Mornings tend to set the tone for the rest of the day. If you wake up well-rested and happy, there’s a higher chance you will have a productive day at the office. On the other hand, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you risk being gloomy for the rest of the day. Check out this article for a few useful tips on how to get a better start to your workday.

If you’re not a morning person, it’s tough to jump out of bed the moment after your alarm goes off. Instead, you may slowly develop a love/hate relationship with the snooze button; you may constantly run late, giving you little time to mentally prepare for the day.

Developing a healthy morning routine can change everything. That being said, it takes some serious determination to wake up earlier and fit in some “me” time before heading out to work. Nonetheless, it won’t be long until you start noticing the benefits. You’ll have more energy, accomplishing more during the day. The truth is that there’s no magic recipe for the perfect morning routine – you have to experiment until you find one that suits you best. In order to inspire you, here are some things to try if you’re looking to get a better start to your workday.

Wake up earlier

This usually means “go to bed earlier,” as well, as you can’t expect to function well on only four or five hours of sleep per night. After seven or eight hours, however, you’ll be rested and ready to face a new day. Early risers tend to be more proactive and optimistic, so why not give it a try? Start by getting rid of your morning baggage – you’re probably dreading mornings ever since school, so let it all go and start the process with a clean slate.

The most effective method to change the time you wake up is to do it gradually. Start by setting your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier for a few days and repeat the process until you reach your goal.

Eat a slow and healthy breakfast

Instead of having your first meal of the day at your desk, in your car or even skipping it altogether, take time to enjoy it. A consistent breakfast jump-starts your metabolism and provides the mental energy needed to tackle your workday.

Be mindful about what you eat, and opt for a breakfast that will keep you full longer. Here are some ideas of nutritious and delicious breakfast dishes that will get you excited to visit the kitchen early in the morning.

Use your commute effectively

Sitting in traffic is usually depressing, frustrating and annoying.  Get the most out of this time by listening to an audiobook. Choose one that will make you laugh out loud, or one that will teach you something useful. Podcasts are another way to go – here’s a great selection to check out.

Check in with your coworkers

Socializing with your coworkers can actually make you better at your job. Make sure to check in with them when you get to the office and chat for a few minutes. You can make small talk, but you should also talk about projects you are handling together. This will allow you to feel more connected with the people around you and also receive any critical information you may need in order to do your job well.

Plan your day

Use the first hour after you get to the office to assess your workload, determine your priorities and focus on what you absolutely need to accomplish. Treat your day as you would a project: break it down into milestones, set goals and track your progress along the way. Similar to developing a composite risk management plan, try to figure out what could go wrong during your workday and come up with timely solutions to any problems that might arise. This way, you avoid getting stressed and losing time dealing with problems for which you might have otherwise planned.

Start by sorting through e-mail or voicemails, respond to requests and update your coworkers or supervisors on your progress on current projects. Then, make a clear to-do list of your tasks for the day and stick to it.

Smile more

Smiling helps you deal with stress better. When you are stressed, it shows in your face. Consequently, laughs or smiles will help relieve the tension and reduce overall stress. Smiling also has many other benefits you shouldn’t overlook.

Despite your best efforts, you will still have bad days every now and then. The trick is to develop a morning routine that will prevent you from feeling stressed and rushed, even when those days come along. Be positive and organized and you’ll see how your productivity levels increase in no time. Good luck!