Personal Finance

5 Scientifically Backed Ways to Boost Your Motivation in the Mornings

Motivation can be challenging to find, particularly for individuals who have been working for years. In this article, we present 5 science-backed methods of helping you to stay motivated and task-oriented while at work.

Mornings can be rough, even more so when you are looking for that willpower to be productive to get through the day. Here are 5 ways to enhance your mood and motivation to conquer those challenging workdays every single day!

Motivation at a Glance

Motivation can be quite challenging to find, particularly for individuals who have been working for years.

In a 9-to-5 office setting, lethargic mornings are prevalent especially after staying up to catch up with friends or pulling an all-nighter to accomplish more work.

The same thing can be expected for others who are new to the workforce. The initial spark that was once there could dwindle when reality sets in that mornings are often repetitive.

Lack of motivation may lead to various outcomes, including decisions that could affect our lives and career if not addressed in the right way.

In this article, we have found ways for you to tackle your challenging mornings head-on and boost motivation that will pull you through the day.

Begin Your Day with Smaller Tasks

Some of you may recognize the phrase “Eat That Frog.”

Eat That Frog is a book written by Brian Tracy in which he says to look at your to-do list and start with the task that appears to be the most difficult for you.

Putting your energy on the most difficult task gets it out of the way and doesn’t leave you any room for procrastination, since a lot of times procrastination comes from fear of that larger task. We suggest tackling smaller tasks before the bigger ones on your list.

This way of thinking is similar to the “Foot in the Door” method of sales, which begins with a salesperson getting their potential shopper to agree to a price for a product before revealing that the product's true price is actually a little higher.

foot in the door

We can use this same thought process when tackling our to-do lists. Starting with smaller tasks and transitioning to larger tasks creates what researchers call flow state of mind.

In 2014, Former Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven his story with the graduates of The University of Texas. He explained that completing small tasks every day, like making your bed, encourages you to tackle greater projects throughout the day.

“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right,” he says.

Sneak in a Workout or a Walk

Nowadays, we all know exercise is good for us. Exercise not only keeps you in shape and prevents health issues later in life, it boosts your mood and energy too.

It’s understandable to want to avoid exercising first thing in the morning when feeling worn out. We have this idea in our heads that exercise is the last thing we need when we lack energy.

However, a study conducted at the University of Georgia found that regular exercise done even in low intensity can go a long way in increasing feelings of energy.

No time for the gym? Home workout routines are free, and equipment is now easily accessible. Another alternative would be getting off a stop earlier from your usual MTR commute to work and walk to the office.

Type of EquipmentCost on Decathlon
Pull-up Bar 100 CMHKD $289.00
Yoga MatHKD $259.00
Weight BenchHKD $569.00
50kg Dumbbell and Barbell SetHKD $589.00

Get Your Caffeine Fix

Caffeine is one of the most common addictions today. In fact, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Rueters, 64% adults drink at least one cup of coffee per day.

Caffeine can be found not only in coffee, but in tea as well. Studies show that caffeine, once consumed, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and has its main effect in the brain.

Caffeine blocks adenosine, which causes the brain to feel tired throughout the day. Through this, you are able to stay awake, alert and focused.

Practice Mindful Meditation

Stress, anxiety and depression are tough to handle on their own. They can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed with little motivation.

Numerous studies have shown that practicing mindful meditation can lower stress and lift feelings of burnout.

Mindful meditation won’t fully cure you of depression and anxiety, but it certainly can help you focus on the present moment and the tasks at hand. Repeating a mantra (a word or phrase) during a short, 10-minute meditation each day can help you destress and be more level-headed.

Meditation AppCost
CalmHKD $473.00 per year
HeadspaceHKD $69.99 per year

Opt for a Cold Shower

We’ve heard of athletes who dive right into ice baths after a long day of training. Cold showers aren’t as cold as ice baths, but studies have shown that they have similar benefits.

A study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine found that taking cold showers for two to three minutes, once or twice a day with a five-minute adjustment period of cooling water can relieve symptoms of depression.

When we are exposed to the cold, it activates the sympathetic nervous system and sends electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain.

Cold showers will wake you up, but they also stimulate your immune system and can even improve your complexion.

New Beginnings

We’ve presented five scientifically backed ways to boost your motivations in the mornings. Truth be told, these methods can only go so far, and they won’t help everyone the same.

In the end, it is entirely up to you on how to approach mornings in ways that are best for you.

Mornings can be daunting, but if we see them as a new beginnings, any challenging day can be conquered with a different perspective in mind.