Not all of us are morning people. For some, we’re the 1-eyed monster who’s bed has more power than our self-control. But, would you believe me if I said you can get through that? Here are 7 steps to create good habits in the morning that set you up for a successful day.
About a year ago Doug was reading a fascinating book by Michael Breus titled The Power of When: Discover your Chronotype.
In the book, Breus talks about minor changes to your daily routine to cater to your natural sleep/wake rhythm.
He discusses 4 ways to classify your biological clock, or chronotypes: Dolphin, Lion, Bear and Wolf. Each having specific times of day where it’s best to wake up, eat, have sex and be productive.
I remember feeling such a sense of relief when Doug told me about it. To hear that it’s ok not to naturally be a morning person, as we often hear that means you are lazy or don’t work hard.
If I’m being honest… there’s nothing quick about my ability to get out of bed. Instead, I set 6 alarms and hit snooze at least twice. When I wake up and drag myself out of bed, I need a little help from 5 minutes of fresh air to really wake me up (and coffee… immediately). I’ve come to notice, though, that even though it’s hard to shake off the groggy, mid to late morning are my peak productivity hours and by 8:30pm I’m ready to settle down before I hibernate for the night.
In other words, I’m the bear.
With all that being said, I’ve also got some big goals right now that I’m working on and work also work full time. I quickly realized that at the end of the day when I get home, my creativity is at it’s lowest so I needed an alternative to working in the evening. My solution was to fit in 2 hours on my blog in the morning. To start, I set a goal of waking up at 4 am for a week which goes against my natural rhythm so I needed a routine that wouldn’t require me to make decisions before my brain wakes up.
In other words, the goal is to make things as easy as possible on your brain in the mornings, regardless of the time you set your alarm for.
Here are 7 things habits to increase your productivity for the day
- Drink a glass of celery juice on an empty stomach. Typically at 4 am I’m not about to get the juicer out and wake up Doug so I juice the night before and store it in a mason jar. Ideally, you want to drink the juice immediately after juicing but it’s just not feasible for me right now.
- Drink a big glass of water while I brew my coffee. Make sure you’re nice and hydrated before you start drinking your coffee or tea so you don’t get sluggish. Set the timer on your coffee pot to brew at the time you want to get up or layout all the supplies needed the night before so it’s easy peasy getting your morning boost.
- Meditate. I use guided meditation from my favorite app, Insight Timer.
- Move. I don’t have the energy to exercise in the mornings, but I do like to stretch for 5 minutes to get the blood flowing.
- Set a timer for 6 minutes to get my social media fix without wasting time. Sometimes, I just like to see what’s going on in other people’s lives, it can be very motivating. Note: I was careful in what I chose to watch. I avoided facebook as it triggers a lot of stress and stuck with a few Instagram stories of people that motivate me.
- Establish a timed “get ready” routine. After realizing I could easily spend 1-2 hours on getting ready for the day, and that I don’t have that luxury of time, I set a timer and give myself a half hour for a shower, makeup and hair. (head over here for the full breakdown).
- Lay out your outfit the day before so you’re not last minute running around figuring out what to wear and steaming clothes at the last minute.
- Did I say 7 steps? I meant 8. Plan your day ahead of time. I write out my day in my planner on Sunday’s for the upcoming week so I have a guide for what I need to be doing. I used to be a wake up 45 minutes before you need to be somewhere gal, but then I started realizing that for many reasons this isn’t going to work. First of all, there are quite a few chores in the morning for our furbabes including cleaning up messes, pottying and feeding that I needed to be helping Doug with in the morning. Second, I needed time to get some work done and could not for the life of me find the mental energy to do so after work so I needed to work it into my morning schedule.
Within these steps, I fit in 2 hours of blog work. Sometimes I’m ready to go right after coffee, other times I need to meditate and move my body a bit to get the cobwebs out of my brain before the wheels start turning.
Remember this: there are days you won’t be perfect.
Maybe you’ll sleep past your alarm or forgot to lay your clothes out the night before. That’s OK! Don’t let it throw you off. Just take a few deep breaths and move forward.
Circumstances will frequently be imperfect but if you start creating a morning routine for yourself the decision making gets easier, leaving your mind more available for accomplishing the things you want for the day. Remember, all we’re trying to do is make things easier on your brain.
Also, customize your routine for you.
I just recently found myself fascinated with celery juice and it benefits, but if that doesn’t resonate with you, omit that and plug in another sort of health benefit to get your insides working.
Love to workout in the mornings? Add that to your list and don’t question it each morning. Just decide that it is part of your routine and do it.