Whether or not individuals think of themselves as a “morning person,” the first part of the day is critical in how the rest of it unfolds. This is when people have the greatest amount of willpower because it is depleted throughout the day. Eventually, what is known as “decision fatigue” sets in, and it becomes more difficult to do work. However, these five practices can maximize this morning time.

Starting the day with even a small amount of exercise boosts people both mentally and physically. The brain releases a substance that increases well-being, and just a few minutes of exercise can set the stage for more contentment and self-control throughout the day.

Eating a healthy breakfast and avoiding social media during this time is the next important step. Like morning movement, breakfast can help provide a lasting energy boost. Postponing engagement on social media helps people focus on the day ahead instead of being pulled in different directions by information or messages pushed on them first thing in the morning.

Setting specific goals for the day is the next step. “Specific” means including a road map to success, such as planning how a project will get done and how long it will take. This can also help prevent a to-do list that has an unrealistically large number of items on it. 

This list must be referred back to throughout the day to remain useful. Adjustments may need to be made if the list’s objectives are not getting accomplished in the time planned.

One way to lose momentum on the goals list is by procrastinating on the most difficult tasks, so the next step should be to tackle a few of those while still fresh. This will clear the way for easier and more pleasant tasks for the rest of the day.

Finally, people should avoid derailing their morning work with multitasking or taking on additional work. Multitasking reduces productivity, and saying “no” keeps the focus on necessary tasks.

Not everyone feels at their best in the morning, but the morning is the time to lay the groundwork for the rest of the day. By making these steps routine, people can boost their productivity.