Creating your own morning routine can drastically help to improve your feelings of productivity throughout the day. Though the internet is chock-full of morning routine ideas and examples for how successful people organize their mornings to achieve success, only you know how to create a schedule and routine that suits you. One person might swear by jumping awake at 5 a.m. and going for a 6-mile run every day, while another sips espressos in bed until 10 a.m. So, take the following 10 tips with a grain of salt: some will work for you and others might not. Also, consider combining a few of them: for instance, meditation and exercising could be done simultaneously so as not to prolong your morning routine. All in all, what matters most is creating an everyday routine that can help you to prepare for the events in the day and complete them with relative ease. The following 10 tips have been known to improve self-control and energy levels, which can dip throughout the day without an effective morning routine.
#1 Drink a glass of water
Right when you wake up, drink a full glass of water (or as close to a full glass as you can). When you start your day with a glass of water, your body will thank you and you will immediately feel refreshed. A common piece of wisdom is that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day to feel hydrated — but this can be so hard to do! By the time you begin to feel parched throughout the day, your body has already lost about 1-2% of its water. A common cause of fatigue is mild dehydration, though we might not realize it throughout the day. Therefore, if you’re feeling somewhat low on energy, a glass of water can give you the jolt you need. By starting your day with a glass of water (and, specifically, lemon water), your physical and mental energy levels will be elevated, providing natural energy that will last throughout the day. Lemon water first thing in the morning has been said to improve nutrient absorption in your stomach. Afterward, you should wait about 15-30 minutes to eat to ensure full absorption — a perfect time to squeeze in some exercise!
#2 Don’t look at your phone
This one can be a little tricky — it seems natural now to check our emails first thing after we’ve woken up to start our day. However, when you immediately check your email and social media accounts in the morning, you easily lose focus and your day begins by succumbing to the wants and needs of other people. To create a morning a routine that encourages productivity, it is much healthier to take those precious morning moments and do something relaxing for yourself: this sets the tone and mood for the rest of the day. When you start your day with electronics, it gives the mind no chance to think freely without the influence of social media and it serves as a tool for procrastination that can set your whole day back. Though it is tough to start the day without your phone, it is absolutely the right choice. Test it out for a day — you will feel more productive and centered throughout the day, guaranteed.
#3 Don’t snooze
When you start your day by snoozing your alarm clock, it is just another excuse to procrastinate the beginning of the day, which ultimately leads to procrastination throughout the day. An extra 5, 10 or 20 minutes of sleep is not going to help you to feel more rested and, in fact, it will only serve to increase feelings of grogginess and grumpiness throughout the day. No matter how many times you hit snooze, you will eventually need to wake up to start the day. Instead of spending your morning not wanting to start the day, set just one alarm (on a real alarm clock, not your phone!) and place it across the room so you have to physically get up to turn it off. Then, don’t get back in bed! This one simple change can be the only change you need to make your day feel more productive.
There are a lot of positive benefits to meditation. Regular, daily meditation can improve concentration, reduce anxiety and help to dial down obnoxious, chattering thoughts that disrupt your day and make it difficult to accomplish tasks. When you practice meditation as part of a daily morning routine, you don’t necessarily need a ton of time or a lot of structure to reap the benefits. Some studies have shown that meditating for just 20 minutes every day is enough to begin experiencing the benefits of meditation. By meditating first thing when you wake up, you can knock it out before the day has begun, which can help you to move through the rest of your daily tasks on a more positive and centered note.
Like meditating early in the morning, exercising early on has many benefits for your mental and physical performance throughout the day. Some studies indicate that you only need to do about 10 minutes of physical activity every morning to reap the benefits! When you wake up and jump into a workout routine, go for a quick jog or practice gentle yoga, your body wakes right up and you can get the blood flowing, shaking the sleep from your brain. Exercising as part of your morning routine is also really great because you start your day by crossing something off of your to-do list: when you begin your day knowing you have already accomplished something good, you will breeze through the remaining tasks each day.
#6 Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast is important for your mental and physical functioning. It doesn’t have to be a huge breakfast — a granola bar can do the trick. Eating anything at all for breakfast sets you far ahead of most people: people who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese, have more stable blood-sugar levels and tend to be less hungry over the course of the day. However, when you eat a healthy breakfast, you can be even more productive, have more energy, improve your short-term memory and help you to concentrate more intensely and for longer periods of time. All in all, eating a balanced breakfast is crucial to your daily functioning and productivity levels. Though your breakfast can be small, make sure you eat something each morning as part of your morning routine.
#7 Eat the frog
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain
The phrase “eat a frog” essentially means: do the hardest task first, and everything else will be easy. If you have to eat a live frog, you might as well get it over quickly. There is no point in drawing it out, procrastinating the task or staring at it on your plate — just eat the frog and you will feel better knowing you have already completed the hardest task of the day. When you “eat a frog” as part of your morning routine, you are accomplishing the hardest thing you will have to do that day, so you know the rest of your day will be easier to manage. So, as part of your morning routine, make a list of 3 tasks you have to accomplish that day and do the hardest one first. Once you complete it, you will feel accomplished and ready to take on the rest of the day!
#8 Spend 30 minutes on a hobby or skill
Spend 30 minutes every morning doing something you absolutely love. Whether you love journaling, writing poetry, reading, drawing, watching birds or playing basketball, there is something that piques your interest. When you spend 30 minutes every morning honing your skills for something you love, you can utilize those early morning hours doing something productive rather than procrastinating. For some hobbies (like drawing), you can spend a short amount of time each morning working on a sketch and still make progress. For other hobbies, however (like sports or woodworking), you might not have that luxury, but a little bit every day can still help to improve your skills. For instance, if you’re passionate about camping, you can’t go camping every morning for 30 minutes, but you can read camping blogs and research nearby camping locations to prepare you for your next camping adventure. Or if you love carving, you could pull out your whittling knife for a few minutes every morning while listening to the radio. There are simply so many things you can do.
#9 Prepare the night before
This one is technically not a morning a routine, but a task for the night before. However, preparing for the day the night before can drastically decrease the stress of mornings and help to improve productivity throughout your day. When you eliminate decision-making for your morning routine, you are helping to make your whole morning go smoother. If you have to travel to work each day, plan out your outfit and your lunch the night before each day to cut down on stress for your mornings. Also, make a to-do list for the following day each night so that you wake up knowing what needs to get done. This way, you can be mentally prepared each morning to “eat the frog.” Planning out your breakfast, or your meals, in general, can also help to free your morning of pesky hang-ups.
#10 Cross off yesterday from your calendar
Today is a new day. Focus on the tasks set before you: do your day one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with all that needs to get done, that maybe you had run out of time to complete the day before. Remind yourself that another day is gone and adjust your mindset accordingly: how do you feel about what you accomplished yesterday and what changes do you want to make for this new day? When you start your day by crossing off yesterday from your calendar, you are focusing your mind on the tasks at hand, centering your mind to what matters here and now. Go thoughtfully throughout your day, crossing off tasks as they are accomplished.
This post was written by Kara Roberts, blogger and content writer for Sincerely Silver. We specialize in creating custom made jewelry in sterling silver, gold and rose gold and have been featured in a number of publications, including Glamour. For gift ideas and personalized jewelry creations, check out our blog!