7 Ways to Create a Productivity-Boosting Morning Routine
What does your morning routine look like? Do you roll out of bed, hit the gym right away, and then rush to work? Do you hit the snooze button 10X before opening your laptop and getting your day started – right from bed? Or do you drink a few cups of coffee while scrolling through social media accounts, before finally forcing yourself to take a quick shower?
No matter what your current morning routine looks like, it can always be improved – setting you up for a more productive, successful day. In fact, studies say that “morning people” are actually happier. And, some of the richest people in the world generally stick to a morning routine – including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah.
Regardless of how you feel about the AM, the reality is that how you spend your first waking hours can set the tone for the rest of your day. Here are seven ideas for creating a morning routine that works for you:
1. Get some exercise.
Rolling out of bed and slipping on a pair of Nikes might not be super appealing to you, especially if you struggle with the snooze button. But incorporating exercise into your morning routine – whether that’s a jog around the neighborhood, a 20-minute HIIT session, or a yoga class – can pay off.
Here’s how a morning workout can benefit the rest of your day:
- A 2019 study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that exercise can actually improve your focus and cognition.
- Exercise can improve your heart and lung health, giving you more overall stamina and energy.
- Even low-intensity exercise can improve your mood and help your body to release happiness-inducing endorphins.
Finally, starting off your day with physical activity can help set the tone for healthier nutritional choices throughout the remainder of your day...and make sitting at a desk all day that much easier.
2. Drink a hot beverage.
Drinking a hot beverage first thing in the morning can help you rehydrate after a long night of sleep, help you wake up, and jumpstart your digestive system. And, it gives you something to look forward to – a tasty incentive to getting out of bed and getting started on your day.
Plus, drinking a hot beverage – such as tea – has some pretty enticing health benefits. In fact, a study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference found that drinking tea can actually stimulate your creativity.
Rare Brew’s Matcha Mind Control, for example, can help you focus better and clear your brain fog with a combo of oolon, puerh, coconut, dark chocolate, and other brain-boosting superfood ingredients (Plus it tastes amazing).
You might also want to try a refreshing white tea for a low-caffeinated boost of antioxidants...or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, a tea that tastes like dessert (without all the sugar and carbs).
In the past, meditation was associated with a specific brand of spirituality and practiced only by the “super spiritual.” But meditative practice has become increasingly mainstream as people have begun to recognize its multitude of benefits – including improved heart health, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved immunity.
While meditation might look different for everyone, this practice does have some common themes – including silence and intentional focus. Try setting a timer in the morning to spend some time in a quiet space with no distractions. You might even want to engage in some meditative breath, such as the 4-7-8 practice, or try repeating a personal mantra.
4. Journal.Entering into your workday feeling frazzled and overwhelmed can damage your productivity and efficiency. Taking a few minutes to journal in the morning can help you step back from the day-to-day grind and look at bigger picture goals, as well as set actionable, short-term goals.
Here are some ideas for journaling in the AM:
- Creative journaling. Try looking up a few prompts, and do some open-ended writing to get your creative juices flowing.
- To Do list. Make a quick To Do list of three different realistic, actionable items you can accomplish in the next 8-10 hours.
- Processing. If you’re feeling distracted or overwhelmed by a non-work related issue, take this time to process your thoughts. Clearing your mindspace can help you focus on work, once you get started.
Like meditation, journaling will look different for everybody. The important thing? Setting aside the time and space to actually do it.
Some of the most financially successful people in the world devote exceptional amounts of their time to read. Warren Buffet read 600-1,000 pages a day when he started off as an investor, and Bill Gates reads 50 books every single year. Reading is key to remaining a constant learner, and having a growth mindset.
Try setting aside 15-20 minutes every morning to read information that will help you develop as a person and as a professional. This routine helps you learn a lot over the long haul – and it will give you valuable extra time to finish your tea!
6. Stick to a schedule.
Designing a morning schedule that works for you definitely requires a fair amount of intentionality. You’re certainly not going to accomplish your routine if you sleep in, or spend twice as long on something as you should. Most of us get started at work by 9 AM, meaning you’ll need to be strategic about creating small windows of time. Create a schedule for your routine, and stick to it!
7. Make your bed.
Are you one of those people that says, “I’m just getting back in my bed, so why make it?”
Why? Because making your bed in the morning not only marks you as a bonafide adult, but it establishes an immediate mindset of accomplishing tasks. Making your bed is the first step towards establishing order and efficiency. And that’s a mindset you want to carry with you the whole day (If you won’t listen to us, then listen to this Navy Seal Admiral who said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”)
Final Thoughts on a Morning Routine
Ultimately, creating a morning routine isn’t about following someone else’s prescriptive suggestions; it’s about designing a routine that works for your own preferences and rhythms. If you work late into the night as a freelancer, then don’t try to get up at 5 AM. And if you can’t stand journaling, then skip that routine and make a few notes on your phone instead.
The important thing?
Developing a process that helps set you up for success – so that you can slay your day, get sh*t done, and do it all over again the next day.
(Remember that it’s easier done with a cup of Rare Brew – to check out our full menu of amazing, artisanally-crafted loose leaf teas, click here).