One of the lesser known ways to increase your productivity is to create a morning routine. A simple morning routine will give you greater control over your daily tasks and your goals.
My routine involves breakfast, a short burst of exercise followed by either writing or researching articles before getting ready to face the day.
I’ll admit – I am not a morning person. It is hard enough for me to wake up early, let alone get up and be productive. If you can relate, then the following suggestions will help you to establish a morning routine.
The night before
If you wake up earlier and realise you don’t have a clean mug for your morning coffee, or you still have to pack lunch, iron clothes, etc. chances are you will go straight back to bed. Rather, spend a few minutes the night before to prepare for your morning routine. If you have kids, pack their lunches, lay out their clothes and tidy up the kitchen. Do all the little tasks that might steal time from your precious morning routine.
Make a list of all the important tasks for the day, or re-visit your diary to make the necessary changes. Doing all of this the night before will save a tremendous amount of time the following day.
Take a few quiet moments first thing in the morning to focus on your day. There are many ways to do this. I suggest finding a method that works for you. Some suggestions:
- Meditation, positive thoughts and affirmations
- Revisiting your vision and mission, or your future plans and goals
- Visualization exercises
- Writing in a journal or blogging
Personally, I prefer meditating and writing, be it for one of my blogs, or in my journal. It goes well with my morning coffee and I only spend a few minutes on these two tasks. When journaling, I make notes of any areas in my life that need special attention, either work-related or private, as well as off-loading any negativity that weighs me down. This helps me start my day with a fresh perspective.
Eat healthy and exercise
There is no need to do an entire work-out first thing in the morning. Some even prefer to exercise at night. However, a quick 5-minute session of push ups or jogging on the spot can do wonders. I’m a firm believer that 5 minutes of activity followed by a healthy breakfast is the best way for a non-morning person to get up early. It’s not the easiest routine to master, but it pays off. Also, when you skip breakfast, your body thinks there’s going to be an energy shortage during the day and tries to conserve wherever it can.
There are many options for a healthy breakfast: oatmeal with nuts and/or berries, yogurt with fruits. Personally, I like eggs; and because I eat eggs almost every morning, I discard the cholesterol-loaded yolks and scramble the whites of 3 or 4 eggs (and 1 yolk every second morning, for flavour) with peppers, onions and feta cheese. With a cup of tea, this is my version of heaven.
By getting up just one hour earlier every morning, you will have an extra day each month… Just imagine everything you could get done in a day.