Why Successful and Efficient People Maintain a Morning Routine
What is a morning routine?
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but a morning routine is a set of tasks/actions a person does every morning before working the rest of the day.
A lot of us have morning routines without even realizing it is a routine. If you have a cup of coffee every morning before heading to work, or you eat breakfast before work, those are both a part of your unique morning routine.
Some people have been kept the same routine for years, while others struggle to find what works best for them. Regardless of where you stand, a morning routine can open up doors for you that you never knew were there.
Why is a morning routine important?
Having a consistent morning routine helps start the day off with intention. A lot of us coast through the day without putting any thought into how we want our day to go.
This can help you stay present in your daily life— and when a morning routine is part of the process, being actively present becomes a lot easier.
A morning routine sets the tone for the day. How many mornings have you woken up 15 minutes before having to rush out the door so you’re not late to work? When you establish a morning routine you’re allowing your brain and body to prepare for the day ahead--making sure you’re stepping into the day with your best foot forward.
Consistency is the key to success, right? Well, when you establish habits that are performed consistently, then it’s much more likely you will be successful. This is why a morning routine should become a habit and it plays a huge role in a person’s success--whether that’s in business or personal life.
There are so many different ways you can start incorporating a morning routine into your life without turning it upside down.
Here are 7 easy and simple ways to implement a morning routine right now:
Commit to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This might take some time to get used to, especially if you aren’t used to getting up early. Start in 15-min increments. If you want to be in bed by 10:30 but you typically go to bed at 11:30, try going to bed the first night at 11:15. Do that for a couple of days, then switch to 11. Keep this pattern going until you reach your 10:30 goal. The same thing applies when you wake up.
Make your bed as soon as you wake up. This is one of those morning routines that sets me up for success the rest of the day. Something about seeing my neat bed makes me feel so grounded. And the feeling of getting into a made bed? Priceless.
Keep electronics out of the room. This is one of the best ways of getting to bed earlier and giving me better, quality sleep. The blue light from my phone kept my brain wired, so I implemented a ‘no electronics’ rule in the bedroom--apart from my kindle. Does that count? It was a serious game-changer.
Have a planner where you set up monthly, weekly, and daily goals/tasks. When I started writing down what I had to do in the morning before actually doing anything, I started seeing patterns where I was spreading myself too thin. Being consistent with my planner has allowed me to structure my days efficiently and effectively. I highly recommend the Monk Manual 90-day Planner--it’s the best one I’ve used and I feel so much more grounded because of this specific journal.
Consume content - do some reading: it can be whatever you like. There are mornings when all I want to do is read my current book obsession. So I do. Or, I’ll head over to Medium and see all the articles people are writing up. This allows me to feel as if I’m starting the day with some relaxation, rather than rushing into work. It keeps me calm.
Take a morning walk. This should be something we all do every morning. Something about a morning walk is so invigorating and energizing. It doesn’t take a lot of energy, but it’s a simple way to get some light exercise in before the day starts.
Get your workout done in the morning — this frees up your evening for doing things you like. When I started working out in the morning (which was really hard to do at first) I realized how much more at ease I was to do exactly what I wanted in the evenings. Do what your body feels like, though. Don’t force yourself if morning workouts are not your jam.
So, how does a morning routine benefit you?
Humans are creatures of habit. We like the familiar. And when a morning routine is made into a habit, we feel less stressed. We are told so many different ways to destress that sometimes it becomes stressful to find the best ways to be less stressed.
A morning routine is simple. It can be whatever you want it to be. Pick 1 or 2 items from the list above and see if you can start incorporating those into your morning routine you already have. Sometimes, less is more. Don’t overdo it with all the things you think you should be doing. Instead, think of the things you really want to do.
I really wanted to have time to myself in the mornings to do whatever I liked, so I committed to waking up 2 hours before I had to start work--I work from home, so that means walking from my bedroom to the office room and logging on. There was too long of a period when I was rolling out of bed, quickly getting some coffee, and then logging in without fully waking up. I wanted to make better use of my time. I feel more efficient and at ease because of it.
Successful people that have a morning routine
Here are some examples of people that have morning routines and swear by them. I’m pretty sure you’ll recognize their names:
Oprah and Jeff Bezos wake up naturally - no alarm clock. Not everyone can do that, but eventually, your circadian rhythm will sync up. I now wake up at 7:30 no matter what. I’m hoping to get that down to 6:30, but baby steps...
Arianna Huffington doesn’t look at her smartphone as soon as she wakes up. Smart lady--our phones can be the worst.
Cameron Diaz doesn’t chug coffee first thing--her drink of choice is water first thing in the morning. I WISH I was like this, but #coffeeislife
Now, I am nothing like Cameron Diaz because I have to have my coffee in the morning. Maybe it was all those years working as a barista through grad school that fueled my caffeine addiction.
Your morning routine needs to be uniquely you. It needs to bring you peace, joy, and a feeling of I’m gonna own this day!
If your morning routine is making you miserable, then it’s time to reevaluate what’s going wrong. The world will open up to you and you may start seeing things in a different light. Who knows--maybe you’ll finally tap into that successful and efficient person you’ve always wanted to be--and all because you started with a morning routine.
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