Last week I made a small change in my normal schedule. I got up early…really early. Like 5am early.
For some of you that’s not a big deal, you love the mornings, but for me it’s huge. I am not a morning person, but after this past week, I think I might have to be. I woke up around 5 and by noon I was able to send out this tweet.
Blog post written, 8mi Run, 1000m swim & finally solved a major client issue. All before noon. Today's a good day. http://ht.ly/25j0R
— Joel Runyon (@joelrunyon) June 30, 2010
Crazy, I know. I think I was more productive that morning than I was all week (and I’m only partially joking). I experienced something that I’ve known for a while, but just haven’t experienced personally very often: the morning is a great time to get a bunch of things done. Now I know not everyone is a morning person (heck, I’m not sure I am yet), but if you’re wanting to get a head start on your day, here are 5 great early morning activities to help you get your mornings off to a great start.
5 Great Early Morning Activities
Eating A Good Breakfast
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve used waking up late as an excuse to skip breakfast or eat something terrible and “count it” as my breakfast. It’s cliche, but it really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast gets my metabolism started, my brain working, and makes me much less cranky throughout the day. Waking up early gives you time not only to eat breakfast but to actually make something worthwhile eating, rather than scarfing down 4 granola bars as you run out the door (as I’ve been known to do).
Running [or exercise in general]
I’m slowly training myself to like running, but it’s still a struggle to get myself outside for a run when it’s scorching hot in July. Even at 6pm in the evening it can still be killer hot. However, when I ran last week, I got outside while it was still cool out and before the sun had a chance to warm up the earth and make any sort of outdoor activity unbearable. As an added bonus, the running paths were a lot less crowded and running early also freed up my evenings to do whatever I wanted instead of “having” to go workout. If you’re not a runner, find something that works for you [swimming is a great alternative] and do that, but there’s no bettter way to wake yourself up than a quick early morning workout.
This can be part of your “thinking” time if you’d like or something completely different. If you blog, then blog. If you just journal for yourself, take time to do that. You might not be a writer, but I find that writing down my thoughts, no matter what form that takes, to be incredibly helpful in focusing myself as well as figuring out priorities for the day.
Think, Slow Down, Breathe
You can incorporate this with your writing activity, if need be. There’s no better time to slow down, breathe deep and just think than early in the morning when no body else is awake. Early mornings are free of distractions, free of interrupting phone calls and the constant barrage of incoming email. Take this time to clear your head and focus on your day and your life. What do you really want to get out of it? Focus on that and then…
Once you’ve woken yourself up, fed your mind, and cleared your head, it’s time to hustle. Get things done early, before you get the chance to distract yourself with your normal procrastination tactics (twitter is surprisingly quiet at 5am). Have a monkey on your back? A task that you’ve needed to get done for a while? Do it now. Get it taken care of first thing in the morning and don’t let it hang over your head the rest of the day. You’ll be amazed at how freeing it is to not have to worry about it for the rest of your day.
What about you? Are you a morning person? How do you start your days?