Have you ever woke up with the impression of being totally wasted? I’m not talking about one of the Sunday mornings of our high school years when the word “alcohol” was enough to make us sick again. I’m talking about a standard Tuesday morning when, just after waking up, we feel a sort of “mental slap” that reminds us of everything we have to do during the day, the 2 pm deadline, the meeting with that foreign client we totally forgot about, etc.
I don’t know about you, but that scenario in the last two years was constantly repeating. I’m not talking about once a month, but three of four times a week.
In that moment I asked myself: do I really want to be slapped in the face every single morning for the rest of my life? No thanks.
I wanted to change but I didn’t know how and where to start. I didn’t want to be the new Richard Branson and wake up at 4 am every morning: I would be dead by now. So, I avoided looking at all the articles that contained the words “early”, “bird” and “4oclockinthemorning” and decided to start simple.
I have soon discovered the key point is not to wake up early just for the pleasure of being up before the sunrise (I love my bed, like everyone else do). We just need to select three activities that could have a positive impact on our mood, boost our productivity and that can make us happy even without intoxicating our body with a giant cup of cappuccino and a croissant every morning (what can I do? I am Italian after all).
Spoiler alert: In the following paragraphs I won’t tell you what time is the best time for you to get up. Just make sure to be out of the bed before the usual time to have time to carry out all three activities of your list. These three simple things changed my life (and they will probably change yours too).
1. Go out and run!
There’s a reason why successful people do sports regularly. They have understood they need to be in top form to achieve their goals and live their days in full swing.
They are not superheroes, they just want to be successful (and avoid that uncomfortable slap in the face of course). Here’s why I’ve started to do 45’ of exercise every morning just after waking up (p.s. make sure to take off your pyjama before going out. Believe me it happens). As I get bored really quickly I usually alternate going to the gym to a solid 5 km run. At the beginning, it was hard (like everything) but after a while, I started feeling less stressed and pumped up for start working.
2. Make a to do list
Our days are already complicated enough so why can’t we try to make them easier?
Starting with a clear focus of what we want to achieve in the day is vital not to lose time in deciding what we need to tackle first once we’ll be in the office.
I always try to stay technology free until I am at the office that is why I am a post it lover: in less than 5 minutes I am now able to write down the most important task for the day and, once I arrive at the office, I stick my to do list to my desk. It could sound boring at first but once you have created the habit, you’ll realise that yellow piece of paper on your desk could save your day.
3. Stay caffeine free
I am Italian + my girlfriend’s dad has a coffee brewing company = I was addicted to coffee.
Every morning I couldn’t manage to wake up: I had to drink my giant cup of “caffè latte”. Of course, for the first hour and a half I was feeling like the most productive and focused person on earth but at 10 am I could hear the echo of Mr. Coffee while he was leaving my body saying: “help me… Giovanni drink me again, please!” And so I took another cup, and then another, and yet another until I couldn’t almost stand still at my desk.
I have been “clean” for a year now and I decided to replace coffee with more natural beverages such as coconut milk and almond milk (if you’re a hipster, you have to know them). I feel lighter, no more shaking and on top of that I am not sleepy anymore at 10 am.
This, guys, is the secret sauce of my mornings. Nothing special right? Most of the times we don’t need to spend too much money on expensive sports equipment or following someone else tips to achieve our goals. It’s only a matter of willpower!
What morning tricks have changed your life? Sounds off in the comments.