

Starting your day with a clear plan can be a real productivity booster. It can save you from feeling overwhelmed and ensure you focus on what’s truly important.

Creating a to-do list first thing in the morning helps you organize your thoughts and tasks for the day. But it’s not just about listing everything you have to do. It’s about prioritizing your tasks.

Psychology tells us that our mental resources are limited. So it makes sense to tackle the most important or challenging tasks first, when our energy levels are at their peak.

I usually like to follow the ‘eat the frog’ principle, which means doing the hardest task first. Once that’s out of the way, everything else seems much more manageable.

Try this strategy tomorrow morning. List your tasks, prioritize them and then stick to your plan. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can achieve.

5) Limit distractions

In this digital age, distractions are just a click away. Emails, social media, news updates – they can all pull us away from our tasks and disrupt our morning productivity.

One way to handle this is by setting aside specific ‘distraction-free’ times in your morning. During these times, make a conscious effort to stay away from potential distractions.

This could mean resisting the urge to check your phone first thing, turning off notifications on your phone or closing unnecessary tabs on your computer.

Psychology suggests that multitasking can actually decrease productivity. Our brains are not designed to handle multiple tasks at once, and constantly switching between tasks can lead to mental fatigue.

So, treat your morning as sacred. Protect it from distractions and you’ll find that you get a lot more done.

6) Practicing gratitude

It might seem unrelated to productivity, but the act of starting your day with a sense of gratitude can create a positive mindset that carries through the rest of your day.

Life can be tough and stressful. There are always tasks to complete, challenges to overcome, and goals to reach. Amidst all this hustle, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s going wrong or what we lack.

But taking a few moments each morning to jot down what you’re thankful for can shift your perspective from scarcity to abundance.

It could be anything from the comfort of your bed, the smell of fresh coffee, or the love of your family. This simple act can help you start your day on a positive note and set the stage for a productive day ahead.

This doesn’t mean ignoring the difficulties but choosing to focus on the good despite them. It’s not always easy, but it’s real, and it’s transformative.

And when you approach your day with this kind of mindset, your productivity is bound to increase.

7) Meditate

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to hit the ground running as soon as we wake up. But taking a few moments to slow down and center ourselves can have profound effects on our productivity.

Meditation has been linked to reduced stress, increased focus and improved emotional well-being. Just a few minutes each morning can make a big difference.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. As someone who naturally gravitates towards action, the idea of sitting still seemed counterproductive. But once I gave it a go, I quickly saw the benefits.

Those quiet moments of reflection provide clarity, calm my mind and set a positive tone for the day.

Whether you choose guided meditations or simply focus on your breath, this practice can be a powerful tool in boosting your productivity.

8) Stay hydrated

Keeping hydrated is crucial for maintaining good health, but did you know it also plays a key role in our productivity?

Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and reduced concentration. On the other hand, drinking enough water can help boost energy levels, improve cognitive function and keep us feeling alert.

So start your day with a glass of water. Some people prefer it warm with a squeeze of lemon for added vitamin C. It’s a simple habit, but one that can have a significant impact on your productivity levels throughout the day.

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. Make it a part of your morning routine and keep a bottle handy to sip throughout the day. Your body and brain will thank you.

9) Plan your day

Imagine trying to reach a destination without a map or GPS; you’d likely spend a lot of unnecessary time and energy just figuring out the right direction. The same concept applies to your daily tasks and goals.

Taking a few minutes each morning to plan your day can provide a clear roadmap for what needs to be accomplished. It helps prioritize tasks, manage time effectively, and reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed.

When planning, be realistic about what you can achieve in a day. Overloading your to-do list can lead to stress and decreased productivity.

Instead, focus on the most critical tasks first, leaving less important ones for later in the day when your energy levels may naturally dip.

Remember, having a well-structured plan is like having a personal guide through the maze of daily tasks, leading you towards productivity.

10) Consistency is key

No matter which habits you decide to incorporate into your mornings, remember this: consistency is the secret ingredient to productivity.

Psychology tells us that habits become automatic through repetition. So the more consistently you practice your morning routine, the more ingrained these productivity-boosting habits will become.

It won’t always be easy and some days will be harder than others. But stick with it. Over time, these morning habits will become second nature and you’ll be well on your way to more productive days.

Final thoughts: It’s about making it personal

At its core, productivity is about making the most of our time and energy. What works for one person might not work for another. It’s deeply individual and often intertwined with our personal habits and routines.

Productivity isn’t about doing more in less time; it’s about understanding your energy rhythms, tuning into your body’s needs, leveraging your focus optimally, and crafting a morning routine that complements your unique lifestyle.

As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” So let’s start cultivating habits that lead us to excellence in productivity and beyond.

Whether it’s waking up early, exercising, or practicing gratitude, each habit we’ve discussed has the potential to enhance your productivity. But remember, it’s not about implementing all these habits at once.

It’s about finding what works best for you and sticking to it.

Life can be unpredictable, and there may be days when your routine goes out of the window. That’s okay. Remember to be flexible and adaptable. The goal isn’t perfection but progress.

If a particular habit isn’t serving you or feels forced, don’t hesitate to modify it or try something different.

Adopting these morning habits doesn’t guarantee an increase in productivity overnight. It’s a journey that requires patience and persistence.

But with consistent practice and a willingness to experiment and learn what works best for you, you’ll find yourself moving closer to your most productive self each day.