After spending most of my twenties living with stress and anxiety (and not knowing it), I have come up with three really simple things you can do in the morning to help reduce stress and increase productivity.
1) DON’T check your phone when you first wake up
Think about it. You’ve just woken up, still blind in one eye from the sleep, and you’re suddenly bombarded with information. Combine the stress-induced cortisol pulsing through your veins with the early-morning cortisol kick we often get in the morning and you’ve got one hell of a cocktail brewing inside of you.
Our brains are like sponges. According to a study done in 2011, we are now taking in five times the amount of information than we were in 1986. That's crazy.
This is leaving our brains at a mental deficit that opens the door to:
an increase in stress;
a reduction in productivity;
and an inability to efficiently make decisions.
Trust me when I say that those messages/emails aren’t going anywhere! You can reply to them when you’re ready.
2) Treat your mornings like they are sacred
Mornings are completely my time. They give me space and the capability to tackle the day's tasks; a solid base to work from. I've noticed that the clients I work with who get up and head out are more likely to:
Experience increased levels of stress
Experience a feeling urgency
Are unable to complete tasks effectively
Give yourself at least thirty minutes of downtime in the morning to power up. Trust me, you will notice a huge difference in your focus, stress levels, and mental capabilities.
3) Avoid additional, unnecessary information
Here's an interesting fact about me: I very rarely watch the news.
Why? It hit me in 2012. I was getting ready for my job in corporate sales and I noticed that I was agitated. The amount of information I was taking in was overwhelming (most of it being negative, of course). Who wants to start their day off with death and destruction?
So one day I decided to start my morning with no news. Nothing. Not even social media. I noticed something amazing.
I saw a reduction in the underlying agitation I was feeling, I was less frustrated and my ability to make decisions increased. A simple tweak, but effective.
Get off your phone.
Fight the urge to overwhelm yourself with information.
All these tips are pretty simple, but I’d like you to try them for one week. It’s time you made your morning yours.
You will definitely notice a difference!
Get Your Shit Together--Literally and Figuratively