9 Morning Routines That Will Get You To The Next Level
Everyone has morning routines whether they like it or not. There are certain things you do, certain tasks you complete every morning without fail. These can be defined as habits or idiosyncrasies, but they make you who you are, and these morning routines define the rest of your day. Here is a list of my top one’s to get you to that next level:
1. Wake up at the same time
You may think it makes zero difference which time of the day you wake up and which time you go to sleep. And to be honest, it doesn’t matter. That said, your morning routines should revolve around getting yourself into a rhythm. The second your alarm goes off, you should know exactly how your day is going to go. You aren’t nine years old anymore, you shouldn’t need some external factor like your mum to get you out of bed in the morning.
Waking up at the same time will get your mind in the same level of focus instead of jumping in the shower for 49 seconds and then scrambling to get a coffee into you before you leg it out the door after the bus sop you aren’t late for college or work. Morning routines should be a guideline to make your morning’s easier.
2. Eat the same food
This one may sound crazy. This part of your morning routine may seem unnecessarily restrictive but trust me. In my experience, I find that I operate best without breakfast. I prefer to save all of my food for the evening so any cravings I get don’t completely fuck up my diet. On the occasions where I am having breakfast, I try to eat a protein-heavy meal to keep me full and, again, just so I can eat loads of carb-heavy foods before bed.
I don’t know if there is any crazy science behind eating the same thing every morning, but by making a habit of it, your brain doesn’t have to go to the extra effort of deciding what to eat. You are saving yourself time. You figure out the quickest way to make the meal as well and save yourself some extra time to chill out before you start your day.
3. Make your bed
This morning routine should be something you already do. It is ingrained into us by our parents from an early age and it literally takes 2 seconds. By making your bed in the morning and generally having a tidy room, your brain doesn’t have to stress out , looking at the mess every time you walk in the door. You are a damn adult, your room should reflect this. I’m not saying having a messy room makes you a bad person, but it’s a great way to keep unnecessary stress out of your head each morning.
I recommend devoting 5 minutes to cleaning/ organising your room each morning before you leave your house. This is literally nothing. 5 minutes. Stick on a podcast, the radio or even a Spotify playlist and create some space. So many people just leave clothes and bottles of water on their floor because they aren’t expecting any company and so aren’t fussing. This is teenager behaviour. A clean room is a clean head. Trust that.
4. Get your clothes ready
This is more of a night-before task rather than one of your morning routines. But it honestly makes your life so much easier. When you wake up in the morning, the last thing you should be worrying about is what t-shirt to wear. Take 5 minutes the night before to grab a few bits and fold them for future-you. He will be more grateful than you think.
It just means if your alarm goes off late or you hit the snooze button late, you have everything ready to go for when you get up. Some people work best by allowing themselves an hour in bed to chill before they get up. I, personally snooze once or twice but it’s just a vicious circle. It doesn’t make getting up any easier, you are just delaying the inevitable.
5. Pack your bag
(Again, another night-before one, but seriously helpful) Realistically, whether you’re in school, college, work, or just going to the gym, it always pays off to pack your bag in advance. I go to the gym every morning before work and there’s nothing worse than running around your house at 6am trying to find a spare pair of socks to throw in your gym bag. Sort this out in advance and save yourself the trouble and the time.
This one I cannot recommend more. I know some of you are probably not ‘morning people’ and can’t think of anything worse than energy expenditure first thing in the morning, but it is something that has always worked for me.
I would generally get 1hr – 1.5hrs of exercise in before work each day. I’m not saying you should all do this, I’m not even saying it’s good for you because I don’t know the science behind it, but it has worked for me. Coming into the office feeling fresh is the best way to start the day. Your brain is fully switched on and you can jump straight into your work without having to play a game of table tennis or drinking a can of Monster.
It doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or cycling to work, just try making 10 minutes every morning for a walk. 10 minutes to chill out, listen to some music and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Your morning routines are yours. Do what suits you.
7. Don’t rush
All of the above contribute to having a stress-free morning routine. So many people wake up to the sound of their alarm in disgust. They’re sick of the sound of it, and their mind starts to race at the panic of getting ready. You should wake up ready. By being prepared for the day ahead before even going to sleep, you’re going to free up not just time in the morning, but you’ll clear the cobwebs from your brain and have a clear plan for the day.
When we’re in a rush, we’re more likely to forget our keys, we’re more likely to snap at our loved ones before we leave, more likely to have a bad day. Invest in your morning routines, not for any reason in particular, but because there’s no good enough reason not to.
8. Plan out the day
Take literally 5 minutes every morning to write out a few bullet-points of your to-do’s for the day. It doesn’t take long, you’ll end up getting much more done than if you just wing it. I’m not saying you need to keep a diary or start journalling. Literally keep them in the notes on your phone. A list of 3 things. It’s important to take a few minutes every morning to relax.
We’ve all been there, panicking at 6pm at night because we have so much we had to get done by today, but we’re so disorganised that we ‘never had time’. You have time, you’re just spending it like an idiot.
9. Improve on the day before
I honestly think this is the most important part of your morning routine. Focus on the 1% principle of improving on the day before. It doesn’t matter how little it is, just be aware of how you did yesterday, and always be pursuing something ‘more’, something better.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. I’m sure there are loads of successful people who didn’t have a morning routine, but it’s always a good idea to give yourself a head-start.
SJB & GQ.