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How to Jump-Start Your Morning Productivity

Do you look around in a daze by noon wondering where on earth your day has gone?

So much of having a productive morning is about setting yourself up for success the night before.  Hit the ground running each day by incorporating these eight practices into your nighttime routine:

1. Empty your brain.

Write down everything you need to do or remember for tomorrow.  Trying to keep it straight or worrying that you’ve forgotten something makes for restless sleep when your head hits the pillow.  Get it all down on paper so that you can sleep undisturbed.

2. Now cross things off your list.

Most of us will write down way more than we can reasonably accomplish in a day.  Identify the items that you can eliminate as unnecessary, share with or delegate to someone else, or push off to a later date without issue.  Prioritize what remains.

3. Map out a rough schedule.

Lying awake wondering whether you’ll be able to get it all done tomorrow?  Make sure that you will by sketching out a rough framework for your day – maybe a 30-minute jog in the morning, an hour-long meeting in the afternoon, 45 minutes of soccer practice for your kid . . . you get the idea.  You’ll be able to see at a glance whether you have room to breathe or you need to pare down your to-do list further.

4. Tidy up.

It’s maddening to trip over toys and search fruitlessly for clean breakfast dishes before plopping down at a paper-strewn desk to work.  Don’t kill your morning momentum by forcing yourself to pick up yesterday’s residue as you go along.  Before bed, run through a quick clean-up routine so that you can move through your morning refreshed and unhindered by disorganization.

5. Get it together.

Make your morning run more efficiently by having your stuff ready to go.  Make lunches the night before.  Pack up your briefcase or laptop.  Find your keys and ensure that your electronics are sufficiently charged.  Have your kids load everything they need into their backpacks the night before.

6. Decompress.

Give your brain the opportunity to unwind before you hurl it into another busy day.  Carve out time at night to sit, go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, or do whatever calms your spirit.

7. Go to bed on time.

Don’t overfill your day to the point that you run yourself ragged late into the night before hitting the hay.  Set yourself up for tomorrow’s successes by prioritizing the physical and mental benefits of sleep in your schedule.

8. Set your alarm.

You’ve primed yourself for a productive day tomorrow!  Don’t throw it away first thing by hitting snooze five times before running out the door without your shoes and middle child.  Set your alarm to wake you with time to spare, and then get moving!

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