Ever felt like your mornings are a complete chaos? You feel tired right from the start and having a set morning routine feels next to impossible.
Then, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll look at how you can optimize your morning productivity with a simple 5-step morning routine checklist.
Ready to dive right in? Let’s go.
Why you need to start with your evening routine
What’s the most important part of a morning routine?
Actually, that’s a trick question.
You see, what makes or breaks a morning routine isn’t what you do each morning.
Nope, it’s what you do the night before.
Your energy levels and productivity depend on how much and how qualitative sleep you get.
And how do you do that?
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Put away your phone, computer, and pad at least an hour before going to bed. Why? The screen light makes your brain think it’s day so you get energized just when you should be winding down.
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Again, your brain wakes up.
- What to do if you can’t sleep. If you don’t fall asleep after 15 minutes, get up and go to a separate room. Read a book (use a dim light!) until you feel sleepy again.
That’s it. And now:
Your morning routine.
Here below, you get a morning routine checklist for adults that takes about 31 minutes from start to finish.
Let’s dig in.
1. Get up earlier without hitting the snooze button
Does this sound familiar?
You wake up every morning, tired and not ready to leave the bed.
You hit the snooze button over and over again until you absolutely have to get up.
And, because you stayed in bed for so long, you’re running late.
But what if you could get up earlier, have time for a proper routine and set yourself up for success?
After all, you’ve heard the stories about successful people who get up before dawn.
People like Richard Branson, who gets up at 5:45 AM. Or, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who gets up at 3:45 AM. The same goes for PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and Michelle Obama – they’re all early risers.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to get up earlier.
Let’s say you get up at 7:30 AM every morning. But you want to get up at 5:30 AM.
Tomorrow, set your alarm clock at 7:15 and go to sleep 15 minutes earlier than you normally do.
Keep doing this until you it feels like a habit.
Then, set your alarm clock at 7:00. Again, go to sleep 15 minutes earlier.
And so on, until you’ve trained your brain to get up at 5:30.
2. Here’s the first thing you need to do when you wake up (1 minute)
What’s the first thing you should do when you wake up?
Nope, not exercising, eating breakfast or meditating…
It’s drinking a glass of water.
You see, water makes a huge difference in terms of your productivity.
First and foremost, it helps you keep hydrated. Dehydration can lead to all kinds of nasty things like feeling lethargic.
Of course, you need to drink water throughout the day. But what better way to get started than to have a glass first thing in the morning?
But that’s not all.
Water has all kinds of positive effects on your mind and body.
It helps you activate your brain (hello, focus!) and boosts your immunity system.
And, it keeps your metabolism in check. Plus, thirst can make you eat more (your brain interprets thirst as hunger). Just by drinking a glass of water, you keep your eating in check.
Kickstart your productivity by drinking one or two glasses of water right when you wake up.
To make this habit as easy as possible, keep a glass of water on your nightstand.
It doesn’t get any simpler.
Why you should exercise in the morning… And how to do it even if you don’t have a lot of time.
3. The simple 4-step morning workout (10 minutes)
Successful people don’t just get up early. They also take the time to exercise.
You probably don’t have a private gym or a PT you can call on a whim.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise.
In fact, there are some simple things you can do to get the juices flowing.
Here’s a short sequence that will take no more than 10 minutes:
Step #1 – 1 minute
Start with a light stretch. You can simply sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Stretch your arms so that your fingertips touch your toes.
Step #2 – 1 minute
Jump with your arms raised above your head and legs separated. Jump again while lowering your arms to the sides and returning legs to the midline. Repeat.
Step #3 – 1 minute
Move to a push-up position. Move your elbows to the floor, so that they and your toes support your body weight.
Keep for 30 seconds. Pause and then do another round for 30 seconds.
Step #3 – 30x
Sit with your legs bent in front of you. Keep your torso off the ground at a 45-degree angle. Lock your arms as if you were holding a ball in front of you.
Then, move your arms from side to side so that your elbows touch the floor. Repeat 30 times.
Step #4 – Final stretching
That’s it- that was the hard part of your exercise routine. Now, take a few minutes to stretch your arms, legs, and neck and get your blood flowing.
4. These two things help you focus the entire day (15 minutes)
One of the main reasons you have a morning routine is that it helps you feel grounded and focused.
So how do you achieve that state for the rest of the day?
Here’s a simple two-step approach:
#1. 10 minutes of meditation
Mediation is key if you want to learn to focus.
A short, 10-minute meditation session will already help you focus better.
According to research, meditation improves your brain’s ability to focus.
Meditation doesn’t have to be this difficult task.
It’s that simple.
#2. 5 minutes of journaling
The second step is five minute of journaling.
Now, you might be asking yourself:
“What’s the benefit of journaling? Why should I do it?”
After all, there are so many other pressing things you need to get done in the morning.
Journaling is one of the best ways to make sure you have a productive day.
You see, you have all these thoughts in the back of your head. Maybe they’re fears and worries or ideas or tasks you need to get done.
When you journal, you ‘dump’ all your thoughts on a paper.
They won’t distract you during the day, so you can focus on your work.
Journaling doesn’t have to be this fancy thing.
You don’t even have to write. For example, you could use a voice recorder on your phone.
And you journal for yourself. So don’t worry about mistakes or typos or incoherent thoughts.
The main thing is that you do it.
5. The secret to getting all your tasks done? Schedule your day (5 minutes)
Want to make sure you get all your tasks done?
Then, include this simple step into your morning routine.
To get tasks done, they need to be scheduled.
And yes, that means every single task you want to get done.
Schedule your breaks. And not just your lunch break, but every break you take during the day.
Consider all the time you’ll save thanks to having schedules your tasks beforehand.
If you work on your tasks without scheduling them, there are a few things that could go wrong.
- You’re probably not working on priority tasks. Instead, you’re working on whatever feels urgent (even if it doesn’t take you closer to your goal). But if you take the time to think through your tasks before sitting down to work on them, you have the space to think clearly about your priorities.
- Your tasks take longer than they should. If you don’t have an ‘end time’ for your task, you’ll inevitably work on it longer than you should. After all, you have more room for procrastination.
- You use up your brain power. If you have to make decisions about which tasks to work on and why throughout the day, you risk using up your brain power pretty fast.
So take a few minutes every morning to schedule your tasks.
You can use your phone’s calendar and just block out time for each task. Try to be realistic about how much time each task takes, but don’t stress it too much.
Over time, you’ll get better at figuring out how much time different tasks take.
Conclusion: Use this morning routine checklist every morning
So, that’s it. Now you have a good morning routine before work. It’ll help you get more done and stay focused the entire day.
Let’s recap with a daily morning routine checklist:
- 1 minute: Drink a glass of water immediately when you wake up.
- 10 minutes: Do some light stretching and/or exercises.
- 10 minutes: Meditate.
- 5 minutes: Journal.
- 5 minutes: Schedule your workday.
And you’re set.
One more thing before you go….
Have any morning routine ideas to share? Let us know YOUR best morning routine tip in the comment section.