So what constitutes a morning routine?
When you do roughly the same basic tasks every morning, you already have yourself a routine - so why not try tweak it to improve your productivity and overall health.
You stand to reap multiple benefits if you create enough time for yourself in the early hours of the morning to wake up from sleep gently, eat a healthy meal, and plan your tasks and goal for the day.
The advantages a healthy morning routine provides range from greater physical energy to improved emotional health.
Physical & Mental Benefits of Having a Healthy Morning Routine
More Time To Eat Healthier + Work Out = Better Health
Training yourself to rise a little earlier in the morning leaves you with extra time to exercise and prepare a nourishing breakfast which equates to better health in the long run. If you're not a huge breakfast person, then a large glass of water is a good option, but before coffee remember.
When you maintain this habit, especially the workout sessions, there’s solid scientific evidence showing that it can improve your mental focus and physical energy all day long.
From personal experience, however, I noticed that waking up earlier to exercise not only energises me, it also kind of preps my mental state to tackle whatever tasks I have to do for that given day.
Instead of relying exclusively on your morning dose of caffeine to “wake up” your mind, why not add early morning exercise to the mix for a better result. Don't worry this really doesn't have to be an hour long HIT workout, 10 minutes of yoga or a body weight workout will suffice.
Besides my personal observation, a 2017 solo experiment recorded the big difference workouts have in boosting mental capabilities compared to coffee.
Less Stress and Greater Peace of Mind
Half the time, the root cause of stress for many of us is when we feel rushed to complete all our tasks for the day – and essential tasks for that matter!
A second and common stressor is not planning and prioritising ahead the things that need to be done which can cause you to become disorganised during the course of the day. When you set aside time in the morning (or the night before) to plan your sequence for the day there’s no need to worry about the next important thing on your list.
Furthermore, you’ve figured out how much time you need to dedicate to each task so you won’t feel rushed at work.
Try to make a conscious effort to reduce things that could bring you stress, to help you enjoy greater peace of mind and decrease your chances of developing anxiety, depression, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease in the future.
Better Relationships with Loved Ones and Co-Workers
When people feel stressed on the job, whether intentionally or unintentionally, often they act grumpy towards fellow co-workers.
Many a time, those that get a large dose of the frustration and grumpiness are loved ones at home. This could take form in any shape – retreating to yourself when you come back from the office or flaring up over slight misdeeds. I’m sure most people can relate to this at some point.
But when you have a happy day or at least a day that you own, you’re in a calmer and/or cheerful state of mind. And you relate to people around you with that same positive energy.
Following a decent routine, every morning helps you better control how your day goes. With a well organised day ahead you can of course increase your overall productivity. It’s important to remember that Sometimes, productivity is not all about the number of tasks you have completed. The quality and the mindfulness you’ve committed to tasks is also vital.
You may not be able to remove all glitches from your schedule but you can (to a certain extent) prevent your schedules from running you to the ground - and for me is key to continued personal and professional growth.
More Leisure Time after Work
By now, you know that the more you own your day, the better your chances of getting high-priority tasks done.
And you know what that means?
You have more leisure time in the evenings to do whatever you like – volunteering, exercising, reading, learning a new skill, or working on your side hustle.
If you want to know, a few interesting studies including a 2018 research involving 35,375 participants and a 2019 survey of 183 employees confirmed this point, that having 2 and a half hours of leisure time per day and enjoying the evening works like magic in increasing people’s proactiveness at work the next day - I’m sure you’re starting to see the cycle.
Achieve Your Goals (And Faster Too)
One of the fastest ways of reaching your goals in life is by keeping a consistent morning routine. That to me at least is a fact.
Are you wondering why that is?
Since starting your day controlled makes you get more done and have a better sense of direction, over time, the extra hours and productivity gained through your newly acquired lifestyle propel you into achieving goals faster than most people.
3 Tips and Hacks for a Healthy Morning Routine
Always keep in mind that there is no one size fits all when it comes to the ideal morning routine. The key point is finding the activities and sequence that makes YOU HAPPY.
At the beginning of your new morning routine, you may find yourself tweaking, discarding, or forming your own practices before arriving at what works best for you.
That’s okay, the most important thing is for you to keep at your new lifestyle and not stop after a few days or weeks.
But to help you get started, here are a few things that I do.
- Start Your Preparation the Night Before
Even though we’re discussing how to develop the right morning routine, the process actually starts the night before.
Doing some morning activities that could eat away your time the night before makes things easier for you in the morning. These might include:
- Choosing and laying out your outfits.
- Prepping your breakfast and packing your lunch (this is so important as some healthy breakfast takes time to prepare).
- If there’s a particular yoga or exercise instruction video you want to use for a workout the next morning, save it on your phone before going to bed.
- If possible jot down a “first draft” of how you want the next day to go, then you could review your draft in the morning.
- Tidy your house, so you have a clean space to wake up to. Nobody wants to start the day by cleaning dishes from the night before.
- Take Control over Your Digital Life
First off, when going to bed, keep mobile phones and laptop screens away from your sleeping area. These devices emit the infamous blue light that makes it difficult to fall asleep on time, let alone the mindless insta scroll or YouTube rabbit hole you might find yourself in.
While you may want your phone a little closer because of its alarm function, you can put it in a place where you won’t be too tempted to check up on some latest post, or better yet, invest in an ‘old fashioned’ alarm clock if the temptation is too real.
Secondly, prevent pointless screen time from invading your morning routine. I like to give myself a whole hour in the morning without touching my phone.
Make technology work for you and contribute to your personal and career growth by putting boundaries in place so you don’t lose touch with the purpose of your morning routine.
- Go To Bed on Time
If you want to wake up early in addition to feeling refreshed in the morning, it goes without saying you need to get sufficient sleep at night.
After reviewing different research, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) advised that young adults and adults need to get between “7 to 9 hours of sleep each day while older adults need about 7 to 8 hours.”
There’s no doubt that having a good morning routine is a great way to set yourself up for a productive day – and ultimately a successful life.
But that can only happen by consistently following your selected activities, mindful use of technology, and finding enjoyable productive activities you can easily stick with in the long term is key. Try writing down a new morning routine today and let me know how it’s going.