12 Things You're Doing Wrong Before Noon (and How to Fix Them)

by Kelly Medeiros on 2 April 2014 1 comment

Did you know that what you may be doing during the hours from the time you wake to noon could be sabotaging your whole day? Turns out this time of day can set the tone for how productive, happy, and satisfied you feel overall. Learn about some common missteps that may be derailing your day and what moves you can make to fix them right now. (See also: What Successful People Do Every Morning)

1. Hitting Snooze

It may seem like hitting the snooze button lets you sneak in that extra 10 minutes of vital sleep, but think again. According to sleep experts, snoozing only provides fragmented, low-quality sleep and starts another sleep cycle that you can't complete. This leaves you feeling groggier and with less energy later on. Cut the habit, and be diligent about getting up when your initial alarm goes off. This will actually help you feel more awake later in the morning than if you snooze.

2. Not Investing in Personal Appearance and Hygiene

Taking pride in your personal appearance can pay dividends throughout your day. First of all, when you look put together and enjoy what you're wearing, you feel more confident and in control. Secondly, an orderly and clean appearance projects positively on you when dealing with others. Even for those at home all day, getting out of the jammies or sweats (at least on some days) can greatly improve your productivity and make you feel more alert.

3. Eating No Breakfast or a Bad Breakfast

You've probably heard it a thousand times by now, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast, or fueling yourself with a bad one, can set you up for disaster in terms of low energy, headaches, and overeating later on. Similar to mid-morning snack options, choose wisely for breakfast, with high protein, low sugar, and good carbs (like oatmeal) that will help you feel good until noon and beyond.

4. Rushing Out the Door

A hectic morning routine can zap your energy and leave you feeling frazzled before the day even starts. Reduce morning stress by being prepared the night before with clothing choices, lunches, and other plan-ahead items. If your mornings are always a rush, it's definitely time to budget in extra time by getting up slightly earlier, which will benefit you more in the long run. (See also: Change Your Life With a Better Nighttime Routine)

5. Squandering Your Alert Time

It's been said that working memory, alertness, and concentration tend to peak before noon, which means this a great time for cognitive work. But many of us waste this precious time with our least pressing items or let distractions in. So skip the office gossip session, stop responding to non-essential emails, and don't get sucked into social media during this productive time. Save these less crucial items for later on when you need a break or have lower energy, and instead, take advantage of your morning brain clarity to knock out some of your analytical work or most energy-demanding tasks.

6. Failing to Reward Yourself

The morning is tough enough, and feeling deprived can only add to grumpiness and lack of motivation. It's important, therefore, to have that little something to look forward to, which can boost your day and improve mood. Whether it's 10 minutes of your favorite morning show, a delicious coffee, favorite music, or a few minutes of reading the paper in quiet, do it and enjoy it, so that you can start your day on a good note. (See also: 21 Frugal Rewards)

7. Never Stretching

The benefits of regular morning stretching have been lauded for many reasons. Stretching helps increase blood flow and energy, improves posture, reduces pain, and can stave off injury. It also can be easily incorporated into a morning routine with a small time commitment.

8. Setting Yourself Up For a Crash

A mid-morning pick-me-up is key to keeping your energy levels high, but snacking on a candy bar or a fourth cup of coffee can wreak havoc on your body. Sugary snacks will set you up for a blood sugar crash later on, not to mention can run up calorie counts. Hitting the caffeine too hard also runs you the risk of big time jitters, followed by withdrawal and headaches come afternoon. Aim for beneficial mid-morning snacks, which have some protein, fiber, or other nutritional benefits to keep your energy and mood going strong.

9. Procrastinating

If you hit noon and feel like there is still a mountain of work to do, you're likely to feel overwhelmed and less productive for the rest of the day. Procrastinating during the morning means a harder workload later in the day when your energy is lower. Completing at least one main task in the morning can give you a sense of accomplishment and allow you to feel like you are making progress. (See also: How to Stop Procrastinating)

10. Failing to Hydrate

By now, we all have heard that drinking plenty of water is part of good health. But most of us don't realize that we go off track early in the day when we miss out on hydrating during the critical morning hours. It's been shown that drinking water after waking up can help boost metabolism and digestion. Also, be sure not to skimp during the course of the morning, in order to make hitting your eight-glass goal for the day a lot easier.

11. Not Planning

You don't need to micromanage your schedule, but having a plan of attack for the morning hours can align your focus, give you more control, and help get more done. Spend a few minutes the night before organizing your schedule or to-do list for what you will be doing before noon, so that you can easily hit the ground running and not feel scattered in the morning. (See also: Change Your Bedtime Routine, Change Your Life)

12. Putting Off Exercise

Some folks have a good afternoon or evening exercise routine going for them. But if you find yourself skipping exercise or, like many people, just feel exhausted at the end of the day, then doing your exercise routine in the morning is key. Even 20 minutes is beneficial in the morning, not to mention a morning commitment guarantees exercise always gets done.

Tell us about some of your helpful a.m. actions that make for a better day.

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I am an offender of #5. I don't get done the stuff that I need to think hard about when I actually have the mental energy for it.