We've all been there, the alarm clock goes off and the first thought to cross your mind is already? How is it that your day hasn't even started yet and already you're feeling groggy, unproductive, and worse unmotivated? If this sounds like you, it may be time to start thinking about getting into a morning routine. It may sound like a lot of work, but morning routines can help with your productivity, mood, and overall health.
Don't feel like you need to do all of these to create your routine. The goal is to mix and match them to find what best works for you and your lifestyle. Always feel free to switch up your routine, especially if it isn't working for you.
1. Get a Sufficient Amount of Sleep
This one may seem obvious, but the truth is most of us do not get the sleep we need. Studies show that most healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to perform at their best. But it isn't just the amount of sleep you're getting that's important, it's also the quality of sleep. Getting enough quality sleep has been proven to affect both your physical and mental health such as productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, and even your weight. To make sure you're getting the sleep you need create a relaxing bedtime routine like avoiding TV and other electronics at least an hour before bed, keeping your room dark and cool, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods before bed, and getting enough exercise throughout the day. Get ready to skip that snooze button and tackle your day!
2. Eat a Well Balanced Breakfast
Making time to eat a well-balanced breakfast in the morning will boost productivity, elevate your mood, balance your appetite, and eliminate mid-day crashes. Even better, a substantial breakfast attributes to long-lasting energy, motivation, mental sharpness, and physical ability. So what constitutes a balanced breakfast? Foods filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals will help you better navigate your day. One of our favorites is a slice of whole grain bread topped with lean protein like an egg and healthy fat like avocado or drizzle of olive oil. Eating a well-balanced breakfast works best if you can eat within one hour of waking each morning.
It may be the last thing you want to think about first thing in the morning, but making exercise part of your morning routine can help you turn it into a habit in the long run. You don't need a gym membership or a long amount of time to fit sufficient exercise in. Instead, try taking a brisk walk around the block or doing ten minutes of yoga. Simply commit to a certain amount of time each morning and choose an activity that will keep you engaged. Most people put off exercising before work, especially when they have a busy day, but studies show that exercising on your busy days actually sets you up for more success as you work more intelligently. That's an incentive to get up and get moving!
4. Fine Tune your Calendar
A great way to get ahead of those busy days is to plan them out ahead of time! Spend ten minutes or so the night before or first thing that day planning out your to-do list and assigning yourself tasks and times. You can plan each day hourly, or take it one step further and plan out your days based on the day of the week. For example, making Mondays your administrative task days, Tuesdays your project days, etc. This also helps to better visualize your week. Move your schedule around until you find what best works for you and then commit to it. You'll quickly find that you become much more productive throughout the week. Not to mention how satisfying it is to cross each task off your list!
Reading often has been proven to help keep our brains sharp. If you read a lot for your job already this may seem like a tiring task, but it doesn't have to be! Instead, try reading something for pleasure. Set aside a designated amount of time to read each morning or a certain amount of chapters or pages. You'll be surprised how relaxing it is to sit and read first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea.