Are you ready to have the most productive day ever? …More productive weeks that will catapult you towards achieving your goals? If so, keep reading for tips on how to create a rockstar morning routine and learn exactly how my daily productivity increased in my business overtime.
Why morning routines are important?
I never knew how important setting the tone for your day was until I started doing so consistently. After implementing an intentional morning routine, I saw an increase in my daily productivity almost instantly, but proven results only come with practice. Consistency is key.
Staying on schedule can feel like an uphill battle at first especially if you aren’t a morning person (I’ll share more about this a little later), but I can’t say that I encountered any negatives that dissuaded me from making the much needed change. Planning a morning routine is a personal investment and exemplifies what building healthy habits can do for your life.
The worst thing about a morning routine is not having one.
My morning routine changed how I approach living life everyday. I have seen improvements in both my mental and physical health; daily productivity in my online ventures; and spirituality all from one simple routine that only takes a few hours out of my day each morning. If I was previously aware of all the benefits, I would have established a routine much sooner and taken it seriously.
So, why don’t you have a morning routine?
I was once a VIP member of ‘there’s just never enough hours in the day’ crew. Twenty four hours?!? …24. That’s it?
I came up with excuse after excuse not to take responsibility for how I was spending (or wasting) my time. I once read a quote that stated highly successful people have the same 24 hours in a day as the average person and the only thing that differed between us was how they managed and spent their time.
My initial response (drumroll please!)…For twelve of those hours I’m either stuck at work, school, or commuting in traffic and by the time I make it home for dinner I’m too exhausted to do anything else. So, I’ll just go to the gym (if I feel like it), come home, relax, and catch up on my favorite shows on Hulu or Netflix. Rinse, wash, repeat until the weekend. Wrong attitude!
That was back when I was content living simply for happy hours and Saturdays.
I couldn’t get a grip on owning my own time nor did I understand why it was important. How is it even possible when the majority of my time is spent at work? Making a livelihood was owning every facet of my life. It negatively impacted my mental state and health, and also impeded on my ability to fulfill my purpose, which is why I have decided to live with intention.
We weren’t put on Earth to work our butts off for someone else, only enjoy life 30 days out of the year, holidays, and on weekends. That’s not how we’re supposed to live our lives. That’s what we’ve been socially conditioned to accept. We aren’t robots. We’re human beings. It took me a while to realize this and it ultimately led me to make the choice to live simply.
There were many trade offs and circumstantial sacrifices, but my decision to make a change all started with my mindset and a morning routine.
Start by breaking your bad habits
Morning routines won’t work if you’re still struggling to kick bad habits.
I didn’t create a kick ass morning routine and become a rockstar overnight. I had a few bad habits to break myself.
- Hitting the snooze button at least ten times before fully waking up
- Laying in bed an additional hour after my alarm went off to scroll through social media
- Wasting another hour to decide what to wear and what to eat for breakfast
Believe it or not, this was my former morning routine (if you can call it that). Yes, I had a to-do list but sitting down to check off tasks was a feat in itself. I didn’t really get focused until noon and by the early evening I was ready to throw in the towel. I often complained about how slow I moved and compared myself to others who were cranking things out left and right.
How in the heck were they getting sh*t done? I did a little research and discovered two things that they all had in common.
Discipline…and a morning routine.
How to create a morning routine?
Follow these five steps to create a kick-ass morning routine of your own:
Wake up at the same time every single day.
After completely ruling out that I would never be a morning person, I became one. I practiced waking up before eight o’clock for a full month before slipping back into my bad habits and realized how much more satisfied and happier I was when I started the day earlier. Waking up at seven allowed me to get a head start on my to-do list and I ended my workday before six.
It also enabled me to break the bad habit of overworking. I set a specific time in the evening to be my hard-stop regardless of deadlines and/or how much work that needed to be done. This slowly allowed me to regain control over my time and not feel guilty when I wasn’t able to place a checkmark next to all the tasks on my list.
I no longer beat myself up about not getting everything completed, but swiftly moved the tasks over to the following day.
Drink a glass of water.
I purposely keep a bottle of water near my bedside every night to drink at room temperature in the morning (best when you add fresh lemon!). I intentionally open up the blinds and windows to let in natural light to soak up the sun’s vitamin D but to also take in its energy. This awakens the body and puts it in a peaceful state.
Don’t skip breakfast.
I won’t get too specific here, but I will encourage you not to forgo a well balanced meal. All of our breakfast options will differ based upon dietary restrictions and/or general preference but I will share that it’s best to keep your breakfast choices light and simple. If you must, save the leftover takeout and that slice of pizza for lunch.
Try to switch it up throughout the week with foods that are high in fiber and will give you energy. My daily breakfast menu ranges from a bowl of oatmeal and berries, yogurt bowls, smoothies, spinach and eggs, with a side of mixed fruit. It’s the most important meal of the day for a reason. Our bodies and brains need to be refueled after a good night’s sleep. Consider meal prepping your breakfast or having various fruit options on hand if you simply need to grab something and go.
Take 15-30 minutes to move your body.
If you’re a gym brat you can save the full body workout for the evening – it’s fine. However, we still need to do some form of movement that will get our hearts pumping and blood flowing in the morning before we take a seat at our desks. Sometimes a quick stretch, a low-impact fifteen minute workout, or even yoga will do. Exercise releases endorphins that send positive messages to our brains, which eases tension and eliminates stress. Try it for a week! You’ll see the difference and you’ll be thanking me later.
Set the tone of your day by journaling or meditating.
A very important part of self-care is not operating on auto-pilot. We need to create space and time to pour into ourselves. Have you ever tried tracking how much time you take for yourself? Many people may feel that taking a thirty minute walk during their lunch hour or reading during their commute to work is enough. But is it really?
We all need time to break away from the noise. When I first started journaling I really struggled with sitting quietly with my own thoughts for a length of time. I noticed how much I relied on distractions from TV, podcasts, my phone, and social media to keep me going, which prevented me from doing the real work on myself.
Self-improvement begins with reflection and searching our souls from within. Therefore, it’s imperative to have a block of time in the morning reserved specifically to check in with ourselves. Set aside time to connect with your spirit; tap into your feelings; and set your intentions for the day.
Create a to-do list
…with no more than three tasks listed by priority! When we’re finally ready to sit down at our desks and make magic happen this is when the overwhelm tends to settle in. When you have a long to-do list for the day just looking at it can be demotivating. Instead of starting, you get stuck wondering how am I going to jam all of this work in within a few short hours?! …And in turn, nothing gets done.
Don’t do this to yourself goal-friend! Select three significant things whether it’s tasks, daily chores, or important projects that will move the needle towards achieving your goals. Be realistic in what you can get done. If it’s only 2-3 things then simply write those down. Once those are checked off and you have time to squeeze more in then do so.
I teach entrepreneurs how to simplify their life and business with less + own their time and maximize productivity towards their personal and monetary goals.