We all read, “The Most Successful People Wake Up At 4am,” “How To Be Productive,” and whatever else you can think of. If you’re like me, you read them feverishly, hoping they will inspire you enough to do what's written in the articles – after all, they are “the most successful people."
Unlike the most” successful” people, we try and fail, try and fail at sticking to a morning routine that works. It’s taken me years (and this is coming from a morning person) to find a routine that works. In finding my routine, my days are more productive, running a blog with a full-time job seems possible, and hopefully it will inspire you to find one that works for you.
Five Ways To Have a More Productive Morning
Number One: Wake Up Fifteen Minutes Earlier Than You Actually Want To
On weekdays, I “wake up” around 6:45am; that’s typically my late alarm, and it’s pretty rare I hit the snooze button. In order to keep it consistent and not feel groggy, I wake up every week day at 6:30am and don’t leave my bed until 6:45am. This allows my body to fully rise while giving my mind time to reflect and understand what I have to do that day.
Tip: Use those 15 minutes to say 5 things you’re thankful for, 3 things you want to accomplish that day, and 1 thing you are really looking forward to doing. It sounds silly (trust me, it certainly felt silly the first time I did it), but it really does help.
Sometimes when we wake up, we’re upset we must leave our beds, go to work, ride the subway, and all the other things that disgruntle us. Those tiny, negative thoughts can make an already stressful day seem a lot worse than it is and we did it to ourselves before we’ve even had our morning coffee! Making a conscious effort to think of positive moments and things we look forward to makes us actively change our attitude, which hopefully, changes our outlook.
Number Two: Do Not Look at Your Phone
Probably the hardest one for all of us, but I kick myself in the butt every time I look at my phone before I leave my house. Being a publicist, blogger, and social media manager, I’m constantly inundated in news, emails, alerts, and whatever else you can think of. As a person, I need those few moments throughout the day where I am not attached to my phone. Every time we look at our social media, texts from last night, the texts we never got, or emails from the office, we become stressed before we’ve even left my house. That’s no way to live.
After turning off my alarm, I check the weather to plan my outfit accordingly and then turn my phone over. I won’t look at my phone again until I’m dressed, walking out the door and opening Spotify for my morning commute (I have a very specific soundtrack to my life). Only then will I look at my social media and answer texts; I won’t look at my emails until I’m in the office. It doesn’t mean I don’t take my job seriously or that I don’t love what I do, but I need to start the day thinking about me and my health; I can go two hours between 6am and 8am not looking at my phone. And I must say, I’m happier for it.
Tip: Do not take your phone into the bathroom. The bathroom is my personal private time; I don’t like people bothering me in the bathroom, I don’t like morning small talk, and I like the time where it is just me. By not having my phone physically near me I’m less inclined to look, and hopefully, so will you.
Number Three: Make Your Bed
No, not trying to bring back traumatic childhood experiences of your mother yelling to make your bed, but it’s the easiest way to accomplish a task right out the gate. It also makes it harder for you to crawl back into your sheets (as I have done countless times) and let’s your body continue to get up and accept the day. Not to mention, it’s nice coming home to a made bed; even if your room is messy it looks organized.
Number Four: Have A Morning Playlist
As previously stated, I have a very specific soundtrack to my life. I change it up every now and then, but I have songs I like to listen to in the mornings to get my day going. Having a playlist that works for you is key; I need music that makes me happy and excited to live in a place as amazing as New York City.
My personal playlist, just to name a few:
- September by Earth, Wind & Fire
- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
- Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) by Foster The People
- Holy by Jamila Woods
- Feed Me Diamonds RAC Mix by MNDR
- Rock n’ Roll by The Runaways
- Anything from Hamilton
Number Five: Meditate
I started meditating in August as a way to combat my anxiety. At the time, I was going through a hard time with friendships, relationships, and my health; it became too much for me. I felt like I was drowning, and the mornings were especially difficult. I had a friend recommend Headspace; what first started off as something to fight my anxiety and panic attacks turned into seeing the world in a completely different way.
I find my favorite time to meditate is on the subway because it’s where I get the most anxious and it allows me the ability to really practice tuning out the world, even if it’s in 10-minute intervals. Whether it’s using an app or physically going to a center, practicing yoga, etc.
Extra: Workout (If You’re Into That Sort Of Thing)
I am not someone who enjoys working out, but if you are, working out in the morning is a great routine to pick up. Even if you’re not, stretching or jumping up and down to music is a great way to start the day.
The most important thing is finding what works for you. Do you have a particular routine? Let me know below, I love hearing suggestions! Until next time.