The word “routine” sounds so boring. Routines tend to be monotonous, tedious and dull. But that’s kind of the point. A regular morning routine can make the difference between a focused and productive day or a stressful day spent playing catch up.
Do you pick up your phone as soon as you wake up? If you’re like most people, I’m guessing the answer is “yes”. Now think about how that morning phone time makes you feel. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram may seem innocuous, but next thing you know you’re checking emails and starting to feel stressed - even before stepping out of bed.
What you do first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start out stressed and rushing, you’re more likely to crash come 3pm. Morning routines help start your day off on the right foot, allow for better focus throughout the day, and can help you feel calm and less stressed.
Try out these suggestions to create a regular morning routine to help you feel more focused, productive and energetic all day long.
Buy an Alarm Clock
As much as I try to avoid my phone first thing in the morning, having to pick it up to turn of my alarm automatically cues me to look at the screen. And if I have a text message or an alert? Well there goes my morning. Buying an alarm clock was a game-changer. It makes it so much easier to leave your phone on your nightstand until you’ve completed your morning routine.
Make Decisions The Night Before
We only have limited amounts of energy to get us through the day. The more energy you use making decisions first thing in the morning, the less you’ll have later in the day (this is why Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama wear the same outfit everyday). Start the night before to limit the number of decisions you need to make come morning. Lay out your clothes, pack your bag, and prep breakfast. Write out the next days to-do list so you don’t waste time deciding what tasks to start with. The more decision making you can eliminate from your mornings, the more energy and time you’ll have for the rest of the day.
Drink a Glass of Water
If you’re even slightly dehydrated, your energy and concentration will be affected. Start the day off on the right foot by drinking eight to 16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up. Keep a water bottle or a glass of water right by your bedside to remind yourself to drink it upon waking.
Meditation can help you to feel more centered and grounded first thing in the morning. Try using an app like Headspace or Calm and set aside the first five or ten minutes of the morning to meditate. These apps have a variety of mindfulness meditations to help you to tune into your body and your surroundings. This increased clarity can lead to better energy, focus and productivity throughout the rest of the day.
Journaling for a few minutes each morning can help to unload any unfinished thoughts or worries from our brains. Writing down your thoughts helps to declutter your mind and get any distracting and negative thoughts out of your brain. If you’re stuck on what to write, try using a structured journal with simple prompts like The Five-Minute Journal. Use it to reflect on what you’re grateful for, a few things you can do to make the day great, and a positive affirmation. Starting the day with gratitude and positivity can help you feel happier and more energetic.
A little movement first thing in the morning gets your blood circulating and provides a natural energy boost. It doesn’t have to be a full on workout, even five minutes of simple stretching will do the trick.
What does your morning routine look like? Share in the comments below.