How many times do you try to become more productive in the morning and fail? Do you look up blog articles and YouTubers who talk about their productive morning routine and try to follow them?
The thing is not everything that works for someone else will work for you. You can try out things and fail which makes you start to think you are lazy when it could just be that you aren’t creating the best routine for you. Becoming more productive isn’t something you can just do overnight.
It takes time to build a consistent schedule and start to complete the top tasks on your list. A CEO I had worked for in the past always tried to wake up before 5AM, multi-task in the mornings, and take on too many tasks. It clearly was not working for her. She used all the productivity books and software and still was disorganized.
When this happens, it’s time to start drastically changing your morning routine to fit your needs. Learn how to create a more productive morning routine below!
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Choose a time to wake up and stay consistent
You don’t have to wake up at 5 a.m. to be more productive like CEOs often do or other people recommend. Choose a time to wake up when you feel most rested. You’re not going to feel productive if you wake up way earlier than what you are used to, especially if you have a tendency to sleep late.
If you want to wake up earlier but fail to do so too many times, just stick to when you feel most rested. There are so many people who wake up at 9 a.m. or later and are getting just as many tasks done. Create your own routine on your own schedule or you will not be productive.
Make your morning routine SIMPLE
The more complicated it is to you, the more you won’t want to do it. You can search up all the elaborate morning routines on the internet, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Choose no more than 5 tasks in your morning routine that you don’t usually do. Start with one and work your way up.
Know your limits and don’t take on more than you can handle. Perhaps it could be a task that you schedule later when you feel more alert.
Put your phone far away from you before you go to sleep
This will make you get out of bed to turn off the phone alarm. How many times have you had your phone near you and just clicked it off and went back to sleep? To avoid this, never have your phone close to you and turn off all social media alerts until after your morning routine.
Make it a routine to not scroll through your texts or social media when you wake up.
Start your day with something you love to do to encourage yourself
It does not matter if you have a ton of tasks to do. I always like to start my mornings in peace doing something I’m passionate about. If I don’t, I’ll dread everything that happens during the day. To get through those mundane tasks, you have to have something that improves your mood.
Whenever I hung out with my co-workers and ate somewhere, I would come back to the office feeling in a great mood. I was completing my tasks faster and had I not done that, I probably would keep looking at the clock just ready to get off work.
Check your top tasks that you must complete for the day in your planner
What’s a productive morning routine without some kind of planner? Having a task list is something that should be done the day before in your journal or digital task organizer. I use Trello for managing this blog. Have 3 to 5 top tasks you need to get done max. If you have too many tasks on your list, you’ll be discouraged to finish any.
If you prefer a print productivity planner, I recommend the Productivity Planner Sheets to stay on a minimalistic morning routine. I like this planner because it’s straight to the point and quick to fill out. You also track how long it took you to complete the task and what you can do to improve next time.
Make sure to meal prep and have a plan of what you’re going to eat
Avoid sugary processed cereals. A lot of people think that they are healthy, but you really need to check the nutrition labels. A lot of them have too much added sugars and other bad stuff added to them. I, personally, do not eat cereal at all and prefer to cook my own meals. I also like to drink water before I drink coffee since coffee doesn’t hydrate you.
If you are not one that likes cooking in the mornings, then make your breakfast the night before. Even if that’s as simple as making overnight oatmeal in a mason jar. There are so many simple recipes out there for you to try. It helps to have a weekly meal plan so you are not looking in your fridge trying to figure out what to eat.
Just look on your calendar for the planned meal and have the items already grouped together to cook ahead of time or pre-made.
- Oatmeal (with walnuts, bananas, and berries)
- Omelet (with spinach and mushrooms)
- Protein Smoothie (with fruits and veggies)
- Acai Bowl
- Fruit Salad
- Yogurt Fruit Parfait
- Avocado Toast
Make exercise a daily part of your morning routine
Have a dedicated space for your workouts in the morning. It’s often the hardest to feel awake when you first wake up, so moving around a lot will help your brain to wake up faster. If you can get out of the house and into the sunlight for your exercise, that would be even better to wake you up faster.
When I don’t get up and start moving, dancing or exercising, I don’t feel like I have a very productive morning routine. I use exercise as a replacement for coffee for some days.
Choose your outfits for the week ahead of time
This will help you not spend so much time trying to figure out what to wear for the day. Have all your outfits paired together for the entire week so you can just quickly grab and get dressed. Many famous people like Steve Jobs wore the same outfits and it helped them focus on other areas of their lives.
I’m not telling you to wear the same thing everyday, but having all your outfits and accessories ready to go can help you focus more on the tasks you need to get done.
Do not multitask as it slows down your routine
Focus on completing one task at a time. It’s very rare for someone to be successful at doing multiple things at once. Think about it. Can you be on the phone call discussing important tasks with your boss while also trying to write a business document?
Most likely you would stop writing to think and answer some of your boss’ questions. It would take you much longer to finish that document because you’re constantly stopping to answer their questions. Focus on one thing at a time to make sure you’re not making errors.
Combine tasks that are similar in the same time period
Things that are very similar and near each other should be done back to back. For example, getting dressed and brushing your teeth are similar, so that could be done back to back vs. making breakfast and tidying your room. If things are too far apart, it slows you down.
Keep your routine consistent and do it every time so that you can find ways to do things faster. It will be almost like you can get ready without much thought because it’s become a habit.
Vary your morning schedule a bit with specific themes
Morning schedules can become a bit bland. Change it up with a slightly new routine for each day of the week. For example, if you get burnt out by Wednesdays, try incorporating self-care into your morning routine. Take time to journal, meditate or do something fun.
Record your moods for each day and come up with themes to boost your mood so you can get through the day.
What is your favorite productive morning routine?