Productive days don’t just happen – how you start your day can have a huge impact on how successful you are. If you have control over the first hour of your day – you will have control over the rest of it. Most successful people have a routine every morning, and rarely stray from it. The famous missionary Jim Elliot was once asked how he got so much done before noon, and he said the secret was getting up at 5am. The interviewer (who was obviously not a morning person) was amazed, and asked how someone could wake up at 5am every day. Elliot’s answer – be asleep by 10pm. The questioner responded ‘I could never fall asleep by 10pm.’ Elliot is reported to have answered ‘get up at 5am a few days in a row, and you’ll learn how.’

Annah is an early riser, often answering emails at 4am. Here are her tips to starting the day effectively –

Get up early. This is a no brainer! If you get up an hour earlier every day you gain an extra fifteen days over a year. Imagine the extra things you can accomplish in fifteen days!

Make the bed. It’s a minor achievement, leaving the bedroom tidy and the bed made, but it sets the tone for the rest of your day (and this means getting all of those decorative throw cushions up off the floor!) If you get the little things right, you will be able to accomplish the big things.

Have a healthy breakfast. Expecting your body to run on empty from dinnertime, until lunch time the next day is just not healthy. Research shows that eating a healthy breakfast prevents type 2 diabetes, can actually stop you putting on weight, and will stop you craving that sugar filled cake or pastry mid-morning.

Take some gentle exercise. While we know there are other times we can exercise – it is easy to become ‘too busy’ with other commitments later in the day. Morning exercise is hardly ever cancelled!

Dress to impress. You may have heard the phrase ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’ but does it really work? Dressing well is not just superficial – your appearance can affect how you feel about yourself.  If you take the time and effort into perfecting your appearance each day, you will exude an image of self-confidence and self-esteem and the people you deal with in your day will take you more seriously.

Waking up early might seem to be a chore at first, but when you begin to see the increase in productivity, it becomes a reward to yourself.  By the time 7am rolls around Annah has achieved more than most people do in their entire day!

‘Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says ‘Oh no, she’s up!”

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