Wake Up >> Shower >> Get Dressed >> Eat TeaSquares >> Start 2 hour work block.
That’s the personal morning routine I follow to kickstart my day. Now, I’m a morning person, and have a full blast of energy as soon as I wake up (still to Lotus’ surprise).
Everyone usually has one, but is yours designed in a way that fuels your productivity each day? Your morning routine sets the pace for the rest of the day, so these first hours are really important.
Now, rather than trying to create an exact routine, consciously plan out the activities that give you energy and break any bad habits that leave you waking up late or groggy. Now, like with anything, change won’t happen overnight, but each morning is a chance to develop your actions into habits.
Your Morning Routine Matters
Last year, my average morning looked like this: Groggily wake up after hitting snooze 3 times. I’d then grab my phone that always lay next to my bed and start going through all the notifications, emails, and messages that accumulated overnight. Most of them were spam, but occasionally a few are work related that cause me to stress about the day. After wasting too much time in bed, I’d slowly get up, shower, dress, and run out the door late. Once I got to work, I would start trucking away at all the inbound requests that came in via e-mail, and get nothing accomplished that I actually “planned” to do that day. No wonder I felt so unproductive!
Your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Wake up prepared, and go through your day prepared.
Wake up rushed, and the entire day will feel rushed.
It’s really that simple.
Ideas to try in your morning routine
I’m a huge believer in personalizing your routine to be most effective. What works for me won’t always work for you, so instead of providing you a prescriptive approach, here are some common activities that can start as a great starting point.
If you’ve slept 6-8 hours, that’s a third of your day that your body hasn’t consumed any water. Fatigue and drowsiness are often an effect of dehydration. The body works so much better when it’s hydrated, so drinking a bottle of water can give your body liquid fuel to start right
Along with water, your body needs food as fuel to provide energy to get going. I like a little caffeine boost in my mornings, so I’ll eat a Citrus Green TeaSquare each morning to kick start my day. Maybe you need a larger home-cooked breakfast to get going. Whatever works best for you, just make sure to plan time for it each day.
Going for a run or exercising is a super popular morning activity to get the body going. Now, going for a run every morning doesn’t help me out, but for many people, exercise will give you more energy, especially when you commit to it regularly. Try going for a walk, run, or doing light yoga to get your blood moving.
If you’re like most people, work has crept into every part of your day, no longer ending once you walk out the door. Most companies don’t have traditional work hours anymore, and expect you to be available at all times. If you have a family, planning dedicated time with them each morning can help you feel more present in their lives, and can create a positive start to your day.
Shower time can be an inspirational time, letting new ideas wash over you. But don’t just let them flow away, use the mornings to write down your thoughts, ideas, dreams, and fears. Getting your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper helps you self reflect and prioritize what’s important to you.
We are constantly surrounded with sounds, notifications, voices, and music. It can help to disconnect for a few minutes of uninterrupted silence to help ground your mind and help you focus on the day at hand.
Feel like you have too much on your mind and can’t focus? Try a quick meditation activity to put yourself in a better mood. Now, you don’t have to do anything fancy, but I recommend a 5-10 minute breathing exercise. Not sure where to start? I recommend checking out the Calm app (www.calm.com), which has meditation techniques for focus and stress reduction.
2-Hour Work Block
Feeling unproductive often comes from not having a clear objective for the day, and then letting incoming requests preventing you from accomplishing them. Try starting each day with a 2-hour working block to accomplish a specific goal, BEFORE reading and responding to e-mails. Check out my 5-step process to create a prioritized to-do list at the end of each day, and then use this process to plan out your tasks for the first morning work block. Accomplishing at least one of your prioritized goals will lead you to feel more productive.
Putting It Into Action
While it might seem like a simple change, being conscious about how you spend your time will help increase your productivity. Once you understand which activities you prefer, make a consistent habit of incorporating them into your morning. Keep in mind, you don’t have to change all at once, so start with one activity that is most effective and then add to it.
TeaSquares make a great snack to add to your morning routine for a sustained boost of mental focus.