10 Easy Steps for a More Productive Morning
I am making this routine to help inspire you to have more productive mornings. I am not the most productive person in the world, but these simple things that I have started to do have really helped me to have more productive days and engage in less procrastination. I am in no way perfect. What I am showing you is my daily routine on a good day, and everyday is not always a good day. I will be trying my best to look for more ways to make my days productive and will update this post if I add anything new to my daily routine.
1) My Day Starts the Night Before..
I set my alarms for the next day. I usually set them to allow at least 1 hour before any events or work I need to get to in the morning. For example, if I have work at 10am, I will get up at 9am at the latest. I find that waking up with sufficient time to do everything the next morning allows me to get to any events or work stress-free and without rushing.
My 1st alarm goes off at 7am and this is to check my basal body temperature (I do this to check the health of my body and also as part of the Fertility Awareness Method of contraception that I use). I record this temperature on an app on my phone, then go back to sleep.
My 2nd alarm goes off at 8am, and this is where I nip to the bathroom and wet my face (then dry it – to semi-wake me up). When I return to the bedroom, I make sure to open my blinds to let the natural light in. This helps tell my body that the day has begun and I need to get up soon. Letting the natural daylight in has helped me to get up so much easier when my final alarm goes off. I go back sleep for one more hour.
My 3rd (and final) ‘wake up for good’ alarm goes off (usually around 9am) and I make sure I do NOT hit the snooze button. I make sure I ‘shoot’ up as if alert and quickly get out bed. Getting up at the same time everyday builds up a good routine, which helps the health and well-being of our bodies.
3) Make the Bed
I make my bed, to make sure I complete the first task of the day (and a mini achievement under my belt), but also to make sure I don’t get back in it!
4) Stretches and Mini ‘Work Out’
Doing some simple stretches helps me to wake up. Since I am still sleepy at this point, I don’t follow a stretching routine. There is no specific order I stretch my limbs. I just go through one by one and make sure I stretch everything I can think of, concentrating on my legs, arms, back, neck and hips.
I love my 3 minute exercise routine, as it consists of only core exercises helping me to be rid of my belly fat and improve posture. It is just 3 single exercises for 1 minute each (usually plank, squats, hip thrusts) followed by 1 minute of random stretches.
Since doing this routine each morning (even if I am busting for a pee) has helped to improve my posture. In time, I may incorporate exercises that work other areas of my body, but for now I am content working on mainly my core as my belly is the place I am most insecure/not happy about and I don’t want to overwhelm myself with a routine I simply won’t stick to. 3 minutes is enough time to commit to that still pushes my body. I also like it as it is kind of a mini-mindfulness session as you need to keep focussed on what you are doing.
5) Quick Tidy Up
If I have any pots washed to put away or shoes lying around, I will quickly put them away. This helps to add another mini achievement to my morning, that makes me feel better.
6) Shower & Get Dressed
I usually have a quick shower each morning, unless I have showered the night before. I only wash my hair about twice a week (usually at night), so my morning shower lasts under 5 minutes, as I just use soap to remove any impurities from my skin (and to wake me up).
I am the sort of person who will look outside to decide what outfit I want to wear. I tend to go for comfort if I am planning on staying in most of the day(something baggy or loose).
I will make my high fibre breakfast, usually consisting of 40g organic porridge, 1 tablespoon organic chia seeds, 1 small banana and some water. This is a very affordable, healthy breakfast that gives my body a positive start to the day.
I fill up my eco-friendly refillable metal bottle with cool water throughout the day, to make sure I keep hydrated. If I don’t get enough water I can lose motivation and concentration, feel negative and make headaches more likely.
8) Mindfulness & Meditation
I will usually do the following whilst eating my breakfast or at multiple times in the day when I am waiting for something (such as the kettle to boil or whilst brushing my teeth).
- Take a deep breath in slowly and then breathe out slowly (over a few seconds)
- Say slowly in my head ‘I am a peaceful being’, ‘I am a pure being’, ‘I am a happy being’, ‘I am a loving being’, ‘I am a wise being’, ‘I am a powerful being’, ‘I am a blissful being’ until I really feel it is true. I do this to remind me of my 7 core values as a soul – peace, purity, happiness, love, wisdom, power, bliss.
This is part of something I practice called raj yoga that I am learning at the World Spiritual University for FREE. I am spiritual so do not practice the belief of a higher power Like they do, but I have learnt a great deal about how to live more peacefully from their teachings. I always feel at peace with myself when I leave there.
They have many courses for FREE and I also recommend the Positive Thinking course. It has transformed how I behave and has helped me to understand that I am in control of how I react to situations, rather than being a slave to them. To check out what they are about, here’s their website.
Practicing mindfulness (no matter for how long) helps me to reduce stress, let go of distracting thoughts and focus on the moment (rather than in my head over-analysing situations).
9) Get out
I don’t do this as much as I would like, but when I remember and when the British weather brightens up, I like to go for a little stroll outside or a short bike ride. It helps when I have somewhere in mind that I am going (such as the post office to drop off a parcel or get some groceries) so I feel like I am being productive and not wasting my time.
If its raining, looks dull outside or I am feeling like being a hermit; I cheat and open the window wide (I don’t mind if it makes the room cold) and let the wind blow on my face sitting on my window ledge with my eyes closed or looking into the sky.
Even just 10 minutes in fresh air (wearing SPF to prevent ageing skin) helps me to feel better about myself, removes the negative energy I wake up to sometimes (like a cloud is hanging over me no matter what I do) and I just feel awake and ready to tackle the day.
10) Make a Good Plan for the Day / Visualisation
Spending a good 15 – 30 minutes properly planning what I want to achieve, into manageable 30 minute chunks helps in the following ways:
- Encourages me to be realistic with my time by needing to visualise how long each task will take me to complete. This is good as I have a tendency to just write a very long list of all the things I want to get done. This sets me up to fail and feel disappointed as the list is unrealistic of the time I have to complete them in.
- Helps to break up my day and allow me to take a mini break every 30 minutes which my brain needs in order to keep going throughout the day. The break only lasts a few minutes; enough time to make a drink or nip to the loo.
- Those 30 minute tasks are also my mini milestones, and if I am on target it makes me feel productive and lead to being even more productive. Having tick boxes next to each 30 minute task is a great way to build in a sense of achievement by being able o physically tick the task off the list.
I will visualise myself doing the tasks I plan to do in a successful and productive way, as this helps me to actually do them in a better way.
After visualising, I will get on with the tasks for the day.
Do you have a productive morning routine? Is there anything here that you would like to add to your morning routine? Do you have any suggestions for me to try? Let me know in the comments below.
Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!
Passionate about preserving the planet.