How you start your morning sets the stage for the rest of the day. To be productive during the day, having a routine that makes you feel calm, in control, and excited about the day ahead is crucial.
Your morning routine can dramatically increase your productivity. Creating a routine that prioritizes the most important aspects of your life is the key to a fantastic morning.
12 Steps to a productive morning routine:
1. Plan Your Day The Night Before
Creating a new routine can feel hard and will take time to get used to. Planning your day the evening before takes the pressure off the mornings and allows you to ease into the new day.
Once you plan your ideal morning routine, see what you can do the night before. If you plan to exercise in the mornings, take your workout clothes out and place them in a practical place.
The idea is to eliminate any obstacles that make it hard for you to stick to your routine.
Here are a few tricks to set yourself up for a successful morning:
- Place your alarm (or phone) far away, out of reach, so you are forced to get out of bed. Doing so will help you avoid pressing the snooze button.
- Make sure you get enough sleep and wake at a time that feels right for you, giving yourself plenty of time to get ready without rushing.
- Tidy up before going to bed. Starting your mornings in a cluttered space will make you feel cluttered.
- Plan your calendar and a to-do list the evening before to begin your day with a clear plan.
2. Make Your Bed Early In The Morning
Making your bed may seem insignificant, but don’t underestimate the phycological benefits of doing so. This simple task will make you feel productive and takes only a minute or two.
It’s an easy “win,” like making a to-do list and purposely including tasks you’ve already done so that you can mark them off your list.
The bonus is coming home to a bedroom with a neatly made bed. You will feel more relaxed and sleep better.
More importantly, making your bed in the mornings can snowball the effect of other small, positive habits.
3. Hydrate With A Glass Of Luke-Warm Lemon Water
Your body needs to hydrate after having gone without water for the duration of your night’s rest. Water is the best fluid to rehydrate you, but drinking ice-cold water will shock your body.
Instead, go for lukewarm or room-temperature water.
Adding a slice of lemon, or a squeeze of lemon juice, to your first glass of water has many health benefits, including aiding digestion.
If you prefer, you can add mint leaves for taste.
4. Exercise (Preferably Cardio) Early In The Morning
There are many benefits to exercising in the mornings. For one, you have more control over your morning time, so sticking to an exercise routine is much easier.
Secondly, exercise reduces stress and releases dopamine and serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone.” While any exercise is better than no exercise, cardio is particularly beneficial in the mornings.
Cardiovascular exercises like running, brisk walks, or cycling get our hearts pumping, increase our blood flow and make us sweat. You will experience a rush of endorphins and feel excited for the day ahead.
The effects of exercise last many hours into the day, improving your productivity, focus, and even sleep.
5. Practice Gratitude, Pray, Or Meditate
Mornings are the ideal time for self-care, including taking care of your emotional, mental, and spiritual self.
Days are unpredictable, unexpected work events or family visits can derail any plan you had for the evenings, but in many ways, mornings are ours.
Spend the early mornings, before the rest of the household wakes, to enjoy the peacefulness, pray, meditate, do yoga, or practice affirmations.
6. Enjoy A Healthy Breakfast At Home
Ever tried driving with an empty tank? How far did you get? For a productive day, you need to fuel your body.
Eating a healthy breakfast at home will save you tons of money and give you the energy needed to perform your best.
Some recommend high-protein breakfasts, while others say you need more carbs for energy.
Whichever breakfast you prefer, dedicate time in the mornings to enjoy your breakfast slowly and peacefully.
7. Do Something That Makes You Happy
When we feel happy, we are more productive. Think of little things that make you happy, and add them to your morning routine.
These acts of joy don’t need to take much time but try not to focus on the time. Instead, focus on what makes you most happy and see where you can fit it in.
Here are a few morning routine ideas:
- Listening to music while preparing breakfast
- Dancing in your kitchen or living room
- Listening to a podcast (outside, on your commute, or while you are getting ready)
- Spending time on hobbies (painting, gardening, reading, etc.)
8. Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones
Starting your day with the ones you love will remind you what is most important in life. After a long day, you may be tired, or family members have homework, hobbies, or other priorities to attend to.
Spending time with your loved ones in the morning will allow you to connect before the day takes its toll, give you a sense of purpose and strengthen your bond.
If you live alone with a companion animal, spend quality time with them.
Take your dog for a walk, cuddle with your cat or play with them before heading off to work. You will start your day much happier and more productive.
9. Avoid The Digital World For The First Hour (Or More)
Nothing will derail your morning routine faster than checking your phone.
Be it social media or emails, before you know it, half an hour is gone, and you are stressed, triggered, or feel obligated to respond to messages.
While digital devices can help us be more productive, you will be far less stressed (and more productive) when you focus the first hour of your day on your self-care, mindset, and health.
10. Stimulate Your Mind
As Robin Sharma described in his self-development novel, The 5 am Club, there are incredible benefits to spending a few minutes in the morning nourishing your intellect.
Reading or learning something new will improve your knowledge, keep your brain young and, depending on the material, give you the tools needed to further your career.
There are many free courses you can take online, or you can visit your local library.
11. Review On The Plan For The Day Ahead
Before heading off to work, take the last few minutes home to review your calendar and the to-do list you created the night before.
Mentally going over your day puts you in a proactive mindset. If you have any meetings scheduled, you can go over your notes. Preparing yourself ahead of time will increase your focus and productivity.
12. Tackle Your Most Pressing Tasks First
Once you’ve mentally prepared yourself for the day ahead, think of the task that weighs the heaviest on you and do that first.
We are much more productive, energetic, and creative in the mornings, and often, things become more clear in the morning.
Instead of stressing about this task the whole day, you will gain a sense of accomplishment and feel more productive.
Final Thoughts On A Productive Morning Routine
You now have 12 actionable steps that you can use to create a productive morning routine for yourself.
Nobody’s perfect, so don’t sweat it if you can only implement a few of these things or if your routine looks different than what’s been outlined here.
The important thing is finding what works for you and helps you start your day off on the right foot.
Use these tips to improve productivity, stick with them, and see how the