We often start our days on autopilot, simply going through the motions of our routines and not paying attention to how we feel. We should do certain things in the morning when we wake up, such as meditating, stretching, listening to calming music while we get ready, or something we enjoy that will get us in the right mindset for our day.
However, some morning activities hinder productivity and overall mood. In fact, they can put a damper on the rest of our day.
Here are ten things you should never do before 10 AM
Some things are better left until later in the day. Take a look.
1. Check your email.
Although emails can contain important information about your life or work, you shouldn’t immediately check them upon waking up. When you wake up, checking your phone will make you feel rushed and take you out of the present moment. According to an IDC Research Report, 80% of smartphone users check their phones right when they roll out of bed in the morning.
In particular, checking emails will prompt you to take some action. Nothing is so urgent that it requires you to immediately answer emails instead of having your breakfast, working out, or getting your mind ready for the day ahead.
2. Make a big decision.
When we wake up in the morning, we usually feel dizzy and out of sorts until having some coffee and nutritious breakfast. However, even after getting some food in our bellies and wiping the sleep from our eyes, making essential decisions in the morning can be a recipe for disaster.
It would help if you waited until you feel fully awake before making any significant decisions, so you don’t make a choice that you will later regret.
3. Browse social media.
Social media already takes up a large portion of people’s time these days, but checking it in the morning can further inhibit our productivity. With most people checking their phones right when they wake up, social media likely accounts for most of what smartphone users do on their phones in the morning. Checking notifications and reading updates about your friends’ lives can seem tempting, but wait until you have gotten all your tasks done for the day before getting lost in social media.
It can easily take away valuable time and serve as a huge distraction when getting essential things done.
4. Check your bank account.
Who needs added stress in the morning when getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school, and everything else that comprises our morning routines? According to reports by the American Psychological Association, finances continue to top the charts as the most significant stressor in people’s lives. With that said, mornings don’t make the best time to check your bank statements, as this might start your day on the wrong note.
If you need to check your finances, try to do it when you can sit down and take the time to analyze your expenses.
5. Watch the news.
We all know the news rarely paints a positive picture of the world, so why start your day with so much negativity and fear? Not only that, but checking the news headlines and reading the newspaper can take up a good chunk of your morning if you get carried away, which means you’ll have less time to get ready for work or spend time with your family. If you enjoy keeping up with the news, try reading just a few of the main stories, and save the others for later in the day.
6. Make a significant purchase.
Mornings usually don’t make the best time to buy something, especially if it involves a car, home, or something else. You should have ample time to consider all possibilities before making a big purchase and not fork over a large amount of money when you feel groggy in the morning. Wait until you feel more energized and awake before making any significant purchases.
7. Play games on your phone.
Another big time waster, playing games on your phone can eat away at your time in the morning. Sure, Candy Crush might seem fun, but save it for a time when you don’t have a million things to do. You can always play games when you get your errands and work done, or maybe at in-between times during the day, like waiting for a doctor’s appointment or sitting in the car waiting on your kids to get out of school.
8. Get in a debate with someone.
When you still feel slightly grumpy and tired, arguing with someone can only have one outcome, and it doesn’t look good. Debating with someone takes energy and logic to get your points across clearly. If you get into a debate with someone before you’ve had time to wake up and adjust to the day properly, it might lead to saying things you don’t mean and discussing based on emotions rather than facts.
9. Sleep through your alarm.
We set alarms for a reason – to wake up at a particular time to fit everything into our day and make it on time to work or school. Even pressing snooze once can start your day off on the wrong note because you’ll have to hustle a little more to get ready. No one likes mornings that feel rushed and frantic, so make sure to wake up when your alarm goes off to get your day started on a positive note.
10. Eat unhealthy foods or skip breakfast entirely.
It’s not new knowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; however, plenty of people don’t treat it as such. They either opt for a quick, easy meal from a fast-food chain or skip breakfast altogether. Skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain, as people eat larger meals later to make up for breakfast. Make sure you take the time to have a nutritious, good-sized breakfast so you have the energy to get through your day.
10 Things You Should Do Before 10 AM
While you should avoid certain activities in the morning, some habits can add value and productivity to your day. Below, we’ll give you a few pointers to brighten up your mornings and feel ready to tackle the day ahead.
1. Get out of bed before 10 AM.
It may feel tempting to keep hitting snooze on your alarm and lay in bed for a while longer. However, many studies have shown that waking up early benefits health in various ways. We’re biologically wired to rise with the sun and sleep when it gets dark outside, for starters.
We’ve been following this pattern for thousands of years because sunlight allowed us to farm, hunt for food, and do other vital activities. When the sun began to set, we naturally knew to retreat into our shelters and sleep to protect ourselves from predators and prepare for the next day.
Nowadays, modern devices such as smartphones and TVs tend to keep us up well past sunset. Many people suffer from sleep disorders due to artificial lighting, stress, and other factors. However, waking up early could help ward off depression and reset your circadian rhythm, according to this study.
Getting up earlier will also allow you to accomplish more throughout the day. You also won’t have to rush around in the mornings and can ease into your day slowly. So, in general, being an early riser can improve your mental health and lower stress levels. Add this to your list of things to do before 10 AM to enhance your quality of life.
2. Take a cold shower.
You might cringe at the thought of a cold shower, but it can help you wake up if you’re feeling groggy. According to a meta-analysis of prior studies on cold water benefits in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, cold showers cause physiological changes such as:
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- higher respiratory rate, activating the sympathetic nervous system
- elevated metabolism
A 2007 study in the journal Medical Hypotheses found that cold showers increase the availability of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and endorphins, both of which can alleviate depression symptoms.
3. Eat a hearty breakfast.
A list of things to do before 10 AM wouldn’t be complete without mentioning breakfast. People call it the most important meal for a reason since it provides energy for the body and mind. Waking up early will allow you to prepare a healthy breakfast instead of reaching for processed foods or quick meals. Some options for a nutritious breakfast include oatmeal with fruit, whole grain cereals with no added sugar, toast with peanut butter, or a green smoothie.
4. Make your bed before starting your day.
Another critical thing to do before walking out the door is to make your bed. You may not feel like doing so after rolling out of bed, but it can boost your mental health and help you feel accomplished before your day even begins. You’ll feel more inclined to complete other tasks once you’ve tackled the basics, such as making your bed.
We all know the benefits of exercise, but many people still don’t make time for it. However, working out in the mornings will make it easier to incorporate into your routine. By knocking out physical activity early in the day, you’ll have more stamina and a clearer mind for work or school. You don’t have to worry about hitting the gym after a long day if you exercise in the morning.
Some options for morning workouts include intense yoga, running, dancing, or a YouTube home workout.
6. Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.
Most of us want to get through our days smoothly and avoid excess stress. However, in today’s world, some amount of stress is inevitable due to the complexity of life. We can increase our mental fortitude and resilience by practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and meditation to combat these stressors.
Make sure to begin your mornings with at least fifteen to thirty minutes of meditation or other mindfulness techniques. Becoming more aware of your mind and body will help you feel more prepared to face the world each day.
7. Talk to a friend or family member.
Sadly, most people today suffer from loneliness or isolation due to our individualist society. We no longer live in small tribes that rely on each other for connection and survival. So, we have to actively seek out relationships and put in more effort to maintain friendships.
Before starting your day, call a friend or family member and chat for a few minutes. Simply checking in on someone or hearing their voice can boost your emotional wellbeing and quell negative thoughts.
8. Make a to-do list.
Before starting your day, one of the things you should do is prioritize essential tasks. Making a to-do list can help you get organized and provide a visual aid for what needs to get accomplished. Start with the most demanding tasks first when you have the most energy, and save the easiest things for the latter part of the day.
9. Put some tunes on.
We have so many things to do each day that it can get mentally and physically overwhelming. However, music has a way of healing a troubled mind and providing an outlet to process emotions. If you start your day listening to upbeat tunes, it will help you approach work or school with a positive mindset.
10. Get some fresh air.
Even if you only have 10 minutes to spare, getting out in nature can improve your mental health. Plus, exposing your skin to the sun will ensure you get your recommended Vitamin D for the day. So, before you get in the car for your morning commute, take a few moments to slow down, center your mind, and immerse yourself in nature.
Final Thoughts on Timing Things to Do During the Day
Accomplishing things before you even begin your work or school day may not seem feasible. However, if you wake up before 10 AM, you can knock a few critical items off your to-do list. Exercising, taking a cold shower, eating a healthy breakfast, meditating, and practicing general self-care will help you start your day on the right note.