If your mornings feel too sluggish or hectic, the rest of your day might follow suit. The key is mastering your morning routine for productivity all day long. The right routine helps eliminate the morning rush and sets the tone for a better day ahead.
Start the Night Before
The perfect morning routine starts with a little prep work the night before. Spend 15-20 minutes picking out what you’ll wear, writing the next day’s to-do list or schedule, and reviewing your calendar for any important events coming up the the next day. Use our guide to creating a productive night time routine to help get you started.
If you pack lunch for work, have it prepped and ready to grab to save valuable time in the morning. If you like to workout first thing, lay out your exercise clothes and shoes so you don’t have to waste a single minute looking for them.
Make Time for Sleep and Skip the Snooze
As a final bit of morning prep, set aside enough time for sleep. The Sleep Foundation recommends at least seven hours per night for adults. This helps your brain and body function better. A lack of sleep leaves you feel drowsy and makes it hard to stay focused, killing your productivity.
To make this easier, turn off or set aside your phone at least 30 minutes before bed time. Do something relaxing before bed, such as reading a book, meditating, or watching a fun TV show.
Finally, when morning does arrive, get up when your alarm clock goes off. Don’t hit snooze. Don’t toss the clock across the room. Don’t groan and go back to sleep. It’ll be hard at first, but skipping snooze actually makes you feel better.
Give Yourself Ample Time
Do you tend to stay up way too late scrolling on your phone and then sleep later to make up for it? Instead of rushing in the mornings, give yourself ample time to do everything you need to. If you’re always walking out the door late with your stomach rumbling, it’s time to rise a little earlier. Set a realistic wake-up time so you have plenty of time for your morning routine.
Start With Hydration
Yes, a hot cup of caffeine might sound nice, but start with a glass of water first. It hydrates you better and gets you off to a great start. Then, you can follow up with some much needed coffee or tea. Grabbing caffeinated drinks when you first get up can actually make you feel more lethargic as the day progresses.
A productive morning routine doesn’t have to mean cooking a giant breakfast every morning. However, eating something healthy gives your body energy and helps you wake up easier. Mix your favorite fruits into a smoothie and grab some avocado toast. Add some berries to your oatmeal. You can even have a bowl of cereal, but look for less sugary options. Try these quick recipes from Greatist to help get you started.
Prepare Your Mind and Body
A little activity goes a long way to helping you feel better all day long. It increases blood flow, improves energy levels, and releases feel good endorphins. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes, do a quick exercise routine each morning. This could be yoga, a quick walk/run, riding a stationary bike while watching TV or listening to your favorite podcast, or anything else.
Get rid of the morning brain fog and start off the day feeling confident and ready for any challenges by meditating, doing some journaling, or saying positive affirmations. Once again, 5-10 minutes is all you need. For some, they use yoga as a form of breathing meditation to do both at once. Just try to incorporate some form of mindfulness into your morning routine.
If you have extra time, spend some time on your favorite hobby. You’ll get to have fun, which always sets a good tone for the day.
Skip the News and Blast Some Tunes
Outside of a quick traffic and weather report, the news just brings you down. Skip the negative news stories that just leave you feeling stressed and angry. The best morning routine for productivity involves things that make you feel good. So, skip the news and blast your favorite energizing tunes. Plus, music encourages to be more active, which is a bonus.
Take a Cool Shower
Don’t freeze yourself, but turn down the water temperature to cool or at least lukewarm. A hot shower makes you feel sleepier. Cooler water wakes you up better and may help wash away the residual grogginess.
If you’re doing an intense workout each morning, you may want warmer water to relax tense muscles.
Review the Day Ahead
Finally, review your schedule and to-do list for the day. Prioritize important tasks and be realistic about what can and can’t be accomplished. You’ll leave the house feeling more in control over your day. Without rushing and feeling scattered, you’re more in control and far more productive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't have time for everything?
We’re not all rich CEOs or entrepreneurs with hours of time every morning. You don’t have to do every item listed. These are suggestions. Use them to create your own morning routine to help you feel more productive. For instance, if exercising first thing leaves you feeling tired, skip it and just do some quick stretches instead.
What if I don't like drinking plain water?
Add some fresh lemon to the water or use a natural water flavoring product. Just skip anything that’s loaded with sugar or artificial sweetener. The most important thing is to drink something that’s not full of sugar (including artificial sweeteners) and caffeine.
Image credit: Unsplash
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