Many of us find ourselves envious of people who seem to be able to achieve so much more in their day than we could ever dream to do. Often, they manage to do more than seems physically possible. Experts say that they follow simple strategies we can all adopt to allow us to achieve a greater degree of success in our own lives. Productive people generally have an organised lifestyle and systems and processes in place to allow themselves to be the most productive they can be. One thing in common with these people is that they have developed a number of routines which they carry out during the day.
It is true to say that to some degree or other, we all have routines we follow in our lives. What productive people do is consciously work on their routines so that they are the most efficient possible. The first of these is a good morning routine. This is important because it sets the stage for the rest of the day.
Let’s have a look at the benefits of a good morning routine.
Routines can take the guesswork out of many things and enable us to be far more efficient and productive throughout our day.
They help us to:
- Be less stressed
When our morning routine is effective, we are rarely rushed and have enough time to do everything we need and want to do before we head out for the day. We also know exactly what to expect and can make small changes to adapt to unexpected circumstances as required.
- Free up mental space for important tasks
When our morning routine is established, it is possible to work on autopilot, still achieve the things we need to do but be able to think about completely unrelated topics that need our mental focus.
Knowing how much time we have and what we need to do prevents us from trying to squeeze too many things into our morning. The routine helps us to keep that under control.
Begin by deciding what it is you most want to achieve.
It might be that you simply want to get up, get ready and leave the house on time. That may be enough for you.
Science however, tells us that willpower is the highest in the morning, so it makes sense to use that time work on our goals, rather than to wait until afternoon or evening before we begin.
Some goals lend themselves very well to morning activity, allowing us to begin strongly and set ourselves up for better results through the remainder of the day.
Some activities you may wish to include in your morning routine.
- Healthy Eating
Breakfast is an important meal so ensure that you have something on hand that you will want to eat. You might be a creature of habit and have the same thing each day or need to mix it up a little. Just make sure that something is available so you are not wondering what to eat and wasting precious time.
If one of your goals is to improve your fitness, then some exercise could feature in your morning routines. It could be as short as a quick walk around the block or more intense with a trip to the gym. You get to decide how much or how little you want to do.
If one of your goals is to be less stressed, then meditation might be for you. A short session prior to the beginning of the day could reduce the capacity of whatever comes next to add to your stress levels.
A calm, relaxed home will have ongoing benefits for everyone who resides in it. One way to achieve this is to reduce the clutter and a few minutes each morning might just be what it takes to get this achieved.
How to create an effective morning routine.
One of the most important things to do is to choose a time to wake up each day and stick to it. This means never pressing the snooze button.
Research has shown that the broken, fractured sleep we get after pressing snooze can actually make us more tired over the course of the day than if we had just gotten up at the first alarm. A consistent wake up time helps the body to develop a rhythm so that getting up is easier, regardless of what time that is for you.
Work on creating a sequence for getting ready.
Do you brush your teeth before or after getting dressed? When does the bed get made? At what step do you drink your coffee? Work on completing these necessary but mundane tasks in the same way and at the same time each morning.
Doing this might seem boring but if it takes the decision making out of these activities, then that frees us up to do more important things with the rest of our time.
You will also need to work out if you need to get up earlier in order to fit extra activities into your morning. It might be however, that by being more efficient in your other tasks, you naturally free up time for these extra goals to be achieved.
If you set and stick to a routine for three weeks, without change, there is a good chance that you will stick to the routine for a long time.
A couple of points to keep in mind.
- A routine won’t immediately solve all of your problems.
There are many things that can derail our day but working on a consistent morning routine can assist to minimise the impact of these events by setting us off on the right foot.
- Life is unpredictable and can get in the way of the best laid plans.
There will be times when the unexpected happens and our routines get pushed out of the way for a short period of time. This is OK.
- Not all routines are good for you.
Taking the time to consider our daily actions and our regular routines can help us to decide if what we are routinely doing is adding or subtracting from our capacity to achieve our best possible life.
- There are benefits to taking time off from routine.
There is nothing wrong with stepping away from our routines for a short period of time and doing something completely different to rest and recharge. Weekends and vacations are a perfect time to mix things up a little.