Morning Routines: How to set up your day for success
Mornings can be a particularly important time of day. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a morning person or not, how you start your day will no doubt influence your mood and your level of productivity. Furthermore, if you are trying to break a bad morning habit (immediately checking your phone, or eating something sugary), it is best to replace these with something more positive. The brain is like a sponge, and with a little bit of practice, it can develop new routines that will set you up for the rest of the day. Over time, this new routine becomes the norm and the influence they have on you and your day.
Of course, there isn't a one-size fit all perfect morning routine, however, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people, combined with some research and inspiration on how to always get out of bed on the right side!
The Importance of Routine
The secret to your future is concealed in your daily routine. Upon waking we only have a limited amount of energy and resolve, this slowly gets exhausted away with choices. The goal is to use a routine to ensure that the first hour or two of your day varies as little as possible.
A morning routine can prime you for success. It can help you to achieve more, think more clearly and concentrate on the work that really matters. A routine can help you from carelessly tripping through your day and ensure that you get the important things done!
Mark Zuckerberg wears the same thing every day, in a bid to avoid mental fatigue. Knowing how the first hour of your day will pan out can be a powerful tool, as it gives you the feeling of being in control. This can lead to reduced anxiety, and in turn, boosted productivity.
You do not need a drawn-out, complicated routine, just something that will help you set your mind and body up for the day, and ensure you are in the best frame of mind to attack your day with a positive attitude.
Rise and Shine
Waking up at a regular time can be very helpful in optimising productivity. If you train your body to wake up at a fixed time, you are more likely to make use of your morning schedule, and consequently be more productive.
Most high achievers wake up early in order to prepare themselves for the upcoming day. Waking up early can give you a greater sense of control over your day, you tend to not feel so rushed, allowing you to enjoy the start of your day! Setting an early alarm can come with many benefits: boosted productivity as you have fewer distractions early in the day, enhanced creativity due to working with a fresh mind, and even less stress as you will feel less rushed. “Early” doesn’t necessarily mean 5 am, for you it could be 9 am or even 10! That’s okay. We all have our own moments of peak efficiency.
This is a super simple step. Drink water. This kickstarts several important things: it spurs your metabolism into action, cleans things up, gives you a little kick of energy, makes you feel alert and aids your digestive system. Placing a bottle of on your dresser or bathroom sink the night before so you see it first thing and drink it is a great way to help remind you hydrate first thing in the morning.
Your productivity relies heavily on your physical capacity to perform. The fuel for this comes from food! It isn’t news that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Eating the right food for breakfast will lead to improvements in memory and can help you to focus. Skipping breakfast will most likely make it harder to concentrate. Contrary to popular belief it can also help to control your weight. By missing breakfast, your body is put into fasting mode, which in turn can cause your body to store more fat.
There are few things more cathartic than exercise. If you get moving first thing in the morning, it increases your blood flow, releases endorphins, and strengthens your body. It also helps to prepare you for your day ahead, boosting your energy levels and keeping you strong and healthy.
This may sound impossible to some, but it does not have to be a full workout to reap the benefits, simply moving around will get your blood flowing and help to kickstart your day. Try a light mobility routine, or some gentle yoga, if you're a little more adventurous perhaps a brisk jog. For those with a regular exercise routine, try shifting it to the beginning of the day!
Get Big Work Done Early
As Mark Twain fittingly said:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
In other words, begin your day by attacking your most important tasks (eating the live frog), so the rest of your day seems easy-going in comparison!
Many people find that selecting their task (or their frog) the evening before, and writing it down, can be extremely constructive. Get into the routine of writing your task for tomorrow down at the end of the day. Once you are up and about, fed, hydrated and have done a bit of exercise, check your list. Finish each day by creating another list. By deliberately laying out tasks for your upcoming day, it leads to much higher productivity and creates a routine out of it. By accomplishing big things first, you will feel a huge boost of achievement.
There are many ways to kickstart your day. It is important to create a routine specifically for you, and one that you can stick to on a long-term basis. There are millions of reasons to get up every day! It is important to figure out yours. Getting off to a positive start can mean the difference between an enthusiastic, proactive start and dragging your feet into the day.