Create a Winning Morning Routine for Productivity
Many of us are not morning people. Even more, some of us find morning people annoying,
feeling they are too peppy and energized for it being that early in the day. This subtle
annoyance and resentment can sometimes come from a place of jealousy, as we wish that
we too could be the early bird to get the worm.
But is it possible to become a morning person? To overcome the zombie you are as you
struggle to get ready for work? To arrive at work without feeling the anxiety of road
rage because you were running late…again?
Let’s discuss ways to create or improve your morning routine so you can arrive at work
refreshed and ready for the day.
Get a good night’s sleep
Your good morning starts the night before. 35.2% of Americans report getting seven
or fewer hours of sleep per night. That’s simply not enough. But getting a full eight
hours requires some preparation and discipline.
Power down at the end of the day: Don’t do heavy lifting or strenuous exercise.
Take a warm bath, read a book or do some other mellow activity to induce sleepiness.
Turn off the TV: Pick a set time and turn off ALL electronics. Instead, make a
warm decaffeinated beverage and snuggle down for a bit.
Set your alarm clock: Set your alarm for eight hours or more to make sure you
get fully rested.
Give yourself enough time to get to work
Giving yourself enough time to physically–and mentally–get to work. Especially if you
know you’re not a morning person. Plan how much time you’ll need by working backward
from when you need to be at work, at school to drop off kids, or wherever your first
Use that time and then wind backward adding time for everything you need to get done.
That becomes your wake-up time. Make sure you aren’t short-changing yourself and allot
reasonable time amounts.
Drink a full glass of water
Most people don’t drink enough water. And that can affect overall health through
dehydration which hampers your body’s ability to eliminate toxins. Hydrating first
thing in the morning will make you more focused and as a result more productive.
If you start your day with a glass of water in the morning, you’re more likely to
keep the hydration focus throughout the day.
Prepare a healthy breakfast
Pick ingredients that make you feel good. It doesn’t have to be a kale smoothie
(but that’s a great choice!) A simple bowl of oatmeal can work just as well. You
can also make enough for breakfast and a start to lunch which will help with the
afternoon sleepies as well.
Don’t leave out self-care
Parts of your routine that focus on your happiness and health are worth the time.
It can be something small or a long, hot bath. What you choose will be unique to
you but look for things that will make both your mind and your body feel renewed
and refreshed. Some choices may be:
Take a shower or bath to relax
Apply a face mask to take care of your skin
Read a book or listen to a podcast you enjoy to get your brain working
Listen to music that you enjoy and motivates you
Take some deep breaths or meditate
Meditation can promote relaxation and go hand in hand with self-care. Sitting with
your thoughts and taking some deep breaths can focus your mind for the day ahead.
A lot of people think they can remember everything they have to do in the morning.
And are usually wrong. And when we realize we’ve forgotten that one thing, it can
mess with the whole day. Start the day by reviewing your to-do list which should be
an actual list. Whether on paper, or electronically, write down your most important
goals and tasks for the day and rank them. This will calm your brain by knowing you
have your road map for the morning and the day.
Avoid your phone
That phone is tempting. Scrolling through social media or checking your email or
wandering the news sites to see what happened while you were asleep can be a big
time drain. If you grab your phone before you even get out of bed you are kidding
yourself that this is a useful use of time. Fight the power.
If you don’t have your to-do list working yet, try setting reminders of what you
need to get done each morning and when. Post-its on the bathroom mirror are popular.
Use a dry-erase marker on your microwave window. Make a “landing pad” for your
belongings so you’ll have everything you need to get out the door in one place.
Take a test drive
As you put new routines into play, you may find that some changes don’t work as
well as expected. Habits need at least 21 days to stick. Give your new schedule
and routines time to settle in.
Don’t get frustrated if every day doesn’t go as smoothly even with the new routines.
Some days are just like that. Baby steps. Nothing gets better without some time and
effort. Keep at it and have a good morning!