Have you ever thought about how to cultivate a morning routine that sets you up for success at work? Our morning routine is important because it sets the course for the day. It’s how our bodies and brains get prepared for what’s to come in the day in front of us. That’s why the morning routine is so often discussed among professionals and high-performing individuals; it can play an integral part in setting ourselves up for a successful, productive, and positive day.
Finding the morning routine that works for you will be beneficial in helping you reach your daily productivity goals and help you find a healthy work-life balance. The following suggestions can help you build a powerful morning routine that sets you up to tackle the day in front of you.
As Laura Holton, a writer for myVA360, says, “How you spend the morning will influence the rest of your day. If you start feeling rushed or lazy, expect that sensation to remain with you. A morning routine, however, gets you on track from the moment you wake up and puts you in the right frame of mind.”
Get Enough Rest to Adjust to the Changes
One of the best tips for getting into the groove with your morning routine starts before the morning ever does—it’s all about the amount and the quality of rest you get the night before. The rest you get leading up to your wake-up call is essential because it gives you enough time to go through your entire morning routine and lets you maintain a calm mindset.
By going to bed earlier, you can also wake up earlier, which is beneficial when you’re first developing your routine and need extra time to adjust. This will give you plenty of time in the morning to start trying out different activities that can wake you up and prepare you for the day.
As John Berry, CEO and Managing Partner of Berry Law says, “When you first start developing your morning routine, you might wake up a full two hours earlier, and after adjusting, you might discover you only needed one extra hour. It requires trial and error but is well worth it.”
Get Enough Rest to Boost Your Energy and Mood
Getting enough rest for your energy levels and overall mood is also crucial. By going to sleep at a reasonable hour each evening and giving your body the appropriate amount, you’ll better be able to focus on your tasks throughout the workweek with more energy.
Ubaldo Perez, CEO of Hush Anesthetics notes, “Getting enough rest is important for more than just your morning routine, though it certainly can help that as well. If you don’t feel overly tired and exhausted when you wake up every morning, you’re more likely to tackle the day with ease and positivity.”
Not getting enough sleep not only makes you tired; it also significantly affects your mood. Your mood will take a massive hit when you’re running on four or five hours of sleep instead of seven or eight. Instead of positively meeting your tasks and colleagues, you’ll walk into work with a chip on your shoulder from sheer exhaustion.
Enjoy a Morning Meal
Arguably the next most important aspect of a morning routine is engaging in a morning meal. Breakfast has been coined as the most important meal of the day for a good reason. It gives us the fuel and energy our bodies need to kickstart our metabolism and get our brains to wake up.
“Skipping breakfast is detrimental to productivity and overall alertness,” says Miles Beckett, CEO and Co-founder of Flossy Dental. “The healthier the breakfast, the better, but getting any food in your system in the morning is infinitely better than skipping breakfast entirely.”
There are several easy breakfast options that are nutritious and packed full of healthy ingredients that can be consumed on the go. Protein breakfast smoothies can be made with a handful of ingredients and a blender in under five minutes. Depending on the ingredients you include, these homemade breakfast protein smoothies can be highly dense in nutrients and calories.
Perform Light Exercise
After getting some food in your body, a morning exercise routine can do wonders for energy levels, motivation, productivity, and overall physical and mental health. Eating a healthy breakfast will help jumpstart your metabolism, so exercising shortly after is a great way to utilize that metabolic window.
Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB Sports mentions, “Morning workouts are a great way to get the day started. They can set the tone for the rest of the day and pick you up before you even step foot in the office.”
A morning workout can also serve to get your heart rate up and bleed off excess energy that can cause anxiety. We often wake up with our minds racing about the many tasks we need to accomplish, so having an outlet for those thoughts can help soothe you and put things in perspective. As an added bonus, if you work out in the morning, you can go straight home after a long workday.
Put Your Phone Down
While we all know the importance of putting our phones away before bed, what about right when you wake up? It’s tempting to grab your phone before you roll out of bed, but this can greatly slow you down and increase your chances of getting sidetracked.
Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads states, “There will always be emails to answer and texts to respond to, but it’s crucial to give your brain time to wake up in the most natural way possible without immediately putting a screen in your face.” Avoiding your phone entirely in the morning might not be possible, but try to set aside the first hour of your morning as a dedicated no-technology space. You’ll soon see the benefits of giving yourself the time you deserve in the morning so that you can walk into work tackling the day ahead.
Start the Workday Fresh and Alert
While exercising can set the stage for a successful, productive, and energetic day, you don’t want to get the reputation of the coworker who shows up to work straight from the gym. If you’re going to test out the morning workout routine, it’s imperative that you still make time for good hygiene practices.
“It feels good to have the workout logged and the shower in the books and know all that’s left for the day is whatever work is still on the table,” states Chris Thompson, CEO of Sober Sidekick App. “It helps shift your perspective a bit.”
Not only will this make you more pleasant to work around, but finishing a workout and getting a shower in will have you feeling extremely fresh and ready to go at the start of your work day. Regular morning workouts can also lead to higher levels of daily energy, feeling more alert and aware, and even increased productivity.
Schedule Some Reading Time
While pulling out the newspaper may feel like a thing of the past, scheduling some time in the morning to read a few pages from your favorite book can do wonders for your mind. Instead of pulling out your phone to scroll through emails or social media, do your best to read something that will keep your mind sharp.
Nabeel Abdullah, CEO of Sapphire suggests, “Reading is one of the most important activities to perform, yet most of us never carve out enough time to do it. Instead of feeling pressured to read on your lunch break or at night when all you want to do is sleep, try scheduling just 30 minutes in the morning to get through a few pages. This will put your brain in the mindset of digesting information, leading to a more seamless transition once you get to work.”
Listen to a Podcast
Reading a few pages of a book in the morning might not be attainable for everyone, but there are other ways you can get your brain prepped for information that is a bit more passive. If you commute to work, use that as a time to digest an informational podcast.
Jodi Neuhauser, CEO of Ovaterra says, “Whether your commute to work is 30 minutes or an hour, it’s in your best interest to make the most of this time. Finding a few go-to podcasts to listen to on your way into the office can make all the difference throughout your day. You’ll feel like you accomplished something right off the bat and have knowledge of something you previously didn’t.”
If finding a podcast feels too intimating due to the sheer volume of options, try creating a playlist for yourself the night before you head into the office. Instead of panicking and scrolling through what’s trending, you can choose directly from a curated playlist.
Have Water With Your Coffee or Tea
Another key to cultivating a morning routine that sets you up for work success is staying hydrated. This means starting the morning with a glass of water before anything else and continuing to drink water with your other morning beverages, whether that’s coffee, tea, or anything else.
“Drinking a glass of water in the morning is great for your system in many ways, from boosting your energy levels to kickstarting your metabolism.” explains Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce Luggage Storage “Once you start this habit in the morning, it’s a matter of staying on top of your hydration throughout the rest of the day to reap the most benefits.”
Along with more energy and an improved metabolism, drinking water first thing in the morning can also give you a stronger sense of focus and concentration, calmer emotional responses, and clearer critical thinking abilities. All of these areas will help you get through your workday in the most efficient, productive way.
Develop a Skincare Routine
Skincare matters to some more than others, but implementing a skincare routine into your morning routine can do wonders. Instead of waking up wondering what goes where having an idea of which products you reach for in the morning can speed things up and make the hours before you head to work feel more effortless.
Sumeer Kaur, CEO of Lashkaraa explains, “Whether you put some drugstore moisturizer on your face or have a luxury skincare lineup, creating a routine for this will take the thought out of what you have to do in the morning. It helps everything feel more seamless.”
A Few Last Words
Our morning routine dictates so much about our day and our potential success at work. It can impact our mood, temper, productivity levels, and everything in between. Cultivating a healthy and productive morning routine that allows you to get the most out of your days takes some dedication but is well worth your time.
Kendra Cherry of Verywell Mind explains it by saying, “While having a routine is important, give yourself some flexibility and don’t beat yourself up if you have trouble sticking to your own schedule. Everyone copes with stress differently. Having a routine can help you maintain a sense of normalcy and focus through tough times….”
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