The practice of Morning Routines has been one of the most trending topics on the internet in recent months. With all the hype surrounding this practice, it makes you wonder if a morning routine is actually useful or just another marketing scheme.
Done intentionally, a morning routine is a useful practice to set the tone of the day. It gives the practitioner a series of psychological wins, which carries over into other tasks throughout the day. However, if left to chance the lack of structure can result in frustration, mental ambiguity and inevitable loss in productivity.
In this article let’s dive a bit deeper into this practice, with the aim of creating the best, most effective morning routine, for you.
What Is A Morning Routine?
As the name implies, a morning routine is a series of actions that is carried out habitually, every morning.
These may vary considerably depending on the person, and can at times be simple or extremely complex.
In many cases, these habitual actions become second nature and are formed in reaction to whatever events occur after waking up.
Here are three examples of simple morning routines:
- Wake up > Exercise > Shower
- Wake Up > Meditate > Read one page
- Wake up > Go to bathroom > Make Breakfast
The examples above are similar to what some people do on mornings. In all cases, the routine starts from the time the person wakes up.
Unfortunately, more often than not, a slight change in environment may threaten to disrupt the entire flow.
Why It is important to have a morning routine?
The attitude in which you approach the day can have a lucrative or detrimental outcome to your various relationships.
It is important to have a morning routine due to its potential of fostering a more favorable frame of mind. This serves to remove some of the chaos and uncertainty from the first hour or two of the day, which in turn influences other intra person interactions.
Let’s take a look at a typical morning, in order to truly understand why a morning routine is important.
You wake up, and check your phone. Wow! Someone posted a cool pic. You must like and comment. What else did you miss? Breaking news! What happened? You start scrolling through the comments… Where did the time go? You hurry to get ready. Sounds familiar?
Now let’s take a look at a more structured start to the day.
You wake up, then exercise. Afterwards you meditate for a bit, write a short list of things you'd like to accomplish today, then take a shower.
On any given morning, we are bombarded by a multitude of people and things, seeking our attention, and potentially consuming our time and energy. By having a morning routine in place we take control of that little block of time.
Dont get me wrong, I’m not insinuating that a morning routine will magically allow you to control the outcome of the entire day. However, anything that can provide even a slight productivity advantage is worth the effort.
How To Create The Best Morning Routine For You? (5 Simple Steps)
One of the first things you need to know about creating a morning routine, is that what works for one person at not work for you.
In other words, your morning routine has to be tailored to you, your personality, and needs. It’s not a matter of copy ad paste; if this is done, chances are it will not stick.
Keeping this in mind, let’s look at a simple 5 steps method you can use to create the best morning routine for you.
Make A Note Of What You’ll Like To Accomplish
Take a few minutes to think about goals you have been putting off for a while. Can you break them down into smaller tasks and completed daily?
Here are some examples of what this might look like.
|Get In Shape||10 Minutes Workout Routine|
|Study New Skill||Read 1 Page Of Related Book Daily|
|Improve Focus||Meditate For 5 Minute|
|Improve Health||Drink One Glass Of Water|
Notice that, although easy to do, each task contributes to your uptime goals, in some way.
Write Down A List Of What you Do After Waking Up
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you already have a morning routine, which has been influencing your days up until this point.
Make a list of all the actions you perform after waking up.
If you were to do this for a few days, you’ll quickly notice a pattern. This is your current morning routine.
Remove The Activities That Don’t Serve You
After writing your list of current activities, identify actions that are not benefiting you. Then gradually replace them.
Experiment With One New Action At A Time
Over the next month or two, experiment with different tasks that you came up with in Step 1.
Take your time, focus on only one new task at a time. Make note of how you feel performing those task. If it makes you feel great, keep it. Then add another task.
At this point you may have to adjust the time a bit, but don’t worry, remember you are in control of this routine.
Feel free to switch it up as you experiment. After you settle on a few actions enjoy performing, it’s time to make it stick.
Modify Your Environment To Suit Your New Routine
Like any other habit driven action, the simplest way to make a morning stick is to makenit as easy as possible to preform. This goes beyond the actual task.
Here, I am referring the environment.
Make it easy to access the things that are necessary to perform the routine.
For example, if one of your actions is to drink a cup of tea, you can place a pot or kettle of water on the stove the night before. This increases the likelihood of remembering to turn non the stove and make the tea.
Do not expect this to happen over night. Repeat steps 3 to 5 until you develop a list of actions you feel comfortable with.
How Long Should A Morning Routine Last?
One of the key considerations when creating your morning routine is time. While the length of the available time may vary from day to day, it is important to carve out a little block in which you can consistently carry out your routine.
A morning routine can be as little as 5 minutes to as much as two hours. However, more offer than not, most people tend to keep it within 30 minutes, since it is a much easier block of time to allocate amidst a busy schedule. It can be as simple as two to three actions or as complex as a string of actions.
The most important thing to remember, is that the morning routine is made to serve you. It should never been seen as a burden. If your circumstances change considerably you can always adjust it to suit.
My Morning Routine (Practical Example)
My morning routine is quite simple, albeit it a bit long. To ensure I don’t get carried away I organize each into time blocks.
4:15 am to 4:30 am – I wake up, go to the bathroom, drink a glass of water, then place out my exercising mat.
4:30 am to 4:40 am – I do a morning stretch routine and get my weights ready for my workout.
4:40 am to 5:30 am – I do my morning workout.
5:30 am to 6:00 am – I write either a section of my blog or a page or two of a screenplay.
6:00 am – I take my devices off a plane mode. This signals the end of my morning routine.
The main focus of my routine is exercise; both physical and mental. This works great for me since they aid in various aspects of my life, but most importantly ensure that I get some work done, before any possible distractions.
A morning routine is useful in preparing your mind and body for the relatively uncertain events of the day ahead. However, if left to chance, it can easily derail any hopes of having a productive day.
A morning routine does not need to be highly detailed, or extremely long, but should be beneficial to the practitioner, and should be completed within a reasonable time.
Most importantly, a morning routine is made to serve you and not the other way around. It should never be seen as a burden or punishment, but used to further enhance different aspects of your life.