Are You A Morning Routine Person? Here’s What Finally Worked For Me
posted on February 10, 2021 | by Heather Bien
The morning routine advice is endless: lemon water, journaling, gratitude practices, meditation. Not all of that worked for me –– and not all of it may work for you. But, after years of experimenting with every suggestion in the book, here’s how I created an effective morning routine that starts my day off on the right track.
Why Should I Create a Morning Routine?
Who here has read an article touting the benefits of Oprah or Martha Stewart or some 30-year-old tech entrepreneur’s morning routine? We’re a society driven by the pursuit of productivity and the idea of kickstarting that go-go-go attitude from the moment we wake up is drilled into us constantly.
But that’s not why you should create a morning routine. If there’s anything that this past year has taught us, it’s that we need to slow down and take care of ourselves. And there’s no better time to start than when we first open our eyes.
Creating a morning routine can give us a sense of control over a few minutes before we’re at the mercy of Zoom calls and the ding of incoming emails. It lets us begin our day with calm and order rather than rushing to make a cup of coffee and open our laptop just in time for that 9:30 AM check-in. It starts us off ahead rather than behind. We can’t always control what happens once the day gets into gear but we can choose how we’re going to dive into it. That’s why a morning routine matters –– not because we need to get up at 4 AM to maximize all we can accomplish before the sun rises.
What Works For Me In the Mornings
So, after more than a few years of trying everything under the sun to create my perfect morning routine, here’s what works for me. It’s simple, though not particularly quick. However, I’ve broken it down by time to show how each piece could be something that works for you. Think of crafting your best morning routine as a puzzle –– you need to mix, match, and move things around to figure out what works best for your everyday.
Drink Water | 1 minute: I keep a water bottle by my bed, as I’m sure many of you do. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, take several chugs of it as soon as you get out of bed. It’s a quick action that reminds you, “Hey, I need to remember to drink more water today!”
Make the Bed | 3 minutes: Just do it! You’ll feel like you’ve got it all together simply by pulling the duvet up and throwing your pillow shams on the bed.
Check My Planner and Schedule | 5 minutes: I typically have my schedule written out ahead of time, but I like to quickly check in with my planner as soon as I wake up to make sure everything still feels aligned. I’ll see what I have on tap for that day and assess any must-do items that may have come up since the previous evening.
Do a 15-Minute Tidy | 15 minutes: I’m a big believer in cleaning up before bed. Yes, that means no dirty dishes in the sink. But I’ll often do a quick tidy in the morning to start my day off on a fresh note. I’ll unload the dishwasher, clean the cat’s litter box, or run the vacuum in the living room. Just a few maintenance items that make my home feel clean, which is especially important when I’m living and working within 850 square feet day in and day out.
Listen to the News | 20 minutes, while I tidy: I don’t want to over-consume news, but I do want to know what’s going on in the world. So, I’ll turn on NPR just while I get up, make the bed, and tidy. It’s enough time to learn what’s going on in the world, without getting wound up by the headlines (don’t want to start your day too stressed!).
Shower and Get Ready | 45 minutes: Okay, I know what you’re thinking and, yes, I could take less time. But I like to do an occasional face mask and I like to do my brows. Getting dressed-ish, as I call it, makes me feel ready to take on the day. Changing out of pajamas may not be what you need, but it could be worth a shot.
Listen to a Podcast | 45 minutes, while I get ready: Listening to a podcast, whether it’s something career or goal-specific or just a light-hearted listen, helps me wake up in the morning with positivity rather than jumping straight into conference calls. Not that I don’t want to hear about deadlines, KPIs, and conversions, but I’d prefer to ease into my conversations.
Make a “Slow” Cup of Coffee | 5 minutes: Making an intentional cup of coffee has been a source of joy every single morning throughout the pandemic. Sure, I could do a quick pour over without a second thought but I love both the action and the taste of brewing a cup of espresso, frothing milk, and choosing various add-ins from maple syrup to vanilla to cardamom. It takes just a few minutes longer than a standard cup and it is one piece of my morning routine I could never give up.
Do a Quick Yoga Video | 10 minutes: There are times when I get out of this habit and, each time I pick it back up, I’m flummoxed as to why I let it slip by the wayside. Once I’ve gotten ready and gotten my coffee, it feels so good to fire up a five to ten minute Yoga with Adriene video and get moving. It’s such a quick hit, however, similar to drinking water first thing in order to set myself up for success, it sets me for an entire day of movement. If I start off on an active foot, it’ll continue throughout the day.
Turn on a Workday Playlist and Light a Candle | 1 minute: Once my morning routine is done, I’ll turn on my workday playlist –– always music that’s instrumental because I can’t write if I’m listening to words –– and light a candle to symbolize it’s time to get cranking. It’s a quick action that gets my brain moving from gearing up morning routine mode to workday focus.
What Works For You In the Mornings?
So, now that I’ve told you what works for me, let’s turn the tables! What works for you in your morning routine? Are you still trying to create a routine that works best for you? Do you want us to dive deeper into one aspect of the morning routine via Instagram stories? Let us know in the comments!