We all want our days to be productive regardless of whether we’re morning people or not, and these are some of the tried and true rituals every man should integrate into his morning routine.

Buy An Alarm Clock
Don’t use your phone as your alarm clock, especially if you hold regular working hours. We all know we shouldn't be on our phones late at night and we shouldn’t be on them early in the morning either. And I know you’re thinking this is a pleasant idea that you should consider while knowing deep down how much you enjoy reading all your notifications before you’ve even sat up, but take it from a guy who actually bought an alarm clock—everything is better if you charge the phone farther away. Waking up in the morning is like getting the benefits of meditation without having to do the work: you’re a blank slate when you wake up, a clear mind. Don’t immediately inundate it with soulless information. There will be plenty of time throughout your entire day to do that.

Get Some Morning Exercise
A lot of guys like to go to the gym before work, such that lots of gyms are usually jam packed in the early morning. There’s a good reason for that. Numerous studies show that your brain works better after moderate exercise which is why many men choose this time of day to knock out their workout routine. However, if you peruse the studies, you’ll notice that the benefits come with simply after moderate exercise, which means a short but strenuous walk around your office or even 20 pushups when you roll out of bed should suffice.

Don’t Skip Breakfast
I don’t know who you people are who skip breakfast. I’m literally always hungry. But apparently some people do this and need to be told not to. Eat something and give your brain some fuel. Oh, also drink water. The reason that orange juice and sugary carbs became breakfast foods is that most people are significantly dehydrated when they wake up and those carbs can give them an immediate boost. A tall glass of water will do wonders for you in the early hours...often more than a cup of coffee.

Eliminate Early Morning Decision-Making
This is less of a morning routine than an evening one. Before you go to bed, take ten minutes to map out what you have to get done the following morning. Nothing kills your morning momentum like the paralysis of trying to make efficiency calculations while waiting for your coffee to kick in. In fact, recent studies indicate that we all have a limited amount of willpower and even little things like picking out what to wear in the morning take a toll that eventually adds up. Personally the way I apply this is that before I go to bed, I set out my morning tasks and I frontload my morning with two or three super easy tasks. I’m talking like sending an email I’ve already drafted or watching/reading some link a friend sent me that’s personally important for me to read. That way I can do it while drinking coffee and warming up my mind, and then I’m already a good ways down the momentum hill when I decide to eat a frog.

Eat Your Frog
Not literally. Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog! based off the following Mark Twain quote, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Oh, boy is there truth in that. A following caveat Tracy points out is that if you’ve got to eat a live frog, it’s best to do it early in the morning since it will only get uglier and worse the more you stare at it. I am notorious for psyching myself out all day over some unpleasant task only to get that enormous relief at the very last minute. I can assure you, it always pays to get that stuff done first thing. Your day can only then get better from there.

Create A Morning Ritual
While you should seriously consider doing all of the suggestions above since they’re based on hard science, perhaps the most important thing you can do is create a morning ritual that works for you. Most studies indicate that sticking to a ritual provides greater productivity across the board, seemingly regardless of the specifics (within reason).

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