How to create a morning routine
With the breakneck pace of modern life, it can often like there’s barely time to do anything. We wake up in the morning and before we know it, it’s 6pm and yet another day is (literally) riding off into the sunset.
But according to experts, that is not often a good thing. Feeling like we do not have control over our day and how we spend it can leave us feeling stressed, frustrated or even depressed.
If every day’s a whirlwind for you, leaving you constantly out of time and hustling to catch up with tasks, you need to take back control of your life. And one of the best ways to do this is by having a morning routine.
How do you go about creating one? That’s what we’ll discuss today. Let’s get in.
The value of a morning routine
Very successful people, according to productivity experts, share a common trait – they usually have well-developed morning routines.
Arianna Huffington, for example, always commences her day with yoga and meditation. Dwayne Johnson puts in the work in his “steel jungle” every morning, and Barack Obama starts every day with cardio and weights, followed by breakfast with his daughters.
Why do these successful people pay so much attention to morning routines? Well, according to science, there’s a strong connection between starting the day well and being highly productive.
A study reported by the Harvard Business Review found that we are at our most proactive and productive in the morning. Self-control is greatest in the morning and people who harness this period are able to start their day brighter, more intentionally and may achieve more before the end of the day.
The American Psychological Association also reports that people who have a healthy morning routine experience lower stress, depression and increased life satisfaction.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to supercharge your day and get the best out of it, the secret may lie in your morning routine.
Tips for an effective morning routine
People tend to approach the topic of morning routines all wrong. We look at people who already have successful routines and think “if I could just incorporate some of that, I think I’ll be good”. But that doesn’t often work.
People who benefit from their morning routines only do so because it’s tailor-made for them. Even if they copied elements of it from elsewhere, the specifics of the routine are perfect for them, and that’s why they find success. Getting up at 4am may be great for some people but it might not be the best for you.
As a result, if you want to create a successful morning routine, you need to start with what works for you. To get started on putting together your morning routine, follow these tips:
- Start from within: The best routines are those that flow out of who you are, your goals and how you want to achieve them. Start by thinking about what’s important for you to achieve during the day, and then see what morning habits will supercharge you for success.
- Create a plan: Although we don’t recommend being too detailed with your plan, it’s useful to think about how you want to proceed. Plan how your morning activities flow into each other, so they keep you on a consistent, motivated trajectory.
- Start the day before: A lot of the time, we lose precious moments thinking about our day for the first time when we wake up. Planning for the next day before we go to bed helps us wake up clear-headed, alert and focused on the day.
- Be consistent: The purpose of a morning routine is exactly that – to follow a routine. Failing to stick with it or being inconsistent can rob us of the benefits we would have derived otherwise.
- Be flexible: Lastly, you should never become a slave to your own routine. Know when it’s working, when it’s not and when it’s time to add or remove something. At the end of the day, the routine is meant to help you, not the other way around.
With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to start putting together your own highly effective morning routine. What should go into it? That’s what we’ll discuss next.
What does an effective morning routine look like?
Remember we said your morning routine should come from within? Here’s where you start putting that to work.
However, because of this, it can be hard to showcase what an effective morning should look like since everyone has different things that work for them. It could be Pilates for some, or yoga for others. If they do what you want, then that’s perfectly fine.
But rather than tell you what must absolutely be in your morning routine, we’ll share great principles that can help you plan your perfect routine. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Stop snoozing: While you may think it gives you a bit more time to sleep, the opposite can actually be the case. Our body gets used to sleep cycles – the time between when we sleep fully wake up – and each cycle need to be long enough to get us feeling rested. Every time we hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, we start a new cycle but one that is shorter than our body needs. This means we’re actually getting less sleep and will be more like to wake up cranky, depressed or just plain unmotivated.
- Get your body moving: Research shows that working out early in the morning, and on an empty stomach, can boost energy levels. Start your morning with some cardio, hit the tracks, pump some irons – anything to get you limbered up and your blood pumping.
- Practice stillness: Another beneficial morning habit is spending some time in silence, prayer, meditation or just quiet reflection. Practicing stillness can help us feel more focused, confident and in control of our day. It also leaves our minds clear and centered on the day ahead.
- Do something that’s important to you: Many people use some part of their morning routine to learn something new, write for a while or just add a personal skill. Since we are usually more productive in the morning, there may be no better time for this. Consider what skill can make you more rounded, and give you the perfect start to the day.
- Make contact: Whether it consists of saying a loving good morning to your partner, kids, loved ones or even your pet, emotional contact in the morning can go a long way. It makes us feel more blessed and emotionally prepared to tackle our day.
- Fuel properly: Nutrition is vital to a productive day. Although there are several dietary plans available now that may involve eating only during a specific period, your first meal of the day should always be the right one. Eat only healthy, balanced meals that pack just the right nutrients for full-body health. You may also find some benefits from supplementing your meal with natural nootropics that boost your brain and gut health.
- Set a plan for the day: Finally, always start each day with a specific plan in mind. This doesn’t mean your plan must be detailed though, as the more detail you have, the more tiring it can feel. Instead, hammer out the high-level details of what you want your day to be about. This way, you have a mental picture of the goal and can work consistently towards it.
With these principles in mind, you can then go on to set the perfect morning routine that works for you.
A great morning routine sets you up for a more productive, motivated day. By also supplementing with the right items, you also increase your ability to stay focused, energized and mentally alert throughout the day.