“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt believed very strongly in the power of having a morning routine. She understood that how you spend your morning dictates how the rest of your day will play out.
Everyone needs a morning routine and as a force of habit, most people have probably fallen into a routine for no other reason than out of convenience. However, those who intentionally establish a morning routine that is positive and brings out the best in you will help you to be successful throughout the day.
Have you ever seen someone who rolls out of bed whenever they feel like it, get to work on their own schedule and work throughout the night? Imagine what they may look like as well as the quality of their work. Not there is nothing to say that they cannot be productive without having a defined routine, but just think about how they could benefit if they did!
According to a study by researchers at the University of Nottingham, energy and self-control are valuable resources that can be depleted throughout the day. As the day goes on and their levels become exhausted, it becomes harder to focus on work, and your productivity declines. However, they have also found that if you can start your day off by following a regular routine, you can help to keep your energy high and self-control stable throughout the day.
Tips to create a morning routine to kick-start your day
- Wake up early. Have you ever heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm”? When you wake up early, your brain is more likely to be refreshed, alert, and positive.
- Exercise is not only good for the body but the mind as well, replenishing the much-needed oxygen and providing your body with the fuel it needs for the long day ahead.
- Many people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether it is true or not, eating a well-balanced breakfast helps to stabilize your blood sugar and you tend to avoid wandering into the kitchen at odd hours for a “snack”.
- Establish your goals for the day. By identifying what it is that you set out to do that day, you help to establish a guide that you can follow throughout the day, checking off items from your list. Although you may not successfully complete all of the items on your list, at least you have a starting point for tomorrow.
- Each day before you begin working, especially when you are working remotely, be sure to clean and organize your workspace. Having an area that is well-organized and free of clutter sets your mind on the right track to focus and be productive.
- Since you have the most clarity in the morning, focus on those things that require the most brainpower. As soon as you open your email, you are distracted by a thousand other things that could derail your well-thought-out plan. Save the email for some time later in the day when you are less focused and have less self-control. Believe me, the email will be there later too!
- As the day gets busy, carving out time for yourself gets even more challenging. Set aside some time as part of your morning routine to take care of yourself; meditation, prayer, reading, writing, just enjoying the beautiful morning with your cup of coffee. Even 15 minutes of alone time can create a foundation for how your day will play out.
- Drink plenty of water. Start your day off with water with a splash of lemon to give your body the extra zing that it needs to keep you energized throughout the day.
- Be intentional! As Stephen Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us, “Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, and think win-win”. Who could not be productive if you think positively each and every morning!
Your morning is in fact YOURS. You may laugh at this! Although you may have commitments of getting the children off to school, packing lunches, and organizing everyone else’s day, setting your day off right will help to ensure that the rest of it follows suit. Sure you may say that you get up early enough but then you run around, feel exhausted by the afternoon, and cannot focus on the task at hand. Why not give a new morning routine a try and see how productive your workday will be.