Let me guess; your current attempt at a healthy morning routine consist of repeatedly hitting snooze till you muster up the strength to rise from your warm-cozy bed. Only to find yourself glued to your phone for the next 30 minutes before performing a single productive task. From this point on, you’re in a constant state of trying to rush and play catch up — never really feeling like you have enough time to complete any obligations you’ve set for the day.
Many of us have busy schedules and often feel strapped for time.
Implementing a morning routine that is personalized to your preferences, can make all the difference in being productive, feeling organized, and achieving all of your daily goals.
Reasons to Set a Routine
If you look at the top 10 most successful people in the world, they all share a few things in common — one of them being — a morning routine. I’m not saying follow what these high performers are doing to the “T” but looking at specific components and finding a way to replicate those particular parts and tailor them to your needs.
How we begin our day has a significant impact on how the rest of the day will follow. Creating constructive habits for your morning routine can lead to increased productivity and internal fulfillment.
Creating a morning routine is not centered on the number of tasks one can condense in a short period of time. Instead, it is about allowing yourself to get into a state of flow so as you go through your day, you find yourself more energized and focused.
Starting our day this way can allow us to effectively complete tasks and to handle things that come our way without constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Physical and Emotional Benefits
Workplace stress can be as detrimental to our health as secondhand smoke, according to researchers from Harvard Business School and Stanford University.
Physical and Emotional Health
How we feel physically, can greatly influence our emotional state. And the way we start our day plays so much significance on our emotional and mental health. Our emotional health can be impacted by how we feel we are managing our day. This is especially true for perfectionist. When we are constantly in a rush and don’t feel like we are getting anything accomplished or feeling lost in a sea of tasks. Becoming overwhelmed and stressed can easily throw our focus level off and decrease our production output.
Over time, this pattern of rushing through the day — feeling drained because of the franticness caused by the lack of productivity. Could lead to depression and potentially, leave us in a negative state of thinking.
Having an organized morning routine helps us set the tone for the day. It allows us to control our schedules rather than our schedule controlling us. This leads to us prioritizing our time and increasing our capacity for better productivity.
Being productive doesn’t always have to mean accomplishing 50 tasks in a day, responding to all of your emails and running 20 miles. True productivity refers to the level of quality and intention we are giving to our projects. Getting 20 half-completed tasks feels a whole lot different than fully completing 7.
Sometimes we unknowably let our busy days get in the way of this quality-based productivity. You may find yourself constantly reacting to additional tasks or needs of others as the day progresses.
A pro tip would be to asses the situation as it occurs, and see if it is something that truly requires your full attention — and if it doesn’t — theres your answer.
Strategies to Help You
The following recommendations can help you create an effective morning routine.
Make sure you have time
An effective morning routine allows you enough time to fully prepare yourself for the day, and benefit from your constructive habits!
There is no set time for how long your morning routine should be. The important thing is to first — start. Every individual is different and requires a form of divergency in the way they structure their morning routine. Normative assumptions say you have to wake up at 4 a.m. in order to have a good morning routine. Don’t worry about what others are doing and focus on what would benefit you the most.
Things you should remember:
- Don’t hit the snooze button
- Set a reasonable time to wake up
- Try to not touch your phone for the first 5 minutes
- Make sure to hydrate
- Incorporate some sort of stretching
Move Your Body
For the general population, morning routines are an extra 35 minutes of screen time to check all the unread messages from the night before, and another 20 minutes of scrolling through Instagram. This is actually hindering our bodies from fully waking up and starting our day with correct alertness.
If we provide ourselves some reprieve from the text messages and twitter posts, we can use that time to perform better practices like stretching, bodyweight exercises, or even going for a walk. Honestly, any type of movement in the morning is much better than lying in bed on your phone! Moving our bodies is a great way to actively wake up our muscles and minds.
Key things to remember:
- Don’t stay in bed when the alarm goes off.
- Set your phone far from your bed
- Any movement is better than nothing.
- Try stretching, bodyweight exercises, and walking
Imagine running a 5k at a big event and expecting to see a nice bowl of fruit, snacks, and lots of cold water bottles at the end of the race. But instead, you get a thank you card and a gift card — you’d be pissed. This is how our bodies feel in the morning when we don’t supply it with the proper nutrients (Breakfast). Think of this: When you’re sleeping, your body is undergoing many reconstructive processes that consume lots of energy. Thus, why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. That replenishment in the morning can really kick start your productivity because of the healing and recovery done the night prior now coupled with proper nutrition is a combination only resulting in beneficial outcomes.
Constantly eating foods with little to no nutritional value, won’t allow us to feel our best, and can lead to energy fluctuation throughout the day. That loss of energy can certainly advance to a feeling of unstableness. Incorporating a healthy breakfast allows us to properly fuel our bodies, and can have us feeling more alert and focused.
What If I’m Not a Morning Person? — Takeaway
You don’t have to be a pro at waking up at 4 am in order to develop a great morning routine. The way you design your morning routine is completely up to you and based on what you feel would better serve you. A morning routine won’t be effective if it only lasts a few days. Create something that can last a lifetime.
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