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Want to Be More Productive? Take Advantage of This Natural Process


You want to do more in less time and feel better while doing it. That's what this Monday morning productivity hacks series is all about! A couple weeks ago, we covered the very first thing you should do every morning to get the most out of your day. After that, this is the second thing you should do.

We have to make an assumption here. For this productivity hack to work, we have to assume that you generally get up around the same time every day. If you get up at 9am one day, 7am the next, and 12pm the day after, this probably isn't going to work for you. But if you, say, get up within 15 minutes of 6:30am more often than not, this will work for you.

As you develop a routine, particularly a defined sleep schedule, your body begins to prepare itself. For example, if you go to bed at the same time every night, you'll notice that you also begin to get sleepy around the same time every night, probably 30 minutes to an hour before you hit the lights. This is your body preparing itself for sleep. Something similar happens when you wake up.

If you get up around the same time every morning, your body begins to prepare itself for that transition from total unconsciousness to starting your day. Part of this preparation involves an increased heart rate to kickstart your body and its functions. Even if you wake up groggy, you probably have an increased heart rate. What this means is that you're primed for physical activity.

I won't tell you to go workout. As for your routine, the best time to workout is whenever you'll do it. (Scientifically, the best time to workout is 3-4 hours before you go to bed.) Get a full workout in the morning if that's the best time for you, but if nothing else, at least go for a walk.

Your heart rate increases as you wake up to prepare your body to start moving again. This lasts only for about 30 minutes. After that, you're back to your normal resting heart rate. That means if you get up and out the door to do something physically active before your heart rate drops, you'll be able to ride your body's natural process to give you a lasting boost.

Wake up, do something active (walk, run, pushups, kayak, ping pong), get the dopamine and serotonin and all those other neurochemicals flowing, and you'll create a productivity boost that lasts throughout the day (at least until the middle-of-the-afternoon-crash comes for you).

By taking advantage of this natural process, you'll be able to do more in less time throughout the day, and feel better while doing it.