I’m not a morning person. It’s a major struggle for me to get myself out of bed in the morning and start my day with any kind of positivity or productive outlook. I always find one way or another to procrastinate; checking my phone, instagram, facebook, even watching a few YouTube videos, and before I know it an hour would have easily passed and I’d still be in bed. It’s especially hard now that I work from home and strictly speaking don’t need to get up at a specific hour. But overtime I’ve learned to become more responsible over my time management as I wasn’t getting anything done and realised I needed a major habit overhaul. Today I’m going to share a few tips and tricks that I’ve used to improve my morning routine and start my day on a more positive and productive note.
Don’t hit the snooze button.
To be honest, you are not going to feel more rested from an extra five or ten minutes of restless sleep.Trying to sleep on snooze time is actually pointless because more often than not you end up lying half awake in bed and dreading the moment when the alarm will eventually go off. Set just one alarm and put it far away from your bed so that you need to get up and out of bed to turn it off.
Leave your phone alone
This is probably what I struggle with the most. It’s a new day and you’re curious to find out what’s been going on with the world during the past 7-8 hours. I often open Facebook and Instragram first thing in the morning and start scrolling, which can easily lead to an extra 45 minutes in bed just mindlessly looking through photos and posts. Starting your day with an act of procrastination does not feel good, and most importantly it gives your mind no chance to think freely without the influence of social media. Stay away from your phone in the morning to allow your mind a fresh start to feel creative and productive without exposing youself to social media overload. Charge your phone overnight in the living room or the kitchen if you need to and just get a real alarm clock instead. I promise you will thank yourself for giving your mind a break and a fresh start in the morning.
Drink a glass of water
Our body gets dehydrated when we sleep as we spend up to 8 hours straight without any water intake. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning replenish the water that your body lost during the night and makes your feel refreshed and awake.
Waking up and jumping into any kind of exercise, whether it is a relaxing yoga, pilates, or a morning run, wakes your body right up and give you a boost of endorphin that makes you feel happy and energised. It is also nice to get exercise done and over with first thing in the morning because it allows you to tick an important task off your list and you don’t have to worry about finding time to exercise during the day.
This might seem pretty obvious but for someone who works from home there is always a temptation to just stay in your comfy dressing gown or pyjama until lunchtime. This invariably makes you feel like a bum and lazy, and more often than not results in a much less productive day. Getting properly dressed with your hair and makeup done makes you feel put together like a productive member of society, which will prompt you to act like one. When you dress for the day, even if the day involves working alone at home, you feel more confident and ready to take on any challenges life throws at you.
Many of us think we have no time in the morning for breakfast and tend to skip it altogether, which is such a bad habit. By mid morning we are guaranteed to feel lethargic and cranky for not having any foods in our stomach and as a result we won’t be able to concentrate on getting any tasks done. Make sure you eat breakfast in the morning. If you don’t feel like cooking in the morning or you don’t have time, just plan for something easy that will still give you enough energy to last until lunch time. A bowl of yogurt with muesli or granola with some fruits like banana or berries takes no time at all to make and can even be prepared the night before to store in the fridge ready for the morning.
Make a big cup of tea (0r coffee)
I am a major tea person. I literally can not function in the morning until I’ve made myself a big cup of tea. It’s such a relaxing morning ritual to be able to take time to enjoy and indulge in a morning cuppa. These little moments can set a positive tone and put you in the right mood for the day.
Write Morning Pages
I always make a point of starting my day writing my morning pages. If you are not familiar with the morning pages, there are plenty of information online that can give you more insight into this wonderful technique. The morning pages allow me to clear and empty my mind of anything that’s been bothering me or been stuck in my head and blocking other creative thoughts. This simple act of writing down all my thoughts freely without any censorship helps me jump into the day with a clear mind more receptive to embrace and express my creativity.
Write a list of tasks for the day
Before you get on with your day, write down a list of tasks that you need to accomplish that day (or tasks that will make you feel good to accomplish). These can be anything from exercise, catch up on emails, grocery shop, take blog photos, promote on social medias etc. This will give your day a structure and make you feel more focused to gear your day towards accomplishing these tasks. It is also very satisfying at the end of the day to be able to tick off each task that you have completed and see what you have achieved in a day.
Tackle the hardest or most important task first and get it out of the way.
There is no point drawing it out or putting it off, just get it done and over with and you will feel much better knowing that the rest of the day will be easier and more manageable. When you make a list of tasks that you need to get done for the day, do the one that you hate the most first, and you will be free of worries and ready to take on the rest of your day.
The first few hours of your day can have such an impact on how the rest of the day follows. So try a few of these suggestions and make an effort to improve your morning routine. Once you stop treating your morning like an inconvenience and start greeting it with a smile and positivity, the day will likely smile back at you :)
Do you have a morning routine that you swear by?