I'm always on the search to find ways to improve my efficiency on a day-to-day basis. Between all the tasks that must get done each day, I find myself letting all the things I want to do or enjoy doing taking the backburner. Here is one significant improvement I've been working on making lately:
I recently read (listened to) the (audio)book of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam. I want to listen to it 10 more times just to absorb all the advice! Among many other ideas, she suggests using your mornings as the time to get those things done that would improve your personal or spiritual life and that you wish you had time for, but after the work day, can't seem to find the energy to do. Things like Bible study, journaling, exercising, or working on hobbies.
How true is this?! I've often thought that I would love to read for 30 minutes, read at least one chapter of the Bible, and work out for an hour every day, if I could. But after working 9 to 5, coming home, getting dinner ready, and zoning out on the couch for a while, there is still laundry to be washed and sewing that must get done, and it honestly becomes just too overwhelming to think about getting all those "must do" things done before bedtime, much less the "want to do" things!
So, I've started to makeover my mornings. I usually get up about an hour and 15 minutes before I have to be at work, which is exactly enough time for me to eat breakfast, wash the dishes, and make myself presentable, but not much else.
I'm now working on getting up 2 hours before I have to be at work instead, adding in enough time for me to get in a good 35-40 minute work out. I hate to say it, because 45 extra minutes of lounging in the bed feels pretty dang amazing, but it feels even more amazing to get your body moving first thing in the morning, and it is so much better than doing it after work when I can't find the energy. I can already tell I'm in a better mood all day long as well. Endorphins = real things.
Eventually, I'd like to dial back my waking time another 30 minutes and dedicate that time to reading and studying. It seems such a small sacrifice to turn off the TV a little earlier the night before so I can have that extra time awake in the mornings!
I'm excited to see how this will improve not only my productivity for the day, but also my outlook and mood throughout. If I've already worked out my physical, spiritual, and intellectual sides before 9:00 AM, think what I can do the rest of the day!