The Power of Morning Routines
Last week’s blog focused on the power of a strong evening routine. Here, we’ll focus on morning routines. They initiate momentum building energy. The presence of a good morning routine sets your whole day in motion in a positive and productive way, while the absence of one can threaten to throw off your day. Even if your day starts to go south, you can rest assured that you accomplished a few priority items – whether that’s some quiet time, a good sweat session, or unloading the dishwasher.
There’s plenty of research that points to the value of particular morning routines such as rising right away. And, some recommended don’ts such as not reaching for your phone immediately upon waking. However…I want to write authentically about what I know best – and with a slant to organization and productivity. I wouldn’t know the benefits of getting out of bed right away;). But, I can vouch for the benefits of morning routines.
- Limits procrastination – When you have the mindset that you’ll do the hard thing right way, you’re not as tempted to put things off until “later”. Later may not come, as our days get busy. Moving something until tomorrow or next week causes the compounding of to-do’s and puts you in perpetual catch up mode.
- Reduces decision making – When you have a routine, you remove the angst of making a decision. The decision was made when you developed a routine. It’s a yes! Done! It becomes as natural and expected as brushing your teeth. You make so many other decisions throughout the day, so make this easy for yourself.
- Generates momentum – If we skip routines, it’s easy to get lethargic and it’s harder to move into the rest of the day productively. However, if we start with a routine, we’ve generated that forward momentum that begets more forward momentum. That being said, it’s certainly not all about productivity. It’s about making a few priority or routine items habitual by ensuring they get done, and then, you have the freedom for more flexibility and spontaneity with your time.
These are some ideas, but I recommend finding what works for you. There’s no right or wrong thing to choose. It’s less about what the routine is and more about starting your day with intentionality and seeing how that contributes to the rest of your day.
- Get up before the kids. This is a tough one for me, but I definitely feel more present with them if I’ve already done a couple things I need to do before they wake. Of course, if you have a newborn, work nights, or anything else that makes this impractical, this one doesn’t apply to you.
- Review your to-do list for the day. Writing a to-do list is a recommended component of an evening routine. So, morning is when you could review it and start planning your day accordingly. Have one spot where you keep the list…your phone, a paper calendar, your bedside stand, sticky notes on your desk – wherever that is, consistency is key.
- Make your bed. Yep, it’s the little things. You will have accomplished the first task of the day. It’s easy, fast, and will give you a small sense of pride that will lead you to tackle other things. I always recommend starting small with our organizing projects, and this is no different.
- Put on the clothes you chose the night before. Whether it’s gym clothes, a work outfit, or quarantine sweats, choosing it the night before takes one more thing off your plate for your mornings.
- Tidy the kitchen. It’s that single area of the house that, depending on the state of it, makes you feel instantly behind or on top of it.
- Feed your soul. Tea, music, a podcast, gratitude journal, reading…up to you!
- Enforce some routines for your kids. Think simple, consistent, and age appropriate.
- Set your intention. What is your why behind establishing a morning routine? Increased productivity? More calm and less chaos? Let this guide what you choose for your routine.
- Be flexible. Make your routines work for you. They should bring you joy and improve your life. If they’re not, switch it up! If you read that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick to their exercise routine, yet you’re more of a night owl, by all means, exercise at night! Make that part of your evening routine.
- Keep a healthy perspective. If your morning routine gets delayed or cast aside sometimes, don’t sweat it. No need to throw in the towel on the entire day. Tomorrow is a new day!