1. Get up when your alarm goes off.
Your first five seconds of the day are crucial. Hitting the snooze button starts a procrastination mindset that can spread to your entire day. The longer you debate getting up, the less likely it is you actually will. When your alarm goes off, decide in less than five seconds to get up and start your day.
2. Start your morning from a place of peace.
Don’t immediately jump into work. You can easily get lost in a whirlwind of busy-ness and get tired too quickly. Start your day from a place of peace and rest. Take a hot shower. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Listen to a podcast or read a few chapter of His Word. Rest in His presence and the peace that comes from knowing you are already valued, before you’ve even accomplished anything.
3. Make a to-do list.
It’s easier to stay motivated throughout the day if we can see the progress we’re making in a simple, visual way. Keep your list reasonable. Don’t put a million and one things on there that you want to accomplish during your lifetime. Keep it strictly for today. Don’t sum everything up in one bullet point either though (Ex. Finish all assignments), or your progress will seem much slower than it is. List each task individually, in priority order, and cross them off as you complete each one.
4. Take breaks.
If you’re stuck on one thing, literally get out of the space you’ve been working in. If you can’t focus on your thirty pages of assigned reading, go make a cup of coffee. Put away the dishes. If number 5 on your list is to run out and pick up the cereal you forgot yesterday, then go do that. This gives your brain a break and you’ll be able to return to what you were previously working on with a fresh perspective.
5. If you’ve completed your list, STOP.
There’s being productive and then there’s being a work-a-holic. You’re not being lazy if you’re not being productive 24/7, and there is no ongoing competition to see if you can do more work today than you did yesterday. Do something you want to do, simply because you want to do it. Read a book. Watch a movie. Write that blog post you’ve been thinking about for a little while. Try a new recipe. Take a nap. I refer to this type of thing as “me time” and it’s super important. It helps me feel like I’m living life rather than my life living me. AND this will help you have the energy and motivation for when tomorrow’s to-do list comes around.