A lot of people dread their morning, but in this article I will share five ways to improve your morning routine by making it more meaningful and enjoyable.
The morning is an important and sensitive time of the day, because it sets the tone and it also affects your mood for the rest of the day. If you start your day off in a chaotic and unproductive manner it will have a negative effect on the rest of your day. If you start your day off in an orderly and productive manner it will boost your mood and productivity for the rest of the day.
If you want to run your day and stop letting it run you, try to implement the next five ways to improve your morning routine.
1. Prepare beforehand
The best way to start off your morning, is to know what you are going to do right after you wake up. This makes it highly important that you prepare beforehand.
First, I would advise you to make a format for your morning routine. My suggestion would be to create time-blocks for the things you want to achieve in the morning. I will share my current morning routine as an example:
05.00 Wake-Up, hydrate and take a cold shower
05.15 Read/write in my journal
05.30 Thirty minutes of reading (TIME BLOCK 1)
06.00 Work on my most important project (TIME BLOCK 2)
06.30 Stretching or meditating (TIME BLOCK 3)
06.45 Breakfast and getting ready for work
07.15 Head to work
By creating these time-blocks I always get the same routine when it comes the time I have. However, I can switch up the things I do during these time-blocks. After creating the format for your own morning routine, you need to find out what you are going to do during the time-blocks.
An efficient way to prepare your mornings is to sit down on a certain day, let’s say Sunday, and plan your entire week out. Write down all your goals and tasks for the upcoming week. Prioritize them. And then spread them over your time-blocks. You can keep some time-blocks the same every day if you like that for a more stable routine. But, you can also play around with it and change it up day by day. Just make sure you know what to do when you wake up.
2. Make your morning routine all about being on your purpose
By now you probably got the question: ”But… How do I find out what I should do in the morning?
Well, the easiest answer to that is: Fill in the time-blocks with tasks that help you achieve the goals that are aligned with your purpose.
Creating your morning routine around your purpose will not only help you to get closer to reaching your ultimate goals, but It will also improve your morning routine by making it more meaningful and enjoyable. It gives you a strong reason to wake up as well. So, get on your purpose from the start of your day and get after it.
3. Focus on only one thing at a time
The biggest mistake people make right after waking up, is to start doing multiple things at the same time. Like answering e-mails while they are making their breakfast, checking their phone on the toilet, etc..
We as humans are not created to do multiple things at once. Multi-tasking might sound attractive, but in reality we are actually not multi-tasking. Our brains are switching between tasks really fast which decreases our ability to focus after every switch.
When you are starting a task, only focus on that task. Try to avoid doing things like checking your phone during your transition from one task to another. Your willpower and focus can be the most intense during the morning, so use that to your advantage.
If you want to learn more about focusing and why multi-tasking is not beneficial, then feel free to check out the next article I wrote:Book Review: Gary Keller – The One Thing
4. Healthy morning habits
We’ve covered how to improve our productiveness during the morning routine, but a key factor is also to include improving your health during your morning routine.
People tend to neglect the fact that your health plays a big role in your overall mood and productiveness. When it comes to nutrition I don’t want to write about foods that you should (or should not) eat during your morning routine, because everyone has a different diet. However, I do advice you to be thoughtful about what you ingest in the morning. Besides that, it is highly important that you hydrate yourself right after you wake up. Your body has not been hydrated for 6-8 hours which can result in dehydration and brain-fog.
Besides your nutrition and hydration, it is a good idea that you do some sort of physical exercise in the morning. This can be as simple as stretching, a few minutes of yoga, some body-weight movements like squats, or a short walk/run. You can of course spike it up and do an intense workout as well during your morning routine. Some physical exercise during your morning routine is beneficial and has a huge impact. A few benefits are:
-It increases your metabolism
-It will help you sleep better at night
-It improves your mood
-It improves your cognitive abilities
-It will get you closer to achieving your fitness goals
Being thoughtful about your nutrition, hydration and physical exercise in the morning are not the only healthy morning habits you can implement. There are many more. Look what works for you and aligns with the physical and mental goals you want to achieve.
5. Make a plan, work the plan. And then adjust.
When you make the plan, you must work the plan. Do not overanalyze everything and get to the micro-level on every single part. Just make the plan, work the plan. Make the plan, work the plan. After you have executed your plan and you find out the things that work and do not work you can adjust. And remember: when the plan does not work it is not called failure. It is called learning a lesson.
Some people have the tendency to stick to a morning routine that they are comfortable with and do not reflect on if everything about their morning routine is beneficial. If you reflect on your morning routine, and the process of it, you will improve your morning routine at a way higher rate. Stick to the macro-level (big pieces) first and work on it. Once you got the big pieces in place you can look at the micro-level (small pieces).
So, be aware of the aspects that work and do not work in your morning routine. Adjust the things that need to change and keep doing the things that do work.
Run your day. And stop letting it run you.
Changing your morning routine might not be easy and ask you to get out of your comfort zone. However, the first part of the day can have an incredible impact on the rest of your day. Try a few of these suggestions to improve your morning routine. Start running your day and stop letting it run you.
If you want to learn more about creating new habits and on how to improve your morning routine, you can check out the next articles I wrote:How To Create New Habits in 2019 Book Review: David Goggins – Can’t Hurt Me