If your idea of a productive morning routine is to check your email and social media on your phone before getting out of bed, we’re here to provide an alternative. Not only is a great morning routine better for your well-being — it can put you in a better headspace to get things done throughout the day.
Of course, the perfect morning routine for you will vary depending on whether you work from home or need to leave time to commute to work or take the kids to school. But by creating your own morning ritual, you’ll be able to improve your mental health and maintain your energy levels for the rest of the day.
Here are our top morning routine tips to help you boost productivity and stay focused throughout the workday.
Set yourself up for a productive morning routine the night before
Bedtimes are for kids, right? Of course not! The most successful people know that a productive day starts by getting enough sleep and not rushing the daily routine. Sleep helps to reset your brain and gives you a fresh mindset to start the day. So why not give yourself a head start by getting things ready the night before?
A good place to start is by preparing a healthy breakfast like overnight oats that you don’t have to cook in the morning. This will keep you from reaching for sugary cereals or pastries that can affect your mood and cognitive function.
You can also prepare for the next day by packing your backpack or briefcase, picking out your work clothes, and making yourself lunch. This way, you don’t have to do any decision-making before drinking your morning cup of coffee.
Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, write down or review the most important tasks on tomorrow’s to-do list, put your phone away, and get to sleep.
If you have to use your phone or tablet in bed (to read an ebook, for example), turn off notifications and set the display to grayscale or bedtime mode.
Start your routine early … but respect your REM cycle
Unless you’re a morning person, you probably rely on an alarm clock to wake you up – and that means a love/hate relationship with the snooze button. The snooze button isn’t just the enemy of a productive morning routine: It can actually interfere with REM sleep, leaving you tired throughout the day and opening you up to negative health issues.
Is there anything you can do to remove that temptation? The best solution is to adjust your sleep cycle so that you feel well-rested in the morning. Don’t set your alarm clock for 5 a.m. just because your coworkers do. As long as you have enough time for your morning routine, give yourself permission to sleep in a little bit longer!
If you’re still struggling to get up in the morning, try out one of these life hacks to kickstart your productive morning routine:
If it’s winter, leave your bathrobe and slippers next to your bed so you aren’t tempted to stay under the covers because it’s too cold outside.
Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up to counter the effects of dehydration from your sleep.
Leave your curtains open so the sun wakes you up.
Jump right out of bed and into a cold shower.
Move your fingers and toes and stretch your limbs to get your blood flowing.
Leave your phone and laptop in another room so you have to get out of bed to check your messages.
If none of these morning routine tips work, try using an alarm clock that adapts to your sleeping habits. Some fitness trackers have a “smart alarm” feature that’s designed to wake you up when you’re between REM cycles.
Practice good physical and mental self-care as part of your routine
There’s more to a productive morning routine than a strong cup of coffee – although that may have some health benefits of its own. The best morning routines include a healthy dose of self-care to help you reduce stress and avoid burnout. A good morning routine should have you look forward to the next day instead of dreading it!
Depending on your lifestyle and favorite wellness activities, your morning self-care could include:
Taking the dog for a walk on a sunny day to get some vitamin D and let the morning sun wake you up
Sharing a healthy breakfast with your family to spend quality time together before heading off to work or school
Going to the gym or doing at-home exercises to improve your energy levels and posture at work
Listening to an inspirational podcast or music playlist to get you in a positive mindset for the day
Reading a book or newspaper to stay informed about current events
Doing meditation or breathing exercises to reduce stress
Taking a warm bath or shower to relax
Repeating positive affirmations to improve your self-confidence
Journaling or writing morning pages to collect your thoughts and clear your head
Try to make time for at least two of these morning habits – one to get your body moving and one to clear your head.
Hydration and exercise are important because they help to rejuvenate your body after a full night’s sleep. And mindfulness activities can help you keep a calm mind and avoid getting stressed out by the day’s activities.
And remember, a good morning routine doesn’t have to be exactly the same every day. Try experimenting with new habits or changing the time of day you do certain tasks to see which routine you like best.
Factor your commute into your productive morning routine
It can be tempting to start thinking about work as soon as you wrap up your breakfast – but try to wait until you’ve actually gotten to the office. After all, you have the whole day for work activities; your morning routine is just for you.
Leave enough time so you don’t have to rush your commute or cut your routine short. If you work remotely, set some time aside to transition into work mode before jumping into your first Zoom meeting. This could include logging into Slack to share some fun workplace memes, or reading an industry-related blog post.
Maintaining work-life balance can be trickier if you work from home and don’t have a clear separation between your work and home life. Consider trying out a hybrid work schedule in which you commute to the office a few times per week in order to get a change of scenery and collaborate with colleagues. Coffee shops and coworking spaces can be great for remote workers who don’t have an office to drop into.
If procrastination is an issue, try some of these productivity hacks, like doing the most important tasks of the day first or grouping similar tasks together.
Finally, keep drinking water throughout the day, and avoid having too much caffeine in the afternoon so you don’t have to worry about falling asleep at night.
Keep up the good work with Anchor AI
Creating a plan that prioritizes your mental and physical wellness is the key to a productive morning routine.
Make your morning decisions about what to eat and wear the night before. Get a full night’s rest, and respect your REM cycle if you can. Find a way to get out of bed quickly, drink a glass of cold water, and follow it up with coffee and a healthy breakfast. Then, create your own morning ritual with a mix of exercise, mindfulness, and other activities that you enjoy doing.
If you need help keeping track of important tasks, why not try Anchor AI? Our online note-taking tool can take notes during virtual meetings, so you don’t have to worry about missing any action items. Simply invite Anchor AI to your virtual meeting, and you’ll get a searchable, time-stamped transcript to take home with you.