A new day, a new beginning! At least that’s what most social workers say. The truth is, not all mornings are new beginnings.
Some mornings you want to lay in bed and do nothing until your stomach starts growling; it’s just then that you realise that you haven’t eaten in more than ten hours.
Should you lay in bed all morning and let time pass by or perhaps forget about all the reports you need to write?
Well, if you don’t do it at least once a week, you’re for sure missing out on one of the greatest joys in life, but also don’t overdo it because once it becomes a habit, it’s hard to stop doing it and you fall behind on a lot of tasks!
Does it sound like Planning Your Day and Sticking to it like a Pro is key? Well, am afraid so!
Don’t also forget to check out this article on 30 Things to Do for a Productive Week HERE!
Things You Must Stop Doing in the Morning to Stay Productive
So, how do you find a middle common ground for a productive day?
What is the right thing to do here?
First of all, you can write down a list of all the things you need to do the night before and pick up a specific day to do nothing or stay in bed until noon.
You can’t always be productive, and by choosing a particular day, you’re allowing yourself to mess up a bit with your schedule, but at the same time, you’re still in control.
Remember, though, a productive morning starts from your evening routine. It is proven that having a positive mind-set and going to bed early the night before will make a real difference the next day.
It does make sense, though; think about it. If you go to bed at 2am in the morning and wake up at 6am to start your day, how many hours have you slept? A night of good night sleep is at least eight hours; your body needs to recharge and heal.
Some believe you can sleep two hours per night and feel fine the next morning; it can work for a short period, but your body won’t have the time to heal correctly.
You’ll feel refreshed, but by six in the afternoon, your body is naturally going to crash, and you’re going to take a nap that it will make you grumpy and confused when you finally wake up. So, is it worth it?
If you’re in your twenties, or even your teen years, you have tried and failed to keep up with your morning routine. Especially when you don’t have to wake up early to go to work or work from home, it’s challenging going to bed in time when you know you can wake up anytime the next morning and still earn a living.
I’m not saying it’s wrong, but if you’re trying to be a functional human being, maybe going to bed at four in the morning and waking up at six in the afternoon to then work until four again is not the healthiest route, but each to their own.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably interested in knowing how to start your morning to have a productive day. Rest assured, you will not be disappointed!
Here are a few tricks you can use to have a productive day and even some leisure time.
1. Ditch your cup of coffee
If the first thing you do in the morning is to have a coffee cup, you need to stop it right now. Caffeine makes you feel great for the first couple of hours; then, you will need more and more until you finally get your work done, and then what?
More caffeine? Try starting your day with a nice cup of water and a protein shake. Sure, your energy levels won’t be the same as having three cups of coffee in three hours, but your body will get accustomed to it, and you’ll find yourself disliking the cup of coffee you used to drink every day.
If you’re still into coffee, you can have it later in the day with a tasty digestive biscuit.
Having coffee after a good meal won’t make you feel stressed or anxious because your stomach is full, and you can enjoy your coffee while watching your favourite TV show on Netflix.
2. Have a breakfast that fills you up
There are two types of people in the world, the ones who wake up and feel like devouring the entire fridge and the ones who swear they will throw up if they eat any food.
No matter how you feel. Whether it is to throw up, or to have a filling breakfast, the key is to get used to eating small portions until you can finally reach the goal of eating the amount of food that will keep you full and happy until lunchtime.
The breakfast choice is up to you; you can have an English breakfast if you like bacon, fried, poached or scrambled eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread/toast and sausages, American breakfast if you like bacon or maybe a French breakfast if you have a sweet tooth. The most important thing is that you put food in your stomach.
3. Stop scrolling through Instagram
We’ve all been guilty of endlessly scrolling through Instagram, liking posts here and there, and then, we check the time, and it’s been two hours.
We wasted our morning, didn’t even have breakfast, and now have all the work we were supposed to do in the morning to get done in the afternoon. This includes social work reports, Care Act 2014 needs assessments or even court reports!
Checking your social media is tempting; we like to see what’s going on around the world and what our friends are up to, but there is a limit.
If you find yourself getting lost for hours on your phone, set some boundaries, and allow yourself only to check your social media for an hour a day.
4. Go to bed early
Go to bed before one in the morning if you plan on waking up early. What’s the point of staying up all night?
It will be challenging to go to bed early if you’re not used to it, but once your body realises that your mental health is getting better and you have more energy through the day, your body will acclimatise.
5. Don’t check your emails first thing in the morning
By checking your emails, you’re letting others dictate your day.
You have written a detailed plan on how your day will be going the night before; follow it.
There might be some emergencies, and you might have to fit some new work into your schedule, but never compromise your plans to make someone else happy.
You’re setting yourself up for success, and if you sabotage yourself, you will never find a way to accomplish all your goals.
Exercising is not for everyone, but start small. There are so many videos on YouTube you can follow along, from 5 minutes of cardio to a full-body workout.
My favourite is Body Shape by Billy Blanks
Do what feels right for your body and don’t overdo it.
Movement is essential, especially if you have a sedentary job; remember that a healthy body means a healthy mind.
Give yourself time and sit in a room in complete silence for at least ten minutes each day.
Focus on your breathing, have positive thoughts, let your mind wander.
You can use some essential oils to have a better experience, play some relaxing music, and just enjoy the moment.
Prepare your mind for the busy day ahead of you. You could either practice Guided or Unguided Meditation
I feel meditation is vital when you are a social worker. Meditation can help you focus better.
8. Clean your workspace
Before you do any work, clean your workspace.
A tidy workspace will help you make better decisions; the clutter won’t take over your decision-making progress.
If you’re naturally a messy person, your workspace will slowly get messier through the day, but by the time it’s completely disorganized, you’ve finished your work, and you can repeat this process the next time you have to get your job done.
9. Don’t multitask
Multitasking is a bad habit; if you think about it, you’re doing three things at once, not completing even one of the things you should have already completed, and you end up with more work on top of the work you already had to do.
Get one thing done, then another one, and so on. Only by completing one assignment at a time, you’ll get everything done.
10. Take a break
Remember to take frequent breaks! You’re now allowed to check your phone, eat a snack, watch television.
Whatever you feel like doing for a few hours, it depends on how long you’ve been working.
There are several benefits associated with taking regular breaks. For example, breaks can help you retain and process information better. It can also help you become more productive.
Having a schedule of regular breaks will also give you a string of mini deadlines to work on. With mini deadlines set, it can help you finish your task more quickly. You can use the short breaks to cultivate creativity.
Once you’re done, get back to work. You probably still have some social work tasks to get done.
11. Don’t start your day without planning ahead
Planning your day is essential as it helps you accomplish goals set.
When you plan, you are able to set realistic targets, which can help Increase Your Confidence as a Social Worker because you feel in control.
You will be better equipped to face any challenges during the day when you have a plan in motion.
Planning ensures that you make more efficient use of your time and available resources.
12. Drink water first thing in the morning and throughout the day
Keep yourself, hydrated! Start drinking water in the morning.
Set a reminder to drink water if you know you will forget.
Working hard all day might keep you busy to the point you stop eating or drinking, but if that’s the case for you, write it down on your phone, or somewhere you can always see when you look up.
Staying hydrated makes all the difference.
13. Don’t start your morning without reading a book
Pick up a book a read for at least 15 minutes, especially if you’ve been staring at a laptop screen for hours.
Staring continuously at the screen changes our bodies and even our brains.
Research has shown that exposing our eyes to prolonged screen time often leads to eye strain, blurred vision and other long term vision problems.
So, your eyes will probably be tired of staring at your computer screen after a long day of straining them, take it easy, and make the time to read a book.
14. Don’t forget to spend sometime with your loved ones
Remember that you have a family and people who love you, make sure you spend time with them.
Make an effort and do something with them; they will appreciate it.
It’s easy to get lost in your job, but your loved ones should always be a priority and if possible first thing in the morning.
15. Be thankful and count your blessings
Finally, before starting your day, be thankful for your job, family, and anything in your life.
You worked hard for it, and you’re still making progress.
There will be less productive days, but it’s not about how many days you’ve been productive; it’s about keeping a positive attitude and appreciating what you have now.
Remember that you are blessed and unique!
Before you go!
Countless of times, we plan to have a productive day yet, things fall apart and we fail to account for lost time.
REMBEMBER, you’re in control of your day and if you can come up with other ideas that you can set in place to make your morning easier and your day better, go ahead and act on them now!
I hope that these tips can help swing wide open the doors to a productive for you.