We’ve all been there. We’ve overslept and are trying to work out what to wear for the day while looking for our keys and inhaling our breakfast… and it’s stressful. By starting in a disorganized and rushed way it is more likely that the rest of the day will be spent feeling like we are playing catch-up.
Why is a positive start to the day important?
Creating a productive morning routine means that we have the ability to take control of what we are doing right from the very beginning and allows for opportunities to deal with the unexpected events. It also provides some dedicated alone time and creates multiple self-care practices before the rest of the family wakes up.
Creating a productive morning routine by building habits
Like anything that is new to us, creating a productive morning routine is all about developing habits that work for us. Rather than attempting to do everything all at once, becoming overwhelmed and then feeling like we have failed, start small and focus on one thing at a time.
Set your alarm for five minutes earlier than usual, get up immediately and congratulate yourself for achieving this single goal. After a few days add another task until it becomes part of your daily habit, and then another.
Here are some great ideas to create a productive morning routine for a better day:
8 Daily Morning Habits For A More Productive Day
1. Get enough sleep
A productive morning routine often follows a good night’s sleep, so it is really important that you go to bed early enough that you’ll wake up feeling as refreshed as possible the next day. Limit your caffeine intake before going to bed, keep a regular sleep schedule and avoid all of your electronics when trying to fall asleep.
2. Don’t use the snooze button
The snooze button has the ability to turn ‘just five more minutes’ into five more ‘five more minutes’ and before you know it you’re late and running around the house in a panic – not a good way to start the day. As soon as your alarm goes off, avoid pressing the snooze button and get up straight away.
3. Make your bed
There’s a famous quote from Admiral William H. McRaven taken from commencement address at his alma mater, the University of Texas in which he shared the fact that the first thing that his Navy Seal instructors would do in the morning would be to check that his bed had been made.
“Making your bed will… reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
Making your bed may seem incredibly small and insignificant, but the notion that a task has already been completed for the day is more likely to create a sense of achievement, leading to the willingness to complete something else.
4. Drink a glass of warm water and lemon
Drinking a glass of warm water and lemon has long been thought to provide a healthy start to the day. Lemon is a great source of necessary vitamins and minerals and drinking warm water with lemon not only helps to maintain the pH balance of the body and keeps it hydrated, but has the ability to improve skin tone and aids digestion.
Even just ten minutes of meditation helps to clear the mind and relax the body, creating a feeling of calm and quiet almost as soon as waking up and allowing for space to focus on the day ahead.
Make sure that you leave enough time, wear loose-fitting clothing and meditate in a place where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
Don’t feel comfortable with meditation? Write your thoughts down in a journal – the act of writing has the ability to release any negative thoughts or worries from the mind and can help to alleviate stress. I have been bullet journaling for years and it has been a great resource for releasing things that may have caused me worry during the day.
7. Use Affirmations
Affirmations are a great tool of turning negative thoughts or worries into something positive. Negative thoughts in the morning can have a negative impact on the mindset for the rest of the day, so challenging these with positive affirmations can improve your mood, mindset and even your self-esteem.
Replace negative thoughts such as “My colleagues are going to talk over me again in the meeting today” with “I am confident and assertive and my ideas are worth sharing.” The more you reframe your mindset and repeat your affirmations, the more likely you are going to start to believe them.
8. Listen to something that provides motivation
This could be a Ted Talk, a podcast or your favourite uplifting music, and listening to something that will inspire and motivate will create a positive mindset for the day. I have a favorite playlist that I like to listen to regularly and it really helps with boosting my mood in the morning.
Remember that these suggestions may not have an immediate impact. Creating a productive morning routine that works for you will take some time to develop and there may be some days where things don’t quite always go to plan. This is okay – take it one day at a time, avoid beating yourself up if you flounder and find the things that make you feel most positive! Give it a try!