Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. If you start your day off on the right foot, often the rest will follow suit.
But if you start your day feeling stressed and rushed, then chances are that you will spend the rest of your day frustrated and trying to catch up.
This is one reason that many successful people have a routine that they follow in the morning. They know that there are things they can do in the morning that will help them in setting up their day for success. They take advantage of this quiet time and are able to get a head start on the day before the rest of the world begins to wake up.
Let’s take a look at seven strategies that will help you streamline your morning routine and set you up for a successful day!
1. Start the Night Before
Productive people don’t wake up and expect their mornings to fall into place. Instead, they know that a smooth morning actually begins the night before—so they will check their planner, outline their schedule and tasks for the following day, decide what to have for breakfast, and even pick out their clothes at night. They also go to bed at a reasonable hour so that they can wake up feeling rested and ready to tackle the new day. These may sound like mundane steps, but having everything laid out and ready to go will save you from having to start out your day faced with a number of decisions.
2. Wake Up Early
According to Laura Vanderkam, time-management expert and the author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” 90 percent of executives wake up before 6:00 am on weekdays. Getting up early—after going to bed early—gets your day off to a great start. It gives you extra time to yourself or more time to get things done without interruptions. If your day is packed full of appointments, deadlines, and phone calls, by the time it is all said and done, you won’t have much left for yourself. This is why many successful people start their day earlier—to steal back some much needed time for themselves.
3. Stay Unplugged
People often begin their mornings with some technology time, either browsing favorite news sites or scrolling through their social media feeds. Unfortunately, though, headlines and social media are often full of depressing stories and negative news—which can get your day off to a bad start—before it even begins. A better alternative might be spending a few minutes reading something that’s positive or inspirational, or even going outside to take in the fresh air and surrounding beauty.
4. Make Your Bed
Starting your day with the simple accomplishment of making your bed is well worth the brief effort—bringing a sense of pride and encouraging you to complete more tasks. The routine of making your bed has been studied and is correlated with higher productivity and better habits. The best part is that it will only take a minute!
5. Exercise (or Get a Little Stretch In!)
Exercising has the power to make you feel healthier. Plus, those who workout in the morning have unlocked a valuable secret: morning workouts give you energy and endurance for the day along with improving your mood and ability to manage stress. According to Jamie Walker, co-founder and CEO of Fit Approach and SweatGuru, exercise allows her to begin her day “on a refreshed and calm note.” By starting your day with exercise you will be more energetic and your mind will be ready to work.
6. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Eating a healthy, well-balanced, protein-rich breakfast can help get your day off to a better start. Food produces glucose—which the brain then uses as fuel. While all foods that contain calories will give your brain this fuel, not all food is created equally. Sugary foods will give you a quick spike of glucose and then drop. But by eating a well-balanced breakfast, and eating properly all day, you can give your brain a consistent boost of glucose that will keep you going steady and strong all day. It’s also important to drink plenty of water first thing, to rehydrate.
7. Review Your Daily Schedule + Tasks
Reviewing your plans for the day—from your schedule to your to-dos—first thing in the morning can help you to prepare yourself for everything that needs to be done. This is one of the key features of Day Designer. Our intuitively-designed daily planning page allows for your to-do list alongside your schedule. Starting your day armed with a plan will help you to work as efficiently as possible, in turn opening up time for what matters most in your life. The morning is also a great time to review your goals—both short-term and long-term—so that you go about your day with these at the forefront of your mind!
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While these are habits that many successful people have, it’s important to remember that the best morning routine is one that is designed to help you set your day up for success. With these in mind, create a routine that’s best for you—one that will get your morning off to a great start and help you enjoy the rest of your day.