Working from home with laptop coffee notepad and glasses

In times of social change, it’s important no individual is left behind. The threat of coronavirus has inspired a slew of articles on working from home, from how to implement your own policy to what it means for your businesses. But – aside from some notable exceptions from the Thrive Global community – there’s been significantly less content dedicated to how individuals can manage this change.

Freedom from commuting, office routines and rigid work schedules offer a unique opportunity to take control of your fitness. But control is only possible with planning and persistence, and it starts the moment you wake up. That’s why we’ve put together the best tips to develop your own morning routine. By developing a morning routine that works for you, you can promote health, happiness and productivity throughout the day.

1. Plan your day in advance

Did you know Mark Zuckerberg wears the same thing every day because it gives him one less decision in the morning? You can reduce the number of morning decisions by preparing the night before.

Prep can be as simple as laying out your clothing, but it can extend far beyond that. Your pre-day planning could encompass your meals, your break activities and key areas of focus for the day.

Some business leaders argue it’s not enough to prepare everything the night before. Instead, it’s better to plan out the whole week. This might be a solution for some, but it also leaves little room for movement should something new come up. Instead, try to create small, actionable goals for the day the night before.

2. Design your diet to boost performance

Brad Lande of Birchbox Man starts his day with hot water with a dash of lemon to lower blood pressure, guard against infection and cleanse the liver. Warren Buffet, on the other hand, opts for a McDonald’s breakfast of either two sausage patties, a sausage, egg and cheese or a bacon, egg and cheese muffin.

The one thing they have in common; they’ve developed a morning meal that works for them. Working Anywhere gives you the flexibility to try different meals, whether browsing local cafes or cooking in your kitchen. Whatever you choose, try to ensure your breakfast maintains a balance of protein, carbs, and fats.

It’s not just what you eat that defines your productivity. Water is essential to brain functioning. After 6-8 hours of sleep, it’s vital you hydrate yourself before starting work. If you prefer to drink tea or coffee with breakfast, try to limit yourself to one or two cups. Too much of either can equal too much caffeine, making it difficult to focus on work.

3. Remove distractions and improve focus

Staying focused throughout the day is one of the biggest challenges of working, whether at home or in an office. By accounting for this in advance, you can incorporate techniques into your morning routine to stay on task.

Josh Davis, director of research at the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of Two Awesome Hours: Science-based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done, explained in a recent interview: “Unfinished work reminds you that you have unattended tasks, which can stress you out and inhibit your focus. Before you turn on your computer, take five to 10 minutes to move any clutter that might distract you to where it’s not visible.”

In short, distraction breeds procrastination. That’s why it’s important you reward periods of concentration with moments of rest. If you’re struggling to focus, try using the Pomodoro Technique. When you begin a task, set a timer for 25 minutes, work flat out, take a break, then repeat. Not only does it make tasks more manageable; it’s a great way to tap into a work-flow mindset without the pressure of producing perfection first-time around.

4. Power productivity with exercise

Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-In-Chief, rises at 5:45 am to play an hour of tennis every morning. In an interview with Men’s Health, Barack Obama said he works out for 45 minutes in the morning, six days a week.

It’s no mystery why so many successful people swear by starting their day with exercise. It sets your metabolism up for the day, reduces stress and improves your decision-making skills. It also encourages competitiveness and builds self-esteem, both of which are vital to productivity. In a study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management participants noted a 72% improvement in time management and workload completed on days when they exercised.

You don’t have to start running 10K every morning. Focus on developing realistic morning exercises to maintain productivity throughout the day. Working Anywhere gives you the flexibility to develop a routine that works for you, so use it to your advantage.

5. Find a routine that works for you

It’s worth remembering before launching into a morning regimen that everyone responds differently to different stimuli. What might sound like a great start to the day for some will be torture to others (looking at you, cold showers).

Honing your work-from-home morning routine could take weeks, months or even years. The trick is to listen to your body, set realistic targets and measure your progress in a way that makes sense to you. It might take time, but the benefits of a healthy body, mind and work routine are worth it.

Have we missed any? Share your own productivity hacks in the comments!

This article was originally published on AnywhereWorks.