Why do we hear so much about people’s morning routine?!
What is it exactly about what we do between the time we wake up and the time we step outside that is so significant and meaningful?
Well, based on science — A LOT.
(If you’re curious, you can read THIS ARTICLE. It does a really good job explaining the role science plays in how we start our day.)
Ultimately, our morning routine can set the tone for the rest of the day and can be a direct contributor to our productivity and overall happiness. Pretty serious stuff. The best part of it all — we all have the ability to control and direct this segment of our day. While the rest of our waking hours are generally dictated by other forces (work schedule, family commitments, etc.) the morning is ALL OURS.
Now, what we choose to do with this time — that’s up to us!
Ever since I was young, I was always a morning person. It’s the time of day when my energy levels are the highest and my mental focus strongest. To put it simply, it’s when I’m my best self. Over the years, I’ve had conversations with friends, colleagues and family about my morning routine and how to become a “morning person.” I think it all boils down to 5 simple steps:
1. Make a List
Becoming a morning person actually starts the night before. As someone who deals with occasional anxiety, I find it helpful to keep a MOLESKINE NOTEBOOK and pen bedside. Before I go to bed, I do a brain dump of all of the things that are weighing on my mind. This can consist of “to-dos”, goals, ideas, etc. I find it helpful to “export” them from my brain to the paper so that I can get them out of my head and enjoy a night of uninterrupted sleep.
2. Keep Your Sleep Consistent
A morning routine is just not a routine unless there is repetition! I try to wake up at the same time each day regardless of my schedule or day of the week. Eventually, it becomes second nature and less painful to get moving. As a side note — make sure you’re getting enough sleep!! When I consistently get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, I find that I feel so much better and energized and obviously, waking up is much easier.
3. Make Time For Yourself
It’s important to leave yourself enough time to get through your morning activities without running around like a crazy person. How enjoyable will your morning be if you’re stressing out about being late? Instead, set your alarm to wake you up BEFORE you actually need to be awake. Use that extra time buffer to do what makes you happy — whether that’s scrolling through your Instagram feed with your coffee in hand, watching the news, taking on a new skincare regimen or enjoying a long, hot shower.
4. Get Moving
I can’t ever stress how much better I feel about myself and my day when I exercise first thing in the morning. It gets the blood flowing and clears my head. Early morning workouts are also much harder to talk yourself out of — you really have no excuses or obstacles keeping you from getting that sweat in!
5. Tackle your most challenging task FIRST
I was just having a conversation with another working mom about how we spend our mornings and we both agreed that the hours between 5am – 9am were some of our most productive. If there is a project or task that is most challenging, try to tackle that one first. I always do my best website brainstorming, graphic design and writing in the mornings — my creative brain tends to shut down after 3pm. Also, if there is something I don’t enjoy doing (i.e. addressing my overflowing e-mail inbox), I try to address that challenge before I do anything else. It’s nice to get the heavy lifting out of the way!
What’s YOUR morning routine like?