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How many of us have had the dream of being that superhuman person who strides confidently and elegantly into work on time, day in day out, primed and ready for action?
These types of people don’t appear to have the same kinds of anxieties as the rest of us: they always look immaculate and they smell great. Their colleagues will often look on at them with awe on wonder. At break, they eat their fresh fruit and their lunch always makes you salivate.
You mournfully compare this to your morning routine: frazzled, stressed, and crumpled. Are you that person who drags themselves into work constantly on the fly – late before the day even got started? Frantically, wiping dried baby vomit/last night’s dinner/drool off your shoulder?
Being that perfect person seems therefore to be unobtainable – but this is absolutely not the case.
It is possible for all of us to change the way we start our day and the things you need to do to achieve this are only a few steps away. Practice these morning routine habits daily and you could be the office heroine every day of the week. Morning routine success is only a few steps away.
Morning Routine Definition
Put simply, a morning routine is a sequence of actions that are regularly followed to make your life easier, less stressful, and more productive. The morning routines of successful people are followed daily so much so that, eventually, these practices become the new normal and are implemented without being noticed.
What is your Morning Routine Schedule?
Go on – be honest: Do you have a morning routine list? What is it? Does it work or does the synopsis below resemble your life in some way?
- You hit snooze several times and the clock/phone/alarm often falls on the floor so that you must scramble up quickly to get it.
- You leave getting up as late as you possibly can so that you can spend more time in bed sleeping (but, you’re not actually asleep).
- It takes all your energy to get out bed.
- You feel tired, groggy and grumpy.
- As you are late, you don’t have time for a shower or to take care with your appearance. This makes your mood worse.
- You frantically scramble around for something to wear and resort to the clothes pile/clothes on the floor/ironing basket/back of the wardrobe/dirty laundry. You feel a mess before you’ve even left the house.
- There is no time for breakfast. You feel stressed and run out of the door – already late for your first meeting/task.
If you have other people that you are responsible for this can look a whole lot worse and involve yelling, tears, stress and anxiety. Don’t beat yourself up, be kind to yourself. This is a common description of a typical morning in many homes.
Lots of people have learned to accept this behavior as something that just happens every day. But let’s be frank. It doesn’t have to be like this.
You don’t have to start every day late before you’ve even got out of bed. We all know that this is the start a stress spiral that impacts on the rest of the day and, in fact, our wider lives.
Poor Organization Makes You Feel Vulnerable
Poor organization makes you feel vulnerable. This is a fact. Feeling vulnerable at work impacts on your productivity and the success with which you can execute your job. There is nothing worse than feeling a mess and feeling anxious about this. You yourself know that this is not the person that you want to be and there are more important things to occupy your mind than this.
The simple fact of life is that every day starts with a morning and, chances are, if you don’t nail your morning routine, you are going to feel pretty rubbish for the rest of the day – every day. The way you feel first thing in the morning usually dictates how the rest of the day will unfold. When you start the day on the back foot, it can often take hours to break out of the morning funk.
Dare to Imagine How Different Things Could Be with a Good Morning Routine Schedule
So, dare to imagine how you could feel instead.
Calm, in control and ‘on it’.
You will be surprised by what you can achieve when you go from survival mode to being in control. Your productivity will skyrocket.
We are told that some mystical law of the universe means that some of us are naturally morning people, yet others are not and constantly struggle in a non-winnable fight. Piffle. We can all be morning people.
These morning routine ideas will tell you how to get up and create your own dawn chorus – so that you too can be that person who sashays into the office with a satisfied side glance.
Where Do We start? The Morning Routine Checklist
It is amazing how the simplest changes can make seismic improvements to your day. It really is as straightforward as getting the right start in the morning. However, like most things, to make this kind of change you have got to want it – to own it. It’s simple but is true: the change starts with you. You have got to be the change that you want to see if your life.
Once you have the right mindset there is good news! There are several key things that you can do immediately that will instantly impact on your life for the better. Change can take place over night – literally!
Stage 1: Preparation Is the Name of The Game
Perhaps the most efficient and effective way to strike at the heart of this issue is to take action the night before. This saves time and without doubt, preparation is the best friend of your morning routine. Who knows why but:
10 minutes of night time preparation = a saving of 30+ minutes of morning activity
The time saving alone is worth the effort.
Follow these simple steps the evening before.
Step 1: Tidy Up – Every Day
Tidy up your bedroom and put your clothes and stuff away. Create an environment that you want to wake up to. Not only does it save time in the long run it makes life more bearable. You may need to invest a little more time in this for starters but that’s no big deal. Set aside a time block at the weekend to get this done properly if your bedroom is untidy. The rule to follow here is that every night you must tidy up and put things away so that you don’t have to repeat the initial ‘grand tidy’.
Step 2: Lay out your clothes and accessories and pack your bag
Get all your clothes and accessories laid out and pack your bag the night before. We are trying to avoid the early morning frantic search through the wardrobe in your underwear, only to find that there is nothing to wear. If necessary, try clothes on quickly to check that you are happy with them before laying them out.
As you lay them out, check that they are ironed and lint free. If not, sort them out. Check that your shoes are clean and polished. Pack your bag and ensure that you have everything that you need.
Even if you do nothing else – this act alone will change the way that you feel in the morning. It is fundamental in removing stress – especially for those who feel anxious about their appearance.
Step 3: Prepare Your Food
If you take lunch or other refreshments to work, ensure that they are prepared and ready the night before. Put them in the fridge and if necessary, leave a note on the door so that you don’t forget to take them. If you are on a healthy eating kick you can manage your diet and lifestyle much better this way. You will also save a lot of money as it’s far cheaper to make your own food than to buy it each day. You will also throw less food away at the end of the week.
Step 4: Go to Bed at a Reasonable Time
Go to bed at a reasonable time and free from distractions. According to The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) the average adult aged 26 -64 years old needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Check out the NSF’s recommended sleep times chart to see how this is different for different ages.
There is nothing finer than waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. In addition, the health benefits from getting the right amount of sleep are well documented. Sleep is a very powerful thing – do not underestimate its importance. It’s easy for busy people to see sleep as an imposition. However, getting the right amount of sleep will mean that you get more done during the day so that you can be more efficient with your time. It’s also vital for your health and wellbeing.
For those that struggle to fall asleep there are several things that you can do:
- Read fiction before you go to bed.
- Don’t have any screen time for 2 hours before you go to bed.
- Turn off all electronic gadgets and leave them out of the bedroom.
- The only exception to the above is if you decide to try some of the various sleep apps out there on the market to see which ones you like.
Do not fight your ‘tired time’. This is that point in the evening when you start to yawn and feel a bit sleepy. Accept it, embrace it. Go to bed. Do not be tempted to push through it to watch another episode of your favorite show. You will find that it is much easier to fall asleep when you are in this zone. Listen to your body’s signals and get in touch with them by taking the appropriate action.
Stage 2: The Morning Routine
With all the above steps taken you are in a very strong position to get the most out of your morning routine.
Step 5: Get Up at The Same Time Every Work Day
Chances are if you do not have an established morning routine, then you do not have a set time at which you get up. Firstly, work out realistically how much time you need in the morning to get everything done that you would like to. Decide the time that you need to get up that allows this and then stick to it.
This might mean setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier that you normally do but it will make a huge difference. Straight away, you will be ahead of yourself and in control. You will already be less stressed.
Be realistic about what you can achieve and do not set yourself up to fail or you will give up before you have even started. If your alarm currently goes off at 8am – moving it to 5am is likely a stretch too far. Try smaller, incremental changes over several days or even weeks. You will be surprised what you can accomplish in this way.
A great tip here is to put the alarm clock as far away from your bed as possible so that you cannot simply reach over to hit snooze. Force yourself to get out of bed and do not allow yourself to get back in – no matter how tired you may feel!
There are a great number of different alarm clocks on the market that you can pick: ones that use light that mimics the sunrise, a gentler sound. The list really is endless.
A note of caution: Do not under any circumstances be tempted to crawl back into bed and read your emails, check your social media or the news. More time magic again – before you know it what you thought of as 5 mins will be 45 minutes. Be honest with yourself about this and do not give in to the voice that says ‘Go on… only for 5 minutes’ NO!
Step 6: Rehydrate
Once you are ‘up and at ‘em’ you need to rehydrate your body as you just went 8 hours without water. Play around with variations to see what works for you: a bottle by the bedside placed there the night before, chilled from the fridge, with a slice of lemon. It really is up to you.
Step 7: Make Your Bed
No negotiation. Make your bed. Tidy up. Get ahead of the game for when you go to bed later in the day. Plus, your bedroom will look nicer and it will incentivize you to keep it tidy.
Step 8: Be Thankful in Your Own Way
Take a moment to enjoy the peace and stillness. Savor your drink slowly. Some people may even wish to engage some deliberate mindfulness such as Head Space. Regardless of your spiritual or religious views it is a great time to marvel at the world, to think about the life we have and how precious the time that we have is (so, we need to make the most of it!).
Some people like to document their thoughts in a journal in a further bid to reduce stress and overwhelm. There is lots of advice and guidance on the web about this. Some suggestions are included at the bottom of this article.
Step 9: Decide if Early Morning Exercise is for You
Many people like to exercise hard in the morning so that they can check it off their list as a done job. Whilst this can be satisfying it can also be overwhelming if you are just starting out. Research has proven that the impact of regular exercise on both your physical and mental health is unrivalled. However, it is important that you enjoy it and that it works for you.
Be bold, try it and experiment. Vary your programme on different days. Often getting outside into the fresh air can supercharge your mornings as you feel alive and ready to take on the world. This however, doesn’t have to be a 10k run – it can be a 15-minute purposeful walk. Plus, in terms of your personal productivity it is one less thing that needs to be done later in the day.
Step 10: Have a Personal Pamper
Most people feel better when they have showered every day. Practically speaking this enables you to keep on top of your personal hygiene habits and be ready for any unexpected invites that come your way! Take the time to enjoy it – give yourself a bit of a pamper and allow yourself to look and feel your best.
Step 11: Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whilst it is easy to skip or to eat on the run this is not in your best interests. By planning ahead, it can be prepped and ready. Skipping breakfast every day means that you are more likely to make poor choices as you become hungry later on and this in turn will create other issues. Take your time and enjoy it. Mix it up – treat yourself occasionally, life is for living!
Step 12: Tidy Up
Once you have finished, clear the dishes and tidy up. Some people like to set the table for dinner or supper. Others even begin to prepare the evening meal if they have time. This is the beauty of having a morning routine – with time you can do whatever you want to do.
Don’t be side-tracked
Be wary of being taken off-task by a couple of things which can quickly derail your routine.
Do not be fooled! It will drain your time and is a major distraction. You really can manage without it.
Social Media and Email
It’s probably better, to be honest, not to spend time on this in the morning as it’s amazing how fast time can get away from you. However, if you MUST check your social media and email set yourself a strict time limit. Plan it in to your schedule and stick to it.
Font-Load Your Working Week
It’s possible to make your morning routine even easier by using a bit of time at the weekend to get even more organized. Here’s some of the things that you could do to get in an even better place ready for the start of the working week:
- Plan your morning meals and work out what needs to be prepared in advance and what you can prep in the morning.
- Ensure that you have the shopping in that you need to enjoy a healthy breakfast and lunch.
- Batch cook and freeze healthier meal options for breakfast and lunch.
- Do the laundry and ironing so that your clothes are ready. Or, have a system that splits this up throughout the week.
- Have a weekend routine. Fair enough, you may choose to get up a little bit later but nonetheless have a weekend routine that you stick to. Weekend quiet time, without having to dash out of the door, can be utterly enlightening and feel like a revelation.
If you follow all, or even some, of these tips for a more productive morning routine, you will start your day in control and energized ready for the day ahead. Your productivity will increase dramatically, and you will be able to focus with purpose on any task that life throws your way.
People who get up early usually share similar traits: they are productive, organized and successful. With a few simple changes this could be you too.
Remember though: no one in life is perfect. Do not become a slave to your routine and be strong enough to know when you need to mix things up a little. Despite having the best will in the world, there will be things that sometimes get in the way. That’s life!
Take good care of yourself. If you are ill, burnt-out or just exhausted Dr Sleep can make a massive contribution to getting you back on track.
Establishing a new habit is hard but there are lots of advantages to following a really great morning routine:
- Less stress and anxiety – the commute to work will be easier.
- You will save money e.g. no need for fast food as you are better organized.
- Greater confidence in yourself as you appreciate your improved appearance.
- It’s better for your career prospects – you can get more done and you start your working day in the right frame of mind.
A Productive Morning Routine really is achievable for anyone. With the right mindset even the diehard bed sloth can become the early riser. Remember: The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the right mindset.
We know you can do this. With action, anything is possible.
Now, we’d love to hear from you.
What action are you going to take as a result of reading this article?
Let us know your thoughts below. Your observations may inspire someone else who needs help to act.
Further Reading: Interested to find out more?
Have a look at these articles from across the web: