Striving for a great morning routine can set the tone of productivity for the rest of your day. Nowadays, we’re easily distracted by work, tight schedules and lots of worrying. A good morning routine is exactly what you need to keep your priorities in check and get your life back on track.
Below are 7 easy tips to help you get more out of your morning routine, so you can get more out of your day!
7 Tips to Get More Out of Your Morning Routine
1. Get Yourself a Good Night’s Sleep
How many times have you heard “The early bird catches the worm” or “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”? While morning people tend to be more productive, it’s not the hour you wake up at that dictates how productive you’re going to be.
Sleep.org explains that our bodies follow a sleep cycle that can differ from person to person. Some people have peaks of alertness in the morning, while others are more productive in the evening.
More important than waking up early is getting a good night’s sleep and waking up at the right time for you. This is when your brain and your body are both ready to take on the day ahead.
Many well-known, successful people are self-confessed night-owls. So, next time someone gives you a hard time about your sleeping schedule, tell them about Buzzfeed’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, or even better – Mark Zuckerberg!
“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”
2. Plan Your Day Ahead of Time
Writing the next day’s to-do list the night before is a good step towards getting more out of your morning routine. Removing this task from the morning routine itself incentivizes you to get more work done instead of thinking about coming up with tasks for the day.
Another reason to plan ahead is that, for some reason, the human mind tends to believe that “Future Us” will be better able to accomplish things than “Present Us”. This makes us natural procrastinators.
So, if you’re writing down your tasks for the next morning, even if you are tired or sleepy, you are more likely do it anyway. This is because you know that you don’t have to do them right away. You will have an entire night to recharge!
Some people like daily or weekly planners, others are more into creating lists, and the more tech-savvy rely on apps (more on these at the end of this article). Choose the style you prefer the most and start small, but make a habit out of it!
You could also try the Ivy Lee Method. This 100-year-old technique asks you to focus on no more than 6 tasks a day. The main idea is that concentrating on only a few important tasks, as opposed to multitasking, turns out to be a more effective productivity system.
3. Start With a Simple Task
Make your bed!
If you turn making your bed every morning into a habit then you will start every day with a task completed. The completion of that task will motivate you to continue on with your list, leading to a more productive morning overall.
In a very popular commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014, Naval Admiral William McRaven told students why making his bed every morning became a powerful lesson to him.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day”, he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
He reinforced that “if you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made.”
4. Drink Water
Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MHP, told Insider that drinking water as soon as you wake up is indispensable. It rehydrates your body, makes you more aware and alert, flushes out toxins, aids your digestion and jump-starts your metabolism. Talk about getting more out of your morning routine – that’s a lot of benefits!
The time you spend sleeping is a long period of time without drinking water. Our brains are approximately 70% water, so it’s important to stay hydrated, or we might experience fatigue or mood fluctuations throughout the day.
Drinking water in the morning helps your body get rid of the toxins it produces overnight. Eliminating these toxins is beneficial for your complexion, as it keeps your skin healthier and more radiant. Drinking lots of water will make you feel good on the inside and look good on the outside!
So, instead of running towards the coffee maker right away, try having a glass of water at hand first; your body will thank you later!
5. Have a Good Breakfast
Just like water, a good breakfast in the morning boosts your metabolism, helping you burn calories during the day. Most importantly, it will give you the energy you need to focus and get things done.
As this WebMD article says: “When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low. Breakfast helps replenish it.”
Skipping this important meal won’t just result in lower energy levels, lack of focus and loss of productivity. It can also lead to overeating during the day.
However, it’s also true that skipping breakfast is better than eating unhealthy food in the morning. So, make sure you’re getting a high-protein, high-fibre meal in the morning and all the nutrients and vitamins you need. This will allow you to start your day right and maintain your well-being throughout the day.
6. Tackle Your Most Important Task First
When you’re done getting ready for your day and it’s time to pick up your list and start taking care of business, be sure to get the most important, most difficult task out of the way first.
Brad Merrill, an entrepreneur and tech journalist, said in one of his many online courses, “Your willpower tends to be stronger at the beginning of the day. Also, a big win in the beginning of the day is going to translate into more progress in the afternoon.”
7. Be More Disciplined
Sometimes we wake up and we’re just not in the mood. You’re not motivated or inspired enough to have a productive morning. So, what can you do to get around this issue? Be disciplined!
Most people see inspiration as this divine feeling that they need in order to get things done. So, they wait and wait and wait. And then they don’t get anything done. What we need to understand (trust me, I learned this the hard way as a writer) is that progress and productivity don’t derive from inspiration – they come from discipline.
It’s the act of doing something that triggers inspiration for future actions. Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”, shows us that the real chain reaction for productivity is:
Action → Inspiration → Motivation
If you’re lacking motivation just do something! Discipline is what’s going to keep you on track and moving forward.
3 Useful Apps for Your Morning Routine
This is an alarm that actually gets you out of bed. Seriously, it won’t stop unless you get up! The app has different alarm modes in which, for example, you have to take a picture of a registered place in your house in order to stop it. Or it might ask you to shake your phone a certain number of times. Sound fun to you? Give it a go and see if it helps you get more out of your morning routine!
This is a great tool to build positive habits. This app eases you into a routine and helps you create long-term, healthy habits. It tracks your progress over time, providing charts and statistics, while keeping the interface simple and user-friendly.
As I mentioned before, some people like having the power of organizing their lives with just a click and a swipe. Todoist is the perfect task-management app for this. Todoist allows you to track all your tasks, prioritize them and even share them with other users!
How Will You Get More Out of Your Morning Routine?
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to creating a routine that works best – we’re all different! The only way to know for sure what works for you is by trying new things.
Remember: simple routines are the ones that tend to stick with us, so start small. Your routine can be as flexible as you are! Starting small and staying flexible will ensure you get more out of your morning routine. If you liked this article, check out the rest of our posts over on the Sophical Blog!