…morning is the time when you set the tone for the rest of the day. Set it right. – Fain Blake
The above quote says it all; how you spend your mornings often dictate how your day will pan out.
Do you struggle every morning to get focussed for the day? Or perhaps you wake up confused as to what and what you need to do in the morning. Do you live the day as it goes, or do you set out a plan for the day?
Whatever your answers maybe, I will implore you to read on and find out how your morning habits can influence your productivity for the entire day. Your answers to the question above would tell a lot about how your day has been.
The start of the day is perhaps the most crucial part of the day. It is time to prepare yourself physically and psychologically for the activities of the day.
Imagine starting a new year without any goals, starting up a business without a plan, or starting a career without the long term and short term goals. These scenarios are no different from not having a well-planned morning for the day ahead.
The question on your mind right now is probably, “how do you plan your mornings to boost productivity?” It is not a difficult task; it is perhaps just as easy as the things you do with your mornings when you don’t have plans.
The only difference is that you are now conscious of your actions, and they are more deliberate. The answer to the question is morning routines. Routine, as described by the oxford dictionary, is ‘a course of action to be followed regularly or a standard procedure.’
A morning routine is a perfect way to kick-start your day. The method helps maximize lifestyle and preferences. Morning routine prepares you physically, psychologically, and emotionally for the task ahead. It also provides you with the focus you require for productivity.
There are tons of different morning routines, depending on the individual. It is essential to identify the most suitable routine for yourself.
It is possible that the first thing your neighbor does in the morning is to take a cup of coffee before having a few exercises and a shower while you will always prefer having your coffee just before you exit home for work. You cannot adopt your neighbor’s routine because it doesn’t suit your lifestyle.
Lots of successful individuals commence their day with morning routines and have attributed their successes partly to their morning routines. In this article, we shall consider ten general morning routine, which aid productivity.
Below are 10 of the best morning routine that has been proven by highly successful people to work.
1. Wake Up Early
It is a common saying that morning people are the most productive. Hence, the first step towards having a successful day is waking up early. The majority of the successful public figures around the world are subscribers of rising early.
In the words of Richard Branson, founder of Virgin group:
No matter where I am in the world, I try to routinely wake up at around 5 a.m. By rising early, I am able to do some exercise and spend time with my family, which puts me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.
In a research study published by the American Psychological Association in the year 2012, it was concluded that
early risers or morning people’ (referring to people who wake up early) often function better and are often more productive, happier and healthier than ‘night owls’ (people who would rather sleep late and wake up late).
2. Start Your Morning The Evening Before
Often the best way to ensure a productive morning is by planning the night before. The night before is when you identify the clothes and accessories to be worn the next day and ensuring they are in the right shape and condition.
Once the day’s work is completed, take your time and list the things you wish to accomplish the next day, this gets you up and running and focus the following day.
Most successful individuals adopt this practice in their routine. Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of American Express, writes down the things he wants to accomplish the next day at the end of each day.
Like Chenault, Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary also forms his to-do list for the next day at the end of the previous day. O’Leary in his words said
Before I go to sleep, I write down three things that I have to do the next morning before I take a call, write a text or an email or talk to anyone else except my family.
And they can be random things, like ‘Call your daughter at school and ask about whether she’s done this or that’ or ‘Close a deal.’ What I found was once you get those three things done, the rest of your day becomes amazingly productive.
3. Drink A Glass of Water or Coffee
Have you ever woken up in the midnight feeling very thirsty and dehydrated? Well, that is because sleeping causes dehydration.
Hence, it is advised that you take a cup of water first thing in the morning before any activity. Drinking water in the morning helps replenish the water that the body has lost during the sleep.
Coffee is also perfect for the body in the morning when consumed in a reasonable quantity. Coffee boasts of some health benefits, which include boosting mood, energy levels, memory, cognitive function, and so on.
It also aids fat burning and is suitable for preventing Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Parkinson’s.
4. Stretch and Exercise Your Body
There is a famous saying that ‘health is wealth,’ you can only be productive when you have good health. One right way of promoting one’s overall health is by engaging in early morning daily exercise.
Richard Branson once wrote on his blog that exercise and family time are the things that get him in the right frame of mind before taking on the business of the day.
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast or not having a healthy breakfast could affect your concentration during the day.
When you get up in the morning, the level of sugar in your body needed for the proper functioning of the brain and muscles is usually low, and you need breakfast to replenish it.
6. Put Away Your Phone
It is also, on the other hand, capable of derailing your hopes and aspirations by merely causing a distraction. Getting either of the two sides of the phone is dependent on your use of the phone, knowing when to have it close by and when to keep it away in your drawer.
A study by CareerBuilder in 2016 opined that phones are the biggest killers of productivity at work. Having your cell phone close by and continuously checking it while going through your daily routine could jeopardize your focus and concentration.
Meditation is a way of clearing your mind in the morning. It allows the brain to remain focused on completing a task at a time instead of having your mind pulled in different directions.
8. Eat the Frog
This phrase is from a famous saying by Mark Twain:
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
By ‘frog,’ he was referring to the most difficult or the most critical task on your list. There has to be that one job which you dread doing so much, that is what you should tackle first.
When you finish such a task, you are most certainly going for a cruising day.
9. Pare Down Your Routine Decisions
Are you often at crossroads or spend a lot of time thinking about the right style of dress to put on or the type of food for the next day? Well, you can avoid this by merely having your routine of choices.
You can choose to go for a uniform of a gray T-shirt and a hoodie like Mark Zuckerberg or having fruits for your breakfast like Oprah.
Reading is perhaps one of the most common traits among successful people. Reading in the morning sharpens your mind and alertness levels. The likes of Warren Buffet and Richard Branson are a few of the successful individuals who engage in the morning reading.
Having a morning routine is one of the attributes of most of the successful people in the world today. The presence of routines means you don’t have to ponder on basic decisions like what to wear or if you should exercise, which would have been habits already.
Also, the best morning routine set you up in the proper mood for the day. It is important to note that the routine in this article doesn’t need to be followed religiously. What you need to do is adopt a suitable method for your kind of personality.