Morning Routines to Get You Up and Productive
Everybody’s morning routine is a little bit different. Some prefer to begin their day with a walk around the block. Others enjoy a nutritious breakfast. Most of the people I know? They hit snooze until the last possible second, slip in to their work attire faster than Superman in a phone booth, and head out the door in a flash. Unprepared, rushed, and a little out of sorts. The opposite of getting off on the right foot.
It may seem trivial. Sure, you can grab a bite on the way to work and “wake up” on the drive, but the truth isn’t as forgiving. Your morning routine sets the tone for the day that follows. Your increased stress level, lack of preparedness, and that empty stomach don’t exactly scream success.
But fret not my dreary eyed, empty stomached, non-morning people. Today on Healthversed, we’ll break down your morning routine and offer up a few minor tweaks that’ll get you on the right path for good! Today we explore a few helpful morning add-ons to ready you for the daily grind. Let’s go!
Make Your Bed
We get it. It’s hard to think about crisp sheets and throw pillows when you’re alarm is blaring and you’ve got 0.5 seconds to spare. But that doesn’t diminish the task’s importance. Don’t just take my word for it. Take a Navy Seals word for it.
It may seem trivial, but adding bed-making to your morning routine initiates a chain reaction of minor but important accomplishments. You’ve been awake for 5 minutes, and you’ve already completed an important task. Making your bed is easy, fast, and it encourages productivity throughout the rest of your day. What’s more, crawling in to a well-made bed at the end of the night even helps you sleep better.
Making room for a morning exercise routine is a great way to get off on the right foot. Sure, you’ll start your day with a sense of accomplishment. But there’s much, much more to it than that. Studies show that morning workout routines may enhance your metabolism’s ability to burn calories throughout the day. It’ll help you sleep better at night. It boosts your physical and mental energy. And it’s a great way to build self discipline.
Nobody expects you to go 0-to-100 right off the bat either. Start simple. Just start with a few jumping jacks or some light stretching. Then, add to the routine as you deem necessary. And hey, if you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. The road to productivity is never as straight as any of us would like it to be.
Wake Up Earlier
If you find yourself fighting the minute hand on the daily, why not try and set your alarm a little earlier. Again, I know, easier said than done. But you’d be surprised how important an extra 10, 15 or 20 minutes of pre-work prep time can be.
Nobody expects you to start waking up with the rooster’s call immediately either. Remember, an inch forward is still progress. If your normal morning routine has you out of bed at 8, try setting your alarm for 7:55. Then, 7:50, and so on. Eventually, you’ll find a middle ground that’ll provide you with both enough dream time and enough time to ensure your socks match.
Ditch the Snooze Button
There’s nothing more emotionally satisfying than hitting the snooze button and drifting away for another precious 5 minutes of sleep. Unfortunately, if you want to start your day off in the green, you’re going to have to eliminate the word snooze from your vocabulary entirely.
The thing is, hitting the snooze button, and in-turn snoozing, actually makes your more tired. There’s studies to prove it, but the Coles notes are as follows. When you go back to sleep for a short period of time after you’ve already woken up, you aren’t continuing your sleep cycle. You’re actually beginning a new one. One that gets interrupted after roughly 5–7 minutes. You may think that the extra sleep time makes you feel more rested. But in practice, it actually makes you groggier.
Every productive morning begins with a full, restful night’s sleep. In truth, everything productive begins with a restful night’s sleep. Your metabolism, your workout routine, your emotional stability … they’re all dramatically improved or hindered by your sleep quality. Luckily, with a few minor adjustments, you can improve sleep quality.
For example, a lack of artificial light in the evening and an abundance of natural light in the morning has been linked to a more restful slumber. Exposing yourself to the artificial light of your TV, laptop, and cell-phone in the evening has been shown to disrupt your biological clock. In turn, a lack of light in the morning makes you slow and groggy. Use blackout curtains while you sleep, avoid the tech at night, and start your day by pulling open the shades and yelling “Hello world!” Well … the hello world thing is just for fun.
Prepare the Night Before
I know that the article strictly says, “morning routines” BUT a productive morning truly begins the night before. Packing a lunch, choosing your outfit, and having a pre-sleep shower means less things to worry about first thing in the morning.
Take a look at your morning routine with a critical eye. Are there any daily practices that can easily be accomplished before you go to bed the previous day? Adjust your routine and find something that works. Not only will you “create” more time for yourself in the morning, but you’ll also go to sleep with a feeling of preparedness too.
I’m not here to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Because, to be honest, a lot of those old breakfast wives tales are bogus. Personally, I prefer to eat breakfast in the morning. Whether it’s a quick bowl of healthy cereal, a cup of low-sugar yogurt, or a piece of fruit … a full stomach allows me to focus on my morning tasks and not my grumbling tummy.
I know a lot of people who turn their nose up at the thought of scrambled eggs first thing in the morning. That’s fine. You’re allowed to not like breakfast. But, when hunger is distracting you from the task at hand, then you might be battling an unnecessary problem. Just something to think about.
Healthversed is a fan of meditation for number of different reasons. It reduces stress, encourages critical reasoning, and works wonders for those battling anxiety, depression, and other illnesses. What’s more, it doesn’t take a long time either.
Simply adding 5-minutes worth of meditation to your morning routine can set the tone for a more calm, deliberate, and productive day. Sitting and staring at the wall in silence for 5 minutes may seem silly and feel uncomfortable, but stick with it. The benefits are staggering.
Don’t Touch That Phone!
This one may be tricky for some, but maintaining a phoneless morning can be very beneficial. We’re constantly being bombarded with an influx of information. Be it texts from loved ones, e-mails from concerned co-workers, or status updates from long lost friends. Exposing yourself to all of that information immediately upon waking up can be unnecessarily stressful.
Begin by storing your phone outside of the bedroom. Then slowly increase your separation time. You’ll find yourself more focused on your morning routine (exercising, showering etc.), and less time stressing out over past and future tasks.
Set Daily Goals
Last but not least, goal setting. This could be the most important of them all, too. Setting daily goals, and seeing them through to completion encourages a feeling of purpose and builds confidence throughout the day. And that’s not to say that you should set out to solve global warming or lose 35 pounds. The trick is to set small, achievable goals and go about achieving them.
Much like making your bed in the morning, accomplishing small but meaningful tasks can set off a chain reaction of the productive variety.