By: Paige Bennett

For many of us, there is nothing more dreadful than the sound of our morning alarm. However, mornings don’t have to be miserable. In fact, if you put in a little effort, mornings can become one of the most productive parts of your day.

Here are a few tips for being more productive when you first wake up!

#1: Get up earlier

While many of us try to maximize our sleep by setting our alarms to the latest time possible, getting up earlier than necessary can have serious benefits. A study conducted at the University of North Texas in 2008 found that college students who identify as early risers typically have higher grade point averages (GPAs) than night owls. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that students who wake up early afford themselves more time to study and get to class.

Although it might not be realistic for college students to completely transform themselves into morning people, waking up even 30 minutes early than usual can be beneficial. The more time students give themselves to prepare for the day ahead of them, the more likely they will be to succeed.

#2: Make to-do lists

Staying organized is an important component of being productive in college. However, with dozens of homework assignments and due dates constantly hanging over our heads, it can be hard to keep track of everything. Students can increase their productivity by making a to-do list every morning. As soon as students wake up, they should grab a piece of paper and write down everything they need to accomplish before the end of the day. This will make it easier for them to remember all of their priorities, even when they have a lot going on.

#3: Exercise

Another way to be more productive in the morning is to exercise. Not only is a workout a great item to check off your to-do list first thing in the morning, but it also helps wake you up and give you energy. Working out can put you in a good mood and set a positive tone for the rest of the day.

#4: Eat breakfast

Though it’s largely neglected by busy college students, breakfast is a necessary part of a productive morning, especially for students who aren’t morning people. Breakfast gives students the energy to get through the grogginess of the early hours. In addition, studies have found that people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have higher daily calcium and fiber intakes, as well as lower daily fat intakes.

#5: Have a morning ritual

While it’s good to devote your mornings to projects or assignments you have to get done, it’s also important to set aside some time for you to do something you enjoy. Having something to look forward to in the morning can make waking up a lot easier.

Whether it’s reading, writing or meditating, a morning ritual can be anything you enjoy. All that matters is that it motivates you enough to get up and get started on whatever goals you have for the upcoming day.

Those are some ways to achieve a more productive morning! Even if you aren’t a morning person, hopefully these tips will help motivate you to an earlier start on your day. Mornings can be tough, but learning to embrace them can enable you to make more efficient use of your time and energy.