There’s been a lot written in the past few years on the benefits of having a morning routine. I’ve definitely hopped on this bandwagon over this period and experimented with a variety of routines. I’ve tried waking up at 5am, sleeping in until I naturally wakeup, and everything in between. Over the past year or so, I’ve refined my routine to a point where it’s gotten quite comfortable and productive.
While I’m sure the current structure will change over the course of time and through different seasons in my life, knowing that I have a firm foundation in my morning routine is really helpful. I don’t complete all 8 components to my routine every morning. For example, if I have to catch an early morning flight, I may only complete 1 or 2 components and try to make up parts of it throughout the rest of the day. I try to stay away from making it a rigid timesheet and more of a guideline.
Before I share with you the components of the routine, there are a few notable benefits to mention about a morning routine.
1. Minimizes decision-making early in the day
Willpower is a limited resource and making sure you don’t expend too much of it early on the day is crucial to your daily success. With a clearly defined routine to follow in the morning, you minimize the number of decisions to make yet still maintain productivity. No longer are you thinking “what shall I do this morning?” You’ve set a series of helpful activities in the morning that have become a habit. That’s a good thing.
2. Starts the day with quick wins
Have you heard the expression “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”? Having a morning ritual to take care of the quick wins at the start of the day can make the rest of the day feel like a win – even if it was a really shitty day. You’ve taken care of some important self-care activities so you can chalk down the rest of the day as a success.
3. Provides an opportunity for self improvement
I really enjoy using the morning for self-improvement activities including reading, meditation, and journaling. Personally, the morning is when my mind is most relaxed and rejuvenated so putting in time for self-improvement work is highly effective.
So without further ado, here’s my morning routine.
1. Make coffee or tea
5. Set a work and personal goal for the day
6. Admin work*
*Includes replying to personal emails, buffering social media articles, reviewing personal finances, etc.
Each component of my morning routine takes between 5 to 15 minutes to complete. In order to make sure I keep on track with my routine, I use a Pomodoro timer to alert me after 15 minutes. It’s a helpful way to keep the momentum going.
The process of developing this routine took me about 3 years to complete. It’s important to remember that a routine is a cumulation of habits you’ve built up. So if you’re new to morning routines, I would recommend starting small. Pick one habit you’d like to do every morning and after you feel like you’re in auto-pilot with that habit, add on another one. This way you’ll build confidence in yourself and the joy you find in completing the habit every morning will lead to a virtuous cycle.
Do you have a morning routine or are you working on developing one? Let me know what yours looks like in the comments below!