5 Morning tips for a Productive Day

1. Skip the coffee (for now).

Before you go on that tangent about how you can’t possibly live without your coffee, hear me out. You don’t have to give up coffee for good, but try reaching for something else first. A cup of lukewarm water with freshly squeezed lemon gives you a more natural “kick” in the morning. Plus, it has many health benefits such as kicking your metabolism into higher gear, clearing your skin, providing a non-addictive form of energy, and keeping your mouth healthy. Wait at least an hour before eating or drinking anything to optimize the benefits.

2. Don’t reach for your phone.

Many Americans report grabbing their phone as soon as they wake up. They browse through Facebook feeds (which studies show just make you feel worse about yourself). They groan at the influx of client requests already piling up. They scan through their favorite news app and see heartbreaking coverage of diseases and breaking wars, photos of celebrities in feuds, and other stressful scenarios. Instead, adopt a healthier “first thing in the morning” habit such as light stretching, dancing in front of a mirror or making the bed (you’ll feel better for it).

3. Adopt a good hygiene ritual.

Whether you like to shower first thing or wait until after your morning workout session, a good hygiene ritual is crucial–even if it’s just for your face. This is pampering time, and an easy way to continue looking your best while running a successful business. Entrepreneurs who work from home are especially vulnerable to getting into slob mode. At the very least care for your face, which isn’t just a beautifying move but also refreshing.

4. Create a triage to-do list.

Most entrepreneurs have a smorgasbord of requests to fulfill every day. It can easily be overwhelming, but don’t delve into multi-tasking. Research shows that nobody is good at it, and when you’re not giving 100 percent to any project, it’ll come back to bite you. Have an evolving task list each day that you check off. It’ll help keep you on track and ensure none of the minor details are missed. Start the business portion of each day updating your list and gauging where you stand.

5. Claim your space.

A productive work space is critical whether you call your home an office or if you have to commute. Ideally you neaten up your work area each evening–but if that didn’t happen, do it in the morning. A sharp, clear mind demands a clear space. If you’re into feng shui (or are willing to give it a shot), find out how to better organize your office area. You might be surprised by the results.

Your mornings set the stage for the entire day. Choose wisely, take your time, and don’t forget to prioritize yourself along with your business.

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