If you’re following my blog, you know that I’m all about morning routines.
Getting up early, having time for yourself and doing a few positive and healthy activities that are good for your body, mind and spirit, is a great way to kickstart your day and make the best of the rest of it.
I think everyone has felt the benefits of that.
The best way is to simply outline the morning of the average person – crawling out of bed at the last minute, checking social networks with one eye open, having no time for all the things he wants to do and getting out the door in a hurry (which results in forgetting something important like his keys) and the worst mood possible.
And compare it with that of a productive person – he gets up at least an hour earlier than he has to, has a ritual (meditation, reading, writing), a quick workout, time for a healthy breakfast and to drink his coffee in peace, checks (or makes) his to-do list and gets an idea of what he has to get done first.
So which morning do you prefer?
The answer is obvious.
We’d all like to experience the second one as it helps us feel productive before the day has actually started, gives us some quiet time for ourselves, we have time to do some pleasant activities and get energized and ready for the day.
But some sacrifices need to be made. Like developing the habit of getting up early, which also means going to bed earlier, and then trying out different things to find out what works best for us.
It takes time, willpower and dedication.
But if you manage to make it your priority and realize the long-term benefits it will have on your life, you’ll do it.
So here’s my latest morning routine (it changes, and I still haven’t mastered consistency, so I’m just sharing how it looks like these days):
Around 6 – 6:30.
I don’t like being in a hurry even when I’m doing stuff I don’t have to, so I make sure I have more than enough time (after all, all the time left can be used in more activities like these, or some creative work).
It’s hard for me to wake up and get out of bed early. It really is.
And most of the times, the best thing you can do is to simply do it. Without giving your mind time to think of excuses (there are many!) and without staying in bed for a few more minutes, as it gets even more comfortable there.
Do a few kicks.
It makes me warm – as it’s quite cold in the early hours – and gets me all pumped up.
I may even say that this is what actually wakes me up.
I turn on my laptop and put some meditation music on.
I sit down, start breathing deeply and consciously, and try to get rid of all thoughts and clear my mind. It’s quite hard as all unnecessary things about yesterday or the upcoming day just pop up.
So I try to focus on positive affirmations, and even repeat some of my goals.
I do that for a few minutes, at least 5.
The more, the better. But that’s still a habit I have difficulties with.
Next on the list comes a 15-minute workout that includes stretching, some basic yoga moves, crunches, plank, squats, etc.
And this has nothing to do with whether or not I’ll have a gym session later in the day.
I wash my face with water, apply cleanser, then moisturizer.
I started doing that recently because I realized there were bacteria on it in the morning even after you’ve cleansed it the night before. Also, hydrating is crucial.
And it works great for me. My skin looks better.
I don’t think that’s something only women should do. It’s a basic procedure, we’re not talking about any special cosmetics here.
What works best for me is two eggs. I add a carrot, and sometimes nuts to them. I also drink tea together with that.
I respect Tim Ferriss’s tip – take 30g. of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. I think it’s exactly what the body needs at that time to get the metabolism going.
I do it during breakfast.
I check and answer all emails. I think we should all have this habit and do it in the morning, when there’s time to pay attention to everyone.
I also check my blog – reply to comments and see yesterday’s stats – and social media (but just take a quick look as now is not the time to be social).
Read something motivating.
There are so many blogs that I read, and so many topics I’m interested in (connected to self-improvement and blogging), that there’s always something great to read.
So I just choose the last thing I stumbled upon last night, or something from the archives of the blogs I’m currently following, and let it boost my motivation.
I try to go through just 1 post, as the goal now is to get inspired and ready to do some creative work, and be reminded of my objectives and what I want to achieve in the long-term.
Later in the day I read many more articles like these. But, for now, it’s just one.
I think coffee should always be drank in peace.
So it fits perfectly in my morning routine just now.
I sit down at my laptop and start writing.
I eliminate all distractions, I even arrange some stuff around and put things back in their places if they aren’t, so that I can feel more comfortable.
I’ve found out that working for 60 or 90 minutes without a break (while drinking coffee and not thinking about anything else) works great. Many successful people do it, actually.
The brain can focus perfectly for 90 minutes, then it needs to rest for a while or switch to another task. And that’s definitely the case with me.
I aim at writing 2 or 3 posts (somehow each takes half an hour).
I’ve been trying that with a set time period, and word count, but this seems to be working fine as it combines both of these.
Review the to-do list.
I look at it (I’ve made it the night before.) and get a general idea of what I have to get done today. Also, I decide what’s more important and what to start with.
By this time it must be around 8:30 and I’ve done a lot.
It really feels great to have accomplished something in different areas before the day has begun and while other people are still in bed.
How does your morning routine look like?