7 Morning Mistakes We’re All Guilty of Making
We would like mornings better if they started later – many of us could have sworn having the same thought. We know the early-to-bed, early-to-rise proverb, but it just doesn’t seem motivational enough. Now, consider a different one, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you’ll be hunting for it all day.”
I was amazed at realizing how simple and true that is. I guess that’s because you’re unlikely to see instant results heath- or wealth-wise if you start going to bed and getting up earlier, nor will you become significantly wiser immediately. You will only start noticing results in these (and some other) areas over time. However, when you lose or waste time in the morning due to poor planning or misplaced things, forget something important or get stressed over something at the start of your day, the results are usually instant and obvious.
Getting late, the anxiety of being in a rush, messing something up while doing it in a hurry, searching for ways to replace whatever you forgot, for ways of calming down or cheering yourself up – you are highly likely to experience these the very same morning or day. The problem is, many people believe all this is just inevitable in a modern world or any busy person’s lifestyle, so they don’t consider changing anything about their morning routines. That’s exactly what I used to do for years, as well as making other common morning mistakes:
1. Hitting the snooze button
It may be hard to make that extremely important move – getting yourself out of bed, so the snooze button and a chance to go back to sleep for a few minutes (and then for a few more minutes) may seem like the most desirable thing on Earth. However, this won’t make you feel better, and won’t make your morning any easier. On the contrary, the quality of sleep you’re getting this way might make you feel even more tired than before. Something so counter-productive isn’t worth the time you’ll have to take away from other important tasks. So rather than trying to get a few extra minutes of “sleep”, with a risk of running late and having to skip other essential parts of your morning routine, think about the things you could possibly skip in the evening in order to go to bed earlier.
In an ideal world, your body would just wake up naturally after a complete sleep cycle, without you having to use the alarm clock. But that’s not possible within today’s busy schedules, unless you are working flexible hours from home. However, the best thing you can include in your daily schedule to make your mornings easier is getting up and going to bed at about the same time every day. People who do that often start waking up at that same time in the morning and don’t have to rely on an alarm. There are also special apps available that wake you up when you’re not in deep sleep, which is the optimal time to get out of bed if you don’t want to feel tired and grumpy.
2. Being constantly short on shuteye
Everybody knows that too little sleep is harmful to health, but even reading a detailed list of health issues this may cause rarely prevents us from watching TV or browsing something online until late at night. So the fact that lack of sleep has been associated with a variety of serious health problems isn’t motivational (or demotivating?) enough, as these may – or may not – occur at some point, while different kinds of instant entertainment are easily accessible right now. After all, stress is devastating for our health as well, so why not unwind like that at the end of the day?
The truth backed by scientific research is that all those electronic devices are not very good for this purpose, keeping us wired and preventing us from falling asleep easily. It is best to turn them off at least half an hour before your bedtime, which should be 7-8 hours from when you need to get up in the morning. While it may not be worth obsessing about a host of potential health problems resulting from lack of sleep someday, you probably know that your energy levels, concentration and productivity decrease instantly whenever you are not getting enough sleep.
Also, at night your skin goes into a renewal mode, so cutting back on sleep is another counter-productive thing to do, as it interferes with these natural processes and reduces the effectiveness of these expensive night creams and serums you expect to work wonders. Seriously, ladies, are you willing to sacrifice your beauty and great-looking skin to Facebook stuff or a late TV show you find sort of entertaining?
3. Not drinking water
After sleep, your body is dehydrated. If you don’t drink water in the morning, dehydration will haunt you for the rest of the day, so you are likely to feel tired or be in a bad mood. Drinking something containing caffeine before drinking water is another common morning mistake, and a stress for the body. This doesn’t mean avoiding coffee or tea altogether, but drinking 1-2 cups of water before coffee or tea is a healthier choice, ensuring that you have enough fluids, more strength and energy, and feel happier.
4. Not fueling your body
Skipping breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, just as assuming that the less you eat, the faster you will lose weight. Starving your body is not a good choice, because when it goes into a “starvation mode”, it starts holding onto every calorie and all the stored fat, conserving energy and slowing down metabolism, so weight loss becomes slow or unlikely to occur at all. Ideally, your breakfast should be rich in protein and fiber, so that you don’t start feeling hungry very soon, having to snack on something long before lunch. Skipping breakfast regularly weakens your immune system, lowers your energy levels, and increases chances of overeating and obesity.
Read also – 5 Things That Affect Women’s Health
5. Not planning your day
When you’re running around trying to do many different things at once, it’s easy to forget, misplace, or even completely ruin something without meaning to. Some people get into a habit of doing this, and then complain about having an overload of daily stuff and mornings being a pain. Planning in advance and prioritizing your tasks is an effective way of avoiding most morning mistakes, even if you are a stay-at-home mom who thinks she knows well all that she has to do on a daily basis.
Switching between different tasks you are trying to do at once, or figuring out what you’d better tackle next steals your time here and there, making you desperately search for that extra hour, or cram a bunch of unfinished things into the time when you should be relaxing or getting a healthy amount of sleep. Plan your next day and prepare the essential things you will need in the morning the night before, and ask your family members to do the same so that you don’t end up managing twice as much as expected when you wake up.
6. Planning time too scarcely
Thinking you know the exact time it takes you to do something down to seconds? Reserve some for the unexpected, anyway. Whether something gets spilt or broken in the kitchen, your pet makes a mess or your child throws a tantrum, it means you’ll need some extra time to take care of it, which is very stressful if you just don’t have that time. There are two kinds of such urgent things you have to deal with: those that can’t be foreseen or avoided, and the ones you have left to the last minute. Planning ahead and identifying procrastination will help you minimize the latter.
7. Making excuses
Many people excuse themselves as being the “night owls” with no other option but feeling terrible in the morning – simply because they have gravitated towards such lifestyle due to some factors, and let it grow into a habit. Most just need to realize they’ve fallen into an “easy distractions” or “poor planning” trap, and some changes can help them become at least less “owlish” if not exactly morning-loving.
Though habits are hard to change, it is worth trying if you have important things or kids demanding your attention in the morning, if you are missing out on family time due to sleeping until late in the afternoon or feeling like a zombie when you get up. Start by identifying and minimizing the unimportant online and TV-generated distractions, the ineffective ways of using your time that can be optimized, and find something that motivates you to go to sleep earlier and gets you out of bed in the morning.
There’s nothing revolutionary about making mornings more productive, but it may feel like that if you’ve been underestimating or dreading that morning time before. I’ve always thought I was born a night owl, as my mother told me I used to go to bed and wake up late even in my early childhood days. As I got older, the number of things still unfinished by bedtime increased, keeping me busy until late at night, and I thought that’s just the way all night owls like me were supposed to live – it was so surprising to find out I was wrong, and changing this wasn’t too difficult!
Read also – 6 Ways to Feel Happy and Peaceful Every Morning
When I realized that procrastination, poor planning and too many distractions were crowding out the time I could spend with my family or getting quality sleep, I started prioritizing. That’s the advice I usually give others: determine the most important things to do each day, and give yourself credit for accomplishing those, while everything else (that isn’t very important anyway) can wait and shouldn’t come at the cost of your well-being and sanity.