Like many other ambitious millennials out there, I reached a point where I was sacrificing my health for more “get it while your young” hustle that many of us have been conditioned to exhibit. Distinctively: I thought I was a member of the special group of people who could disregard sleep and wellness.
I quickly found out that I was exempt from this special group of hard workers once I started experiencing health complications from not getting enough sleep, proper intake of healthy foods and inadequate amounts of exercise. Overall, I was over-worked, undernutrition, sleep deprived. This is not how I wanted to continue to live my life.
Something had to give.
We’re living in the age of hustle and more hustle, where badges of honor are given out to those who neglect sleep, healthy habits and constructing positive social relationships for more hustle. And at first, that trade-off works: The damage doesn’t catch up with millennials instantly. But soon enough, it rears its ugly head.
Sacrificing sleep for the growth of your aspirations amounts to thinking backward. While you may eventually obtain your desired resources, the most precious of these (your quality of life), will most likely decrease due to you not prioritizing your health.
By incorporating these four-morning habits into your daily routine, you’ll be ensured a heightened productive day that will allow you to chase your dreams while balancing a healthy lifestyle.
Waking up around the same time each day.
It’s important for millennials to develop a consistent wake-up time because your body has an internal clock that operates on a circadian rhythm set to release various hormones
such as melatonin and cortisol at specific times, and that release happens in sync with numerous other fluctuations inside our body. These hormones play a starring role in your sleep, mood, energy levels, and appearance.
Waking up around the same time each day trains your body to emerge from sleep when it needs to and keeps your circadian rhythm in its ideal flow — thus leading to a more productive workday.
Get in a morning caloric-burn session.
I am an avid doer of morning workouts! The energy that is released by working out earlier in the day is beneficial to both brain function and productivity.
Researchers at Appalachian State University compared people in three exercise groups by assigning them to work out at different times. One group did this at 7 a.m., one at 1 p.m., and the third at 7 p.m. The morning people slept the longest, had the most beneficial sleep cycles and lowered their blood pressure the most. Late-night workouts, in contrast, were found to interfere with circadian rhythms and sleep quality due to elevated levels of cortisol, thus decreasing melatonin production.
With that said, morning routines that include working out are a productivity booster. While exercising at any time of the day helps burn calories, researchers at Brigham Young University found that morning exercisers were more active throughout the day and burned an extra 190 calories 14 hours after exercise compared to those exercising at other times.
Managing Time Effectively
Time management is one of those double-edged swords that we all have trouble handling. From daily meetings to personal obligations, it can be difficult to plan out your day, while also accomplishing everything on the list.
We all have the same amount of time in the day. It doesn’t matter who we are, where we’re from, or what we do for a living, how we manage our time determines how productive we are in life.
With the right approach, you can work efficiently, productively, and relatively stress-free.
Here are five tips for effectively managing your time:
- Know your goals: Make sure you’re engaging in activities that support your goals, both short- and long-term.
- Prioritize wisely: Looking at what goes into making up your day, where do your activities fit into certain categories? (urgent/non-urgent)
- Learning to say No: You’re the boss. If you have to decline a request in order to attend to what’s truly important and urgent, do not hesitate to do so.
- Planning ahead: The time you spend thinking ahead and planning your activities is trivial compared with the time you’ll lose jumping from one thing to the next
- Eliminate unnecessary distractions: Your smartphone is extremely useful, but it’s also addictive and among the most insidious time-wasters known to us all.
Learning The 15-Minute Rule
The cliché of taking action has been hammered home in the self-help genre for years. Everyone speaks about taking action, but not everyone can follow through and do it. I know this is something that I struggle with from months on end. We get sidetracked and veer off course. Things come up and we lose our focus or we end up procrastinating towards our goals.
However, this is by far one of the most important daily habits you can have to reach eventual success. Still, the problem is overcoming the silent killer known as procrastination. However, there is a so-called hack for this. It’s called the 15-minute rule.
Take the one thing that you’ve been putting off for the longest, set a timer on your phone, and do it for just 15 minutes.
All it takes is 15 minutes. Don’t commit yourself more than that. Just 15 minutes. What you’ll come to find is that after those 15 minutes are up, you’ll have built some momentum and you might keep going. And even if you don’t continue, you’ll have broken the stifling pattern of procrastination.
It is important to put yourself first when it comes to the goals that you want to achieve for yourself, but not at the expense of your health.
By starting these four-morning routines, you’ll be able to get the ball rolling on steps that you need to take in order to reach your dream!