The inter-verse is filled to the brim with content enlisting the best morning habits one needs to cultivate in order to be successful. From building an efficient morning routine to tips on enhancing productivity right as dawn begins to break, if you're looking for advice on how to begin the day, rest assured you won't be disappointed. But we aren't here to tell you what you should do in the morning. In fact, our agenda happens to be diametrically opposite.
In the quest for cultivating new, productivity-friendly habits, we often tend to overlook one important factor. Which is, making room for a new habit is a lot more difficult, and may we say, near impossible, if you don't first get rid of the poor practices occupying that space instead. Just like the preliminary step for a home improvement project involves clearing out all junk, the first step to building a better life comprises of decluttering yourself of detrimental patterns and routines.
So needless to say, if you want to upgrade your morning routine, you first need to familiarise yourself with the things you should not do in the morning. And that's where this thoughtfully curated list of things you're doing wrong in the morning, comes in.
1. Hitting Snooze More Than Once
Or setting multiple alarms spanning half an hour. To ensure you kick-start your morning on a good note, cultivate the habit of jumping out of bed the moment you hear your alarm first ring. Yes, reaching for the snooze button repeatedly, just to get a few minutes of extra slumber, is highly tempting. But on most occasions that is the primary reason you don't have the time in the morning to do half the things you need to do, and end up running late for work on an alarmingly regular basis.
Image Courtesy - Metro
2. Avoiding Sunlight
Especially if you consider yourself far from being a morning person, experiencing high-intensity annoyance just at the thought of bright light, is normal. But while your urge to remain in literal darkness for as long a period in the morning as possible is understandable, this habit also ranks high on every list of things not to do in the morning. To wake yourself up and shake off all remnants of sleep, nothing works better than drawing the blinds open and exposing yourself to natural sunlight, first thing in the morning. This has to do with our circadian rhythm or more commonly known as body clock, which suppresses the release of melatonin AKA sleep hormone upon exposure to light.
Image Courtesy - Shutter Stock
3. Reaching For A Morning Smoke
I know why you need it, trust me. But let's take some time to scope out the long-term effects. Do you want your body to be dependent on a chemical for natural, bodily functions? Reaching for a smoke first thing upon waking up, conditions your body to the fixed nicotine supply you provide it with right at the start of the day, and consequently, your body is unable to function at its optimum level, the days on which this supply gets cut off. Not to mention the host of other physical ailments this detrimental habit paves the way for. Research has also shown that early-morning smokers are more addicted to nicotine, than individuals who wait a tad longer before their first smoke of the day.
Image Courtesy - News 24
4. Scrolling Through Social Media
As indicated by countless articles, guides and professional recommendations, early morning is the best time to indulge in introspection, gather all your thoughts, and calm the mind. So as you can imagine, going through stories posted by your friends from the previous night's party, or mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed to browse what other people are up to, doesn't make the cut. Exposure to social media separates you from your immediate reality first thing in the morning, and takes away the time meant for mental preparation for the day that lies ahead.
Image Courtesy - Pexels
5. Checking Emails, Texts And Calls
One habit that frequently gets listed under things you should never do in the morning, and yet continues to be commonly practised, is rolling over the minute you wake up and going through your emails and messages. What you're inadvertently allowing to happen with this practice, is letting other people decide your priorities for the day. If going through work e-mails is the first step in your morning routine, you're exposing yourself to stress and worry about pending tasks, requests from clients and other office demands, before you've even given your brain the time to brace itself. Instead, set a strict time in the morning, before which you're not allowed any screen time.
Image Courtesy - Pexels
6. Downing A Cup Of Coffee
Again, I get why you do it. And again, that doesn't make it any less harmful. Just like nicotine, caffeine is another drug you're habituating your brain to expect the moment it stirs awake, and when the supply does not come through as promised, your brain is unable to wake up naturally. Early morning coffee drinkers also inevitably end up increasing their tolerance to the drink and chemical, which means you will need increasingly greater quantities, to get the same effect. Besides, coffee on an empty stomach also leads to gastric issues like acidity and heartburn, and once these become chronic, there's no going back.
Image Courtesy - Pexels
7. Skipping Breakfast Or Eating A Morning Meal Low On Nutrition
While having something in the morning is substantially better than skipping breakfast altogether, a bowl of cereal and some orange juice, won't get you the fuel your body needs to run through the first half of the day. A nutrient-rich breakfast is necessary to feel charged and energised, and also get yourself in a positive headspace to tackle whatever lies ahead. Especially breakfast foods with refined carbs and high sugar content may temporarily wake you up, but shortly your body will experience an inevitable energy crash. Instead, load up on proteins, and include an array of food groups. If you don't have the time or kitchen supplies, here are some quick minimum ingredients breakfast recipes to get you into this habit.
Image Courtesy - Healthline
8. Fussing Over Your Outfit
This doesn't mean I'm advocating Mark Zuckerburg's policy of wearing one t-shirt to work every day. If you want to dress up for work, and put effort into looking good in the morning, go right ahead! But decisions that can potentially take up time, like choosing an outfit, should be taken the previous night itself. Make it a habit to pick out what you're going to wear the next day, before you head to bed every day.
Image Courtesy - LifeSavvy
9. Just Winging The Schedule For The Day
As much as we'd like to build a productive morning routine, and get done with important chores before we head to work, realistically speaking, most of us don't do so. What we do instead is snooze our alarm one too many times, lucid dream about brushing our teeth while we continue to be dead asleep, realise we're running late and rush out of the door after doing the bare minimum to appear semi-presentable. In the process, we don't engage in pre-planning our day at all, and walk out with the hope to just wing it. However, to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity through your day, it's important to engage in some form of planning. Even if it is spending 5 minutes to jot down important tasks off the top of your head, make it a practice to draft some semblance of a schedule before you step out of the house.
Image Courtesy - Pexels
10. Snapping At Everybody In The House
My family members have been personally victimized by this morning habit. Like I mentioned earlier, if you're not a morning person, it's hard to feel perky and happy early in the morning. But that doesn't mean you should be aggressive and continue to snap at everybody around you for trivial things and chalk it up as morning irritation. Keeping the obvious conflict-inducing potential of this tendency aside, I've come to realise that snapping at others not only puts a damper on their mood, but it also negatively affects one's own emotions. And this is usually followed by eventual guilt, which takes away from how great your day could've otherwise gone.
Image Courtesy - Verywell Mind
A friendly reminder, we are what we repeatedly do.