How To Create The Perfect Morning Routine
Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, once said: "Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days — which inevitably create a successful life — in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life."
While there is no routine that will perfectly suit everyone's lifestyle, getting into an effective morning routine is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a productive day. Be prepared though, it does take discipline and some trial and error to find what works best for you.
For your morning routine to be successful, you have to make sure you are getting a good quality sleep. Avoiding screens before bed, not eating dinner too late at night and trying to get into a routine of going to bed at around the same time every night (yes, even on weekends) are so important for getting a good night’s sleep.
Don’t jam too much into the morning and make sure you experiment with different activities and wake up times. I am not telling you that you HAVE to get up a 5am, just listen to your body clock. If you want to begin waking up earlier, don’t do it tomorrow morning. Over the next few days, try waking up around 15 minutes earlier each time, it will help your body adjust. Just don’t hit snooze, when your alarm goes off, get up. It will actually make you feel better than that extra 15 minutes of sleep will. So open the curtains, let the natural light in and get your day started straight away.
Again, avoid screens first thing in the morning, whether it's mindless social media scrolling or checking emails. Wake up early enough so you don’t have half an hour to eat breakfast and rush off to work. Always make sure you have time for a nutritious breakfast (as it is the most important meal of the day, obviously).
Spend a few minutes doing some stretches to help wake up your body and try to fit in some exercise. Exercising in the morning improves your energy, concentration and wellbeing. Five minutes of mediation or deep breathing can also help improve focus, alertness and lower stress levels.
Make it easy for yourself! Save time in the morning on mediocre tasks like packing school lunches, choosing your outfit or even making your morning coffee. Set up your mug and coffee machine the night before, lay your clothes out and pack some things in the lunch boxes ready for the morning. Spending a few minutes the night before preparing for the next day will help you make sure you aren't drained before you even walk out the door.
If you work from home, don’t just drag yourself to your desk after breakfast. Getting up, showering, brushing your teeth, having a big glass of water, and getting out of your pyjamas will improve your motivation and productivity significantly.
Write down what you have to get done during the day. This simple task will set your mind at ease and will make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed by what you have on for the day. Carry your list, planner or diary with you so you don’t have to stress about forgetting it either!
If you want to find out more about how you can design your perfect morning routine, I would highly recommended The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse.