Maximizing Your Mornings

I’m an early riser – 5:30 a.m. and I’m up and at it. No snooze button for me. Most of my friends groan. About 10 years ago, I would have, too, but over time, I found that getting up consistently at 5:30 a.m. works for me.

Newspaper and yogurt

Your morning routine can make you more productive and successful. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

I work out in the morning at least once a week and sometimes three times. I’d prefer to work out in the evening to relieve the tension and stress of the day, but my evenings are usually packed with social activities or I work late and then I don’t motivate myself to hit the gym. I have no excuses with a morning workout. Best of all, I head to work energized.

On the mornings I don’t work out, I use at least one day to go to the office early to get organized and focused. This is really helpful for me on Mondays, especially if I have been traveling. Other mornings, I use the time for myself. Sometimes I write in my journal. Sometimes I simply sit and read a book that I want to finish. Whatever I choose to do, having some quiet time in the morning sets the tone for the rest of my day.

According to time management expert Laura Vanderkam, mornings hold the key to taking control of our schedules. If we use them wisely, we can build habits that will allow us to lead happier, more productive lives. She’s written a book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings – and Life. In a recent post on Fast Company she talks about the five-part process to get the most out of the morning.

My morning routine isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely improved since I’ve given careful thought to how I spend the time. The result is a more productive day.

How do you spend your mornings?