Updated: Sep 16, 2022
We all have a daily morning routine, the only question is whether or not it is a strategic routine. When you wake up and get on with your day is your consciousness in control or are you letting your subconscious move you from one step to the next to get you out the door? Are you always scrambling to get out the door on time or do you have lots of time to get to work after you've dropped the kids off? Reader, if you want to dive deeper into morning routines to discover the best one for you, this is the article for you.
The Daily Routines of Geniuses
Studies (1) have shown there are common elements in the lives of highly productive literary geniuses like Hemmingway, Twain, Austen, and others. When they worked, their lives had routines and guidelines to ensure they would produce at their highest levels. They had: (1)
Workplace with little distractions
A daily walk
Separate real work from busy work
Stopping at regular time
A supportive partner
Limited social lives
Setting yourself up for success in your day will help you to be more productive, less stressed, and more creative. Understanding how you work will help you to move your day forward and help you to increase your output in shorter periods of time. The choice is yours - do you want to be highly productive or do you want to look like your busy?
Morning or End of Day Reflection Routine
The world is filled with negativity. Demands for your attention. And constant pressure to excel. Break this mental hamster wheel of doubt and never measuring up and start or end your day with journalling a mental check up.
Take some time to break your to do list and daily must dos into smaller chunks depending on their priority and importance. This will let you know what you need to focus on and which tasks you can push out for later when the important stuff is done.
Gratitude can go a long way to helping you see the world differently. Write down what you are grateful for that day or from the day before. I don't mean, "I'm grateful for my kids." That would become a boring and repetitive list real quick. Look for things that happened in the day to be grateful for, some days will be harder than others and you'll need to dig a little deeper to get past all the frustration and demands.
For example. I am frustrated with myself because yesterday, I watch the TV Series Versailles all day and got nothing done. What can I be grateful for when all I did was binge on streaming TV? I'm grateful I was not forced to live in Versailles or live during the mid 1600s. I'm grateful for running water, electricity, women's rights, and the Internet. I could go on.
You don't want to take any bad feelings with you into the day or into your sleep. You need to let go of the negative and find the grace to forgive, not only others but yourself too. Write about what happened, why it upsets you, what you want to happened, and then let it go with forgiveness. You are not forgetting. You are just acknowledging that we are flawed, that shit happens, and life goes on. You are choosing your battles and learning from the ones you lost.
For example Yes, I watched TV all day and evening. I learned a lot about Versailles and life in 17th century France, thanks to Google searches to dive deeper into the times and learn about the real people behind the story. I gave my brain a break by switching into audience mode and not creating content. I rested my mind so tomorrow, I can be more creative and productive. I forgive myself for wasting the day by being unproductive and will do better tomorrow.
Journalling each day to help us understand what happened and how we really feel about it, helps us to learn about ourselves, understand our role in our lives, and make better choices for tomorrow.
My Morning Routine
How I start my day tends to be how I spend the whole day, as transitioning from one activity to another is hard for me. I tend to hyper-focus on what I am doing and keep doing it until it’s done, or I fall asleep. Due to the nature of my work, I usually fall asleep before I’m done. Then I wake up and start again.
Every Morning I:
Look at my phone
Turn on an audio book
Roll outta bed
Make more coffee
Go to bed
Check my phone
Turn on an audio book
Whether or not you purposefully created a morning routine, you have a routine. Routines are habits. The things we automatically do without thinking every day. Those who purposefully have a routine that encompasses physical and mental well-being along with productivity will get more done in a day.
According to the Blurt Team at the Blurt Foundation, which seeks to increase the understanding of depression, “Developing a daily routine can help us to feel more in control of everything, and help us to make room for all that’s important. Routine can aid our mental health. It can help us to cope with change, to form healthy habits, and to reduce our stress levels.”
As someone who finds schedules and lists to be constricting and difficult to maintain, the idea of creating a routine sounds boring.
Since I am a curious person and wanted to know what other people do every morning, I asked my LinkedIn connections to share their routines with me.
Here is what some of my LinkedIn connections shared about their morning routines
Morning Routines of Regular People
My structured morning routine begins the evening before:
1. I wake up early every day, even on weekends
3. Walk my dog
4. Review my to-do list, which was composed the day prior, capturing only the most critical things I must accomplish that day
5. Text my accountability partner my progress from the previous day & goals for current day. Review her text, provide feedback.
6. Begin seeing clients by 8am
7. Protein shake ~11am ish
8. Exercise in the late afternoon
9. Walk my dog again, after my workout, while listening to podcasts, sometimes catching up with friends
10. Dinner/Family time
I deliberately do not check my email or social media in the AM on weekdays. I also do not multitask.
From a neurobiological perspective, humans are not meant to multitask. There is ample scientific research that demonstrates that multitasking is not efficient or time saving
Peter G Goral
7:00 AM Up every day - quick check of my messages in case there’s a hot spot that needs looking after. Workout - alternate walking and floor work including weights, resistance training and cardio. Review the themes for my client roster for the day and start publishing. Meetings scattered throughout the day.
12:00 PM Always stop for a peaceful lunch away from the workstation. Go outside if it’s a nice day. Return to publishing and meetings. This part of my day is not nailed down as I always testing time slots for my various clients related to publishing and follow up with their clients.
Having clients on the West coast I generally leave a 3-hour window between
6:00 to 9:00 PM available in case we are meeting and or going over a plan. Always stop for dinner, and relax. Here too, if it’s nice outside go out. Bedtime varies but is usually around
11:00 PM, but I have been known to work into the wee hours if there’s a special project that has a deadline.
In summary Shannon, I would say that you are missing some exercise even easy walking that
would help you. I put on great music and go for it. It works wonders. I’d reduce the coffee you drink. I have homemade natural smoothies in the morning instead of coffee.
1. Check LinkedIn notifications and FB birthday notifications.
2. Thank goodness for my dog - I feed him and take him for a run
3. Eat breakfast and catch up on news
5. Zoom Call/Research/Writing
6. I keep working till 6.
7. On weekends I run errands on weekdays
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COFFEE. And I read the local paper (not for the news - which is always more current online, but for the serenity - reading goes with my morning coffee ritual). By the time I finish the paper, hubby and the teen are awake and the next hour is spent juggling disorder and grumpiness (I am the only morning person in my house).
I start by thinking through my blessings. I determine that today is going to be a great day no matter what it brings and expect it to bring great things. I then proceed with coffee, then Linkedin, and I’m off from there. I try and close the night before bed by thinking through the blessings of the day and allow that to permeate my mind until morning.
I’ve been following Robin Sharma’s 5am club most days I wake up at 450am then I:
1. 20 min of hard cardio to get heart rate up
2. 20 min if meditation and stretching
3. 20 min of personal development which leads to further reading, I write in my Gratitude journal. I have a couple of 5am clubs that I check in with as well.
4. My coaching calls start at 8:30am till 3,
6 End my day with a long cycle.
1. I generally check my email and the weather forecast while I’m still in bed (yes, I know, it’s not healthy to do that but I’m doing it anyway) –
2. I get up and feed the cat –
3. Sometimes exercise –
4. Breakfast (I always take time to have a proper breakfast) –
5. Sometimes short meditation –
then into the office to start my workday
I don’t have a routine that’s completely set but the above is how my mornings unfold most of the time. :-)
If you want to change up your morning routine you may want to consider adding a small new habit to an existing one.
Although, I do look at my phone right after falling out of bed to do a few short sets of push-ups. I’ve ended my showers with a few minutes of cold. After, I get the youngest is out the door on time for the bus, and then take a short walk around the block or two or three. But, checking that phone just as often tends to be a challenge still.
Oh, and yes can’t forget the coffee!
Write a post,
Hang with family,
Hour bike ride.
Almost clockwork for me. It may be unhealthy how routine we are. Lol.
Turn alarm off
Plan a day
1. Get up at 4-45am
2. Put my feet on the floor
3. Give gratitude for all of the great things in my life.
4. Then 5 at 5. Five miles run.
5. Home pick phone up for first time and get my social media sorted.
My goals were already set and prioritised the night before, so from 7am it’s total focus on being productive - not busy! Rinse repeat!
I’m in bed by 9pm. I don’t watch TV or other mind conditioning rubbish, so 7 hours of sleep is plenty.
Donna Kayarian Chiacchia
When I wake-up I immediately tell myself “today is going to be a great day!”. I always ensure that I recant my “why” to ensure it still makes sense; I am recanting that to God. Prayer/Journaling is a very important part of my day.
Swim, bike or run. Put that investment in the bank first thing so you’re firing on all cylinders for the rest of the day.
I try. I really try to start my weekdays day with mediation and exercise. I don’t always succeed at the meditation but I do feel better when I do it. That’s before ANY phone. No phone, radio, email until meditation done. It takes practice mind you.
Check LinkedIn and Instagram before getting out of bed, go to bathroom, feed dogs.
Quick check of LI
Surfing until lunch time.
I get outside everyday
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Take a moment to write down what you do every day. Are these things helping you to achieve the goals you have for yourself or to live the life you want to live? Once you answer that question, you’ll have a better idea about what you need to purposefully add to your day to make a new habit. Once you have the habit, you’ll have a new routine.
According to the skilled life website, “Routines are important to ensure we live happier and more productive lives.”
It is an obvious statement, yet many of us go through our day without a purpose driven routine, we just do what we always do or feel like doing without thinking about why we do it or if we should do it.
The skilled life website lists 18 reasons having a routine is a good thing:
1. Makes Us More Efficient
2. Reduces Our Need to Plan
3. Creates Structure in Our Lives
4. Saves Time, Our Most Valuable Resource
5. Instills Good Habits
6. Breaks Bad Habits
7. Helps Us Become More Proficient
8. Helps Us Get the Most Important Tasks Done
10. Reduces the Need for Determination and Willpower
11. Reduces Procrastination