Get it done in 2021: Seize the morning!

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Studies show that the brain is more awake immediately following a good night’s sleep rather than late at night. Before you start to panic, let me advise that you do not have to set an alarm for 5 or 6 a.m. in order to have a productive morning routine. However, if you are looking to become even slightly more of an early bird than a night owl, here are some steps you can take to quit hitting the snooze button and achieve that goal.  

Set technology boundaries  

This is the newest, yet arguably the most difficult issue our society faces when it comes to being productive. Going down the late-night TikTok rabbit hole is tempting, but putting your phone down before bed will lead to a better night of sleep and give you a break from all of the screen-time you face as a college student. This idea also applies to the mornings. I personally struggle with the habit of immediately opening my phone after I turn off my alarm only to scroll through the false realities of social media, instead of brainstorming about how I can better myself today. This habit sets a negative tone for both your morning and your entire day, and prohibits you from setting goals for the day.  

Wake up a little earlier than you usually do  

Waking up early always intimidated me, so I avoided scheduling myself in early classes as much as I could. During my pandemic-driven boredom, I followed a challenge to wake myself up 15 minutes earlier each day, and go to bed at a reasonable time whenever I could. This fully changed my mindset and my sleep schedule over the past year, allowing me to wake up way earlier than I used to with no anxiety. Even if you wake up early to drink coffee outside and think, you are still exiting your comfort zone and bettering the way you live your life.  

Prepare the night before  

Simple tasks such as packing your lunch or picking out your outfit for the following day the night before avoids a morning full of chaos and rushing. Once you get the hang of this practice, you can try to play around with meal-prepping for the entire week. Cooking is extremely time consuming in college, so planning out your meals for the week instantly removes stress. The same concept applies to exercising: if you can plan your workouts for the week and leave your workout clothes out for the morning, it will be less difficult to get yourself to the gym or on your run.  

Finally, just get moving  

It’s painful, I know, but getting up and doing something is the only habit that will make your mornings productive. Open the blinds, go for a walk, get out of your pajamas, avoid your phone, have a filling breakfast and get to it. Even if this means rolling out of bed to get these tasks done, that’s okay. It’s unrealistic to think that everyone just springs out of bed in the morning with unexplainable amounts of energy. For most of us, being a morning person is not always pretty. Sometimes, it’s just being able to reluctantly leave our cozy beds to experience the day ahead of us. 

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