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A morning routine you can actually follow, from a behavioural neuroscientist

This is what your morning routine should look like. Source: Getty

If you find yourself constantly running out of gas at work, it could be because your morning routine is out of whack.

According to University of New South Wales’ postdoctoral research associate in behavioural neuroscience, Justine Fam, there are a few things working Aussie should be doing before their day begins to make sure they’re the most productive they can be.

Get enough sleep

This one isn’t really something you can in the morning, but it is something you can instil from the night before.

“I think the statistics are quite clear that Australians don't get enough sleep, but that’s the biggest thing that's going to impact how your day is going to go.”

But how much sleep you need is dependent on the individual.

“There’s no hard and fast rule,” Fam said.

“The amount of sleep that you need is also going to tie into factors like what you're eating and how much exercise you're getting.”

Plan for your day

Planning for your day is one of the most beneficial things you can do in the morning, Fam said.

“You can't do it on the fly,” she said.

“When 2pm comes, you're going to be feeling tired and less motivated, and it's easier to be productive then if you’ve planned for it.”

But, when you’re writing to-do lists, you need to make them realistic, according to Fam.

“Don't set yourself up for not being able to finish your list,” she said. “Then you’ll think like there's no point in planning the day, and then you won’t follow through with that habit.”

Use your commute as exercise

The time of day you should exercise depends on how you feel, but Fam says an easy way to get your exercise in is to use your commute.

“It can be a lot better to get your exercise over and done with in the morning, because by the time you come home from work, sometimes the last thing you want to do is put on your runners and run after work.”

But, using your commute can make it a lot easier.

“If you wake up a little bit earlier and maybe run, cycle or walk to work, full or part-way, that can be a really, really good way to get in the exercise.”

Fam also busts a few myths that have become something like conventional wisdom.

Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day

While it’s been drilled into us from a young age that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Fam disagrees.

“Breakfast is not a super important meal,” Fam said. “There's absolutely no evidence behind that.”

“And the notion that you need to eat oatmeal to start off your day - there's also no evidence behind that kind of advice.

“Obviously, you don't want to start your digestive system with something really greasy, but again, that's up to the individual. If your system can handle it, that's fine.”

You don’t need to meditate every morning

According to Fam, while meditation teaches you self-awareness, there’s nothing really medical behind it.

“It’s a slightly inaccurate message – there isn't anything magical about meditation. It's just helping you achieve those really good habits.”

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