We all know that early mornings are not always our favorite. However, there can be many benefits to having a routine to powerfully start each day. A morning routine that leads to less stress and productivity is in fact, a science that you can implement in your own life. It’s important to remember that there isn’t an ideal morning routine for everyone, but there is an ideal one for you. Do you want to be less stressed, happier and more productive? Here are some ideas to help you!
1. Eliminate decision-making tasks the night before
The best way to have a productive morning is to get a head start on it the night before. Since we only have a limited amount of willpower and decision-making abilities each day, it’s wise to get some of the simpler things out of the way before we go to bed. Have your outfit ready to go, lunch packed, coffee on a timer, etc. Gary Keller wears nearly the same thing every day, allowing him to free up his time and focus on the things that help him achieve his goals.
2. Wake Up Early
We all know that time is an invaluable asset. To make the most of their day, some of the most successful people take it up a notch by waking up at 5:00 am and even 4:00 am. Not only will they have more control in their early hours, they’ll also have more opportunities to do things that matter to them. Maybe we don’t need to wake up that early but even an hour earlier a day gives you an extra 15 days in a year!
3. Smile & Think Positive
Did you know by smiling your body releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin? This means that just by smiling you’re releasing those feel-good neurotransmitters that will be starting your day in a better mood. If you have trouble getting yourself to smile in the morning, even a forced smile has benefits!
4. Make Your Bed
Making your bed is something small and doable which gets your day started off right. You will have accomplished the first task of the day and it will give you a small sense of pride which will encourage you to do another. Make sure to check out Admiral William H. McRaven’s 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas for more on this topic.
5. Move Around
Exercise will not just make you think clearer, be healthier and scientifically happier, it allows you to combat stress as well. This doesn’t mean you have to “pump iron” for an hour, you can try running or even walking around the neighborhood for 15-20 minutes. Stretch and get your heart rate up a little to start the day off strong!
Spend a few minutes in the morning to say a prayer or to meditate to keep you relaxed. Focus on your breathing. Meditating does everything from improving your focus, reducing stress, improving emotional stability and preventing common health ailments. An estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues so keep calm and let your inner peace guide you.
7. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve heard it a hundred times: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it’s true. There are many benefits by starting your day off with lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. You’ll be less hungry throughout the day, you’ll have better focus and concentration and you’ll have more energy.
8. Remember your "Why"
Take at least 10 minutes of your morning to go over your business plan, visualize your goals and to review your tasks for the day. It’ll help your day be more manageable and less stressful.
Having a strong morning routine is important because it gets your day started right, with less stress, more automation, and a couple of quick wins. If you have a different morning every day, you are using up your limited decision-making capacities to decide what to do every day. If it is the same, you don’t have to think about it. It’s easier than you think. Now go get it!