Morning Musts: How To Make a Good Morning Routine
May's Monthly Challenge
We're back with May's monthly challenge: Morning Musts. This is all about how to make a good morning routine so the rest of your day is productive and fulfilling. Or at the very least, you set it up to be.
For my fellow remote workers, morning routines are even more important... because as Spider Man's uncle always says, with great flexibility comes great responsibility. Adding some self-imposed structure will help you avoid those mornings of scrolling through Instagram for twenty minutes in bed... or snoozing your alarm 4 times like I did today.
I mean, you wouldn't trust yourself to plan your day while you were drunk, would you? Well, multiple studies have shown that out brains are similarly impaired when tired, so why do we trust our 7am sleepy selves to decide what's best for us?
The goal of this challenge is to make a good morning routine in advance - that our rational selves think is smart - and stick to it.
You should choose which steps you want to incorporate in your routine based on what's most important for you, but the basic idea just requires you follow 3 simple pieces of advice...
How To Make a Good Morning Routine:
1) KISS - Keep It Simple, Sleepy.
If you're new to the world of morning routines, you might find that carving out just 10 extra minutes for yourself is tough. Determine how much time you have to work with, and work backwards. Estimate how long each step will take, and once you've used the allotted amount of time, STOP. That's your routine, lock it in. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
2) Nourish Your Mind, Body & Spirit.
Try and have at least one item on your list to energize your mind, body, and spirit. When you get up in the morning, you want to wake your whole self up. Aim to eliminate any aspects of your routine that actively harm your mind, body, or spirit (e.g. checking emails first thing, aimlessly scrolling on Facebook, skipping breakfast).
- Mind: solve a word game or crossword puzzle; read a book; read the news; read a poem; write in a journal
- Body: stretch (even just a full body yawn), go on a run, do a home workout, eat a nutritious meal, practice good hygiene
- Spirit: meditate, pray, repeat a mantra, set an intention for the day
3) Write It Down & Be Prepared
Starting new routines is hard. Write yours down and make sure you have everything you need to make it a reality. You want to read in bed for 10 minutes before getting up? Make sure the book is on your nightstand. You want to avoid touching your phone first thing in the morning? Make sure you've bought an old fashioned alarm clock (& keep your phone outside your bedroom).
Some more tips:
- Use a white board to write down your routine (& any tweaks) each night before you go to bed - leave it somewhere visible so it's the first thing you see when you wake up. This will give you a visual reminder of your goals & keep you inspired!
- Let technology help you (not hinder you) - If you're going to keep your phone in your room, you can use the sleep app on iPhone to remind you when to go to bed (to ensure you get enough sleep before your determined wake up time) and to prevent you from getting bothered by notifications during the hours your asleep. You can also use Amazon's Echo Dot to create a morning routine - play music at a specific time, tell you the weather, etc. (But if you know your phone is your productivity kryptonite--I'm looking at me here--, just find a way to keep it out of your initial morning routine.)
Need some more inspiration on how to make a good morning routine? Check out my routine below, complete with time estimates, which type of nourishment I'm focused on, & the prep work I did to ensure my routine was feasible.
My Proposed Routine - 30 minute duration
- Wake up the first time my alarm goes off - I don't want to use my phone until I've finished my routine, so I've set up my Echo Dot to wake me up with music. I'll leave my phone outside my room. (Time - < 1minute; Focus - N/A)
- Drink a glass of water - I want this to be the first thing I do when I stand up in the morning because it's a great way to wake yourself up and recharge. (Time - < 1minute; Focus - BODY)
- Set an intention - I'll leave my journal and pen on my nightstand and write down what I want to focus on that day. E.g. "Be patient with others," or "Bring joy to my work." (Time - 1 minute; Focus - SPIRIT)
- Brush my teeth/use the bathroom (Time - 5 minutes; Focus - BODY)
- Get dressed - Because I work from home, getting out of my PJs is an important way for me to mentally signify to myself that rest time has ended and my day is beginning. (Time - 5 minutes; Focus -MIND)
- Drink a cup of tea & eat a piece of fruit + read until I finish both - I stocked up on fruit and tea for the rest of this week and will replenish each weekend. I've picked a book out and set it on my kitchen table as a visual reminder. (Time - 15-20 minutes; Focus -BODY & MIND)
Want to join us? Write down your routine of "Morning Musts" and make the most of mornings in May!
It goes without saying that at some point in your career, you'll come down with a cold or virus that will require you to stay home from work, drink excessive amounts of tea, and make good use of that gravity blanket you impulse-bought off of Amazon.
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