9 rules before 9 am

How to start a day so as not to fizzle out at the start

A good day beginning makes the whole day good. If you come to work already exhausted and with your head all foggy, then it’s time to change something in your morning routine. Let’s take a look at 9 tips that will help you win the morning.
1. Spend time without social networks and a phone
Most people would give the following answer to the "what do you do first thing in the morning?" question: "I open the phone, flip through notifications, check social networks." Still in bed, sometimes without full understanding that you have woken up, you already automatically look at what and who has written to you, what news have been accumulated.

At first glance, the habit is harmless — we are all modern people and keep an eye on the ball. But in the end, it seriously ruins your day, increases anxiety and reduces concentration. In fact, you start the day not on your own terms, but just fall into the information hole first thing. It is not surprising that after "surfacing out" of it into the real world, chaos remains in the head.

Also, this habit eats up your time. Algorithms are addicting, one after another — and now half an hour has passed, or even an hour. Now you need to hurry to get ready for work, on the way you will most likely continue to scroll through social networks.

The first hours after waking up form the upcoming day, if you start it with vanity and chaos, then it will go on the same way. So take it into your own hand.
What to do
It’s strange for many to believe this, but if you don’t grab the phone right away, you won’t lose anything. Yes, notifications and breaking news can wait half an hour until you wake up normally and do something for yourself in the morning. FOMO (fear of missing something important or "being left behind") will be indignant, but it can be overcome.

According to the laws of dealing with bad habits, first of all, they need to be made harder for yourself. It will be helpful to simply leave the phone in another room, so as not to be tempted by it when it is on the nightstand. If you are afraid to oversleep, buy a regular alarm clock, one of the best investments in your balance in the morning.
2. Take a cold shower
For some, scrolling through social networks in the morning is a way to cheer up and wake up. There is a much healthier alternative — to start a day with a cold shower. It doesn’t sound very attractive, but if you just try it a couple of times, you will get hooked on this procedure.

Regular cold showers have many physical and mental health benefits, such as:

• boosts blood circulation, which, in turn, increases cognitive abilities and overall energy levels;
• improves mood by boosting the production of the norepinephrine hormone. And it can even help deal with symptoms of depression;
• Combats stress and its effects by lowering uric acid and increasing glutathione.
What to do
You don’t have to jump into a pool with ice like Tony Robbins or Cristiano Ronaldo do. It will be enough to start with cool water (about 20 degrees) and from time to time gradually lower the temperature. To achieve an effect, a couple of minutes under a moderately cold jet will be enough. The more icy pressure you can withstand, the better it is, but work gradually. By the way, before this, you can take a shower with warm or hot water as usual, and then turn on the cold water briefly.
3. Prepare a breakfast rich in proteins and fats
Pancakes, porridge, cereals, yoghurt — all are served by ads and bloggers as a perfect breakfast. Since childhood, many are taught to eat high-carbohydrate foods first thing in the morning. They even use the myth that without carbohydrates and something sweet, "the brain will not work." As a result, we have fatigue, hunger, anxiety and irritability.

Some chocolate bar can really cause an instant burst of energy thanks to a sharp increase in blood glucose, here the advertising does not lie. But it will soon be followed by a decline. Do you know the feeling of lethargy and weakness in the first working hour? This is a natural state after carbohydrates. You had breakfast just now, but still want to eat and sleep.
What to do
In order to maintain performance and not shut down just at the start, it is important to avoid sugar surges. An ideal breakfast that will bring you safely to lunch is a lot of proteins and fats. Bacon, eggs, avocados, oily fish, cottage cheese are your morning friends, you’d better put aside oatmeal and cereal. You don’t have to cut out carbs completely. If you want, you can add some vegetables and bread to proteins and fats.
4. Remind Yourself of Your Priorities
In order not to stay in the evening with the feeling that you were all the time clutching at something, but did not move forward on important matters, remind yourself of the main things. If you do not decide on the goals and objectives for today yourself, then someone else will definitely do it for you. "Super-important" and "super-urgent" cases attack from all the sides, everyone wants to take your time and attention. That is why, it is necessary to have an exact list of priority tasks before your eyes.
What to do
It would be perfect, if you do planning in advance in the evening, and in the morning you just go through the important things briefly, refreshing the guidelines for the day in your head. Wasting energy on decision-making and global plans in the morning is not the best way out, it is a process that is costly in terms of concentration and energy, and it is important for you not to get tired before you start working. So get out your planner and remind yourself of your main tasks. If something has changed today and does not coincide with the plan drawn up in the evening, then make small adjustments. But don’t get carried away — it’s very easy to procrastinate by spending too much time planning.

By the way, you can reduce the possibility of a procrastination attack if you regularly compare your goals for the day with more global, long-term goals. Make a list of them in advance and keep them in a planner in a prominent place. Understanding where small daily tasks will take you in the long run reduces the desire to procrastinate and do nothing.
5. Don’t set the alarm for "another 15 minutes"
Something as seemingly innocuous as setting an alarm clock for a few extra minutes can ruin your day. And it’s not even so much about broken sleep cycles, although they also matter: you won’t be able to get a good sleep in a couple of minutes, but waking up even more tired due to an interrupted phase is easy. A much stronger negative effect is brought by the very fact of starting the day with a delay.

In fact, you set the mood for losing. The very first thing that was on your symbolic to-do list (since you have already set the alarm) was to wake up at the right time. Postponing the moment of waking up for "a little more", you first of all give up in the morning and do not complete the task.
What to do
Forget about the "snooze" button existence on the phone. And if you take our advice and replace the smartphone on the bedside table with a regular watch, it will be even easier — not all models have a transfer function. Refuse to set the alarm several times in a row "just in case", the thought that you have only one chance to not oversleep for work will motivate you not to dive under the covers for an extra couple of minutes.

By the way, to set a productive mood in the morning, make your bed first. Then one thing, albeit a symbolic one, will be done before you leave the bedroom.
6. Get a few minutes of physical activity
No one needs to be explained that physical activity is important for a productive day — to tone the body, to boost your blood circulation in order to "turn on" the brain. For people who spend most of their time in front of a computer, this is obviously a must. But it is easy to forget about it, falling into the traps of an imaginary lack of time or perfectionism.

In the first case, it seems to you that there is no time at all to do "Physical Education" in the morning — everything is already on the run and in a hurry. Take our first tip and free up some time by not being stuck on your phone.

In the second case, you are probably used to doing everything thoroughly — if a workout, then you should have a full-fledged one, in accordance with all the rules, lasting two hours and in the gym. You do not see any benefit in short exercises on the mat at home. Therefore, time after time you do not train at all.
What to do
Understand that even 5−10 minutes of exercises a day is better than zero activity. You are not required to work out the entire complex of muscles every day and carry iron, just do light exercises. For motivation and visibility, download some app with a program of short daily workouts.
7. Choose as little as possible
Every day we make thousands of small choices that imperceptibly exhaust us. There is even a special term — decision fatigue. Under the influence of such fatigue, a person begins to make mistake after mistake. In order to stay productive and keep your mind clear for as long as possible, it is important to reduce the number of non-essential decisions.
What to do
Plan small household items in advance so as not to waste a limited resource of choice. For example, prepare clothes and breakfast (or at least write down what you want to wear and cook tomorrow). Do not postpone the planning of the day to the morning, write out tasks and prioritize in the evening, so that at the beginning of the day you can just refresh the main things in your memory.
8. Do something fun
If you live from weekend to weekend, believing that there is no time for idleness during the working week, then you risk burning out and starting to feel like groundhog day. Even half an hour a day allocated for doing something enjoyable and exciting will be a powerful contribution to your resilience.
What to do
Think about what can bring you pleasure taking just 15−20 minutes. For example, a few pages of an interesting book, a short session of playing a musical instrument, a series of your favorite sitcom or cartoon in the morning, a computer game, a short walk — there can be any number of options. Just decide in advance so as not to waste time and cognitive resources on choosing. Again, you will free up time by giving up thoughtless scrolling social media feed.
9. Consume only full-length content
If you just can’t do without consuming some content in the morning, then give up the clip format. It is all around us and it is difficult to escape it during the day, but limiting it in the first hours after waking up is completely within your power.

6 seconds videos, tweet-size posts, short summaries and all the fragmentary information that quickly changes before your eyes — just kill your concentration and leave a fog in your head.
What to do
Get a "bank" with bookmarks of interesting full-length materials that you can explore, for example, on the way to work or at your morning coffee. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts, read articles or books.
Download the App
Install SingularityApp on all devices, and your task list will always be at your hand