I am a familiarly-lover which means I love the familiar. Whether that’s getting the same thing at a restaurant or doing one thing the same way every day. I recently blogged about one of the major tasks of my typical morning routine: making my bed. I shared how doing a simple three-minutes task gave me a fresh start my day and allowed me to be more efficient, productive, and disciplined.
Likewise, my morning routine is a must if I want my day to go smoothly. Without it, I’m lost in a restless, unproductive, and exhausting world. My work day doesn’t run well, I’m anxious and almost always end up in a fowl mood.
So, what do I typically do in the mornings? My week days start around 7:00AM. First, I make my bed. Depending on the day of the week, I go for a short but sweet jog around my house. On other days, I just do a few stretches/meditation exercises for about 10 minutes. Next, I head to the kitchen and fix myself a glass of lemon water. While I’m drinking my lemon water, I wash the dishes or put the dishes away and start a load of laundry. Then, I pull out my laptop and begin to write/edit a blog post or publish a blog post that’s already written. Around 8AM, no matter if I’m finished writing or not, I begin to get ready for work. While I’m getting ready, I listen to my podcast. My podcast typically only lasts for about 30 minutes, and then I call my mother. While I’m on the phone with my mother, I eat breakfast. I fix the dog a fresh bowl of water and food. I fix a cup of hot tea and a mid-day snack to-go. I leave the house around 8:50 to be at work at 9:00.
And that’s my routine. There’s no “winging-it” everyday. If I skip my exercise or accidentally sleep-in, I’m all off. By the time I get to work at 9AM, I’m awake, alert and ready to tackle the tasks for the day. (I’ll save my morning work routine for another day.)
This routine didn’t come easy. It was a mixture of trial and error until I got it right. There’s no tutorial out there that tells you what you have to do every morning; you must figure out what works best for you. Here are a few tips I’ve learned:
Work backwards. I started by figuring out what time I needed to leave the house. I live so close to my office, so this wasn’t that big of a deal. Most people aren’t as lucky, so take the time to get this one right.
Figure out what you need to do: I don’t enjoy jogging in the morning, but I understand the importance of exercising. I despise doing the dishes, but if they sit there all day they attract bugs. Besides, I can’t stand coming home from a long day of work with a sink full of dirty dishes. Yuck!
Figure out what can be done at night. I hated coming home to a dirty house after a long day at work, so I started implanting the quick-tidy up before I go to bed. That way, I start the day with a clean house and mornings run smoother because everything is in it’s place. Added benefit: I sleep better in a cleaner home. I also set out my clothes, fix my lunch, read a little, and fold laundry all before I go to bed.
Do something just for you. I have a few items in my morning routine that I do just for me. I start with a 10-minute meditation where I stretch and say my prayers. I do all the grunt work that I don’t enjoy doing and then I end with a fun and enjoying phone call with my mother. Find something that you enjoy and add that into your morning routine. If you wake up doing a bunch of stuff that you don’t like to do, it starts the day off on a bad note.
Don’t skip breakfast. Whether you eat a four course meal or a granola bar in the car, breakfast is the most important part of the day, so don’t skip it. You’ll get hangry (hungry and angry) later and will regret it.
My morning routine is certainly not the leisurely morning of my dreams. And, I am absolutely certain that it will change throughout the course of my life. But, it works for me. It is in line with my priorities and helps preserve a sense of peace in my home.
What works for you? Do have a set morning routine?