If you wake up every morning excited to get stuff done, you’re not alone. No matter what your field or profession or creative medium, there is always something else to do. Sometimes there is so much to do (I’m sure you have the never-ending to-do list sitting on your desk somewhere, too) that it’s easy to… well, do nothing at all. We’ve all been there with that second cup of coffee, pouring a third, and thinking, “OK, after this I’ll get started.” But sometimes coffee (though it is amazing) isn’t all we need to get ourselves focused and productive.
If you’re looking for a way to shake things up and make your creativity and productivity flow more easily in the mornings, try one of the tricks below. Some of them are hacks I’ve used and some of them are ways to get yourself to relax and your brain to reset. Even if they don’t at first lead to the most productive day of your life, they might just help you get in the frame of mind to figure out how to get there in a way that’s best for you.
Stop pressuring yourself
This may seem counterproductive, but it’s not. Sometimes the pressure to do it all, overwhelms us to the point that we’re not able to get anything done. So take a deep breath, step back, and take the pressure off yourself. Consider what will happen if you ask for an extension on a deadline because you truly need it? Or push back a personal project that’s eating away at valuable time and isn’t really adding anything to your life? What is the worse that could really happen?
Don’t prioritize productivity
Sounds backwards? Maybe. But the second you stop obsessing with being productive, the more productive you’ll be. If it helps you, get rid of all the lists and all the “must-dos” and simply take a break with yourself. Prioritize something that gets your creative juices flowing, like taking a walk or reading a chapter of a book. It doesn’t have to be the whole morning — maybe it’s only 20 minutes or so. But if you take the pressure off to get the day started immediately in the most productive way possible, you’re setting yourself up for failure, especially if it turns out your most productive later in the day or in the morning itself.
Do all the small stuff first
You know that tip about doing the hardest, most urgent, biggest thing on your list first and getting it out of the way? For me, most times, this doesn’t really work. I end up getting so overwhelmed by the big task that I put it off for things that aren’t even on my list at all. I scroll through Instagram or drink that third (or fourth) cup of coffee before tackling that one big thing. What helps me is to first get the ball rolling with small things. Suddenly I’ve checked off half my to-do list, and I know that I have the steam to keep on going to the bigger thing. Often this gets my brain working more creatively too, so I’m more able to produce something great in the end. It’s a simple and (literally) easy trick, but it works every time.