Since worldwide lockdowns started this past spring due to the coronavirus, more people than ever find themselves working from home or sheltering in place. Daily routines, amongst other aspects of life, have changed dramatically for many people. What used to be a hectic, coffee-fueled carpool to school or commute to work may now be simplified to merely powering up your laptop and working from your bed in your pajamas.
The Importance of Routine
Why are morning routines important? 77% percent of Americans feel that their mornings are "hectic," and 74% say that more time in the mornings would be a luxury. Now that many people are working from home, it is a great time to explore morning routines and make adjustments, or to create a routine if you don't have one yet.
Anyone can benefit from a morning routine, whether you work from home or still work from the office. Having a dedicated morning routine will give you more energy for the day ahead and make you healthier in the long run. A morning routine will help you be more productive and successful in your career or business.
One of the first steps you can take to create a morning routine is waking up earlier. While many people are born early birds, self-professed "night owls" may dislike waking up early, but it has surprising benefits:
- Early birds tend to eat healthier and exercise more than those who wake later.
- Morning people tend to be natural optimists.
- People who wake up early tend to be great problem solvers, not only anticipating problems but solving them more efficiently than those who sleep in.
Now that you know how healthy it is to wake up early, let's look at creating a morning routine and improving your productivity and success, whether in your personal or professional life.
Create your morning routine
If creating a new morning routine seems daunting, break it down into phases. Breaking down any activity into smaller chunks can make tasks more manageable.
Phase 1: Practice mindfulness
Waking up early means you can ease into your routine instead of feeling rushed. The point of a morning routine is to learn to slow down and set intentions for your day. Please turn off your alarm as soon as it goes off, and use a gentle alert tone, so you aren't startled awake. The snooze button is your biggest enemy! Those extra few minutes of sleep are not vital, and hitting the snooze button repeatedly may mean you need to evaluate your sleep hygiene more closely.
Before you get out of bed, ground yourself to the present. Do a body scan and stretch and listen to how your body feels. Attune to your senses: listen to the birds outside your window, notice the temperature of the room, feel the softness of your blankets, etc. Then take a few moments to focus on your breathing. These steps will help you get over "sleep inertia" (also called sleep drunkenness) to be fully awake.
Being mindful from the moment you wake up will help you be more aware throughout the day, thereby helping you focus and meet your business or career goals.
Phase 2: Be Grateful
Starting your day being grateful for the blessings in your life starts your day on a positive note. Studies show that gratitude has lasting effects on the brain, as well. You can jot your thoughts in a gratitude journal each morning during your cup of coffee or tea, or lie in bed and think of three things you are grateful for in your life. Don't phone it in--you must genuinely focus on the positive emotions to make your gratitude mindful. Some simple ways to do this would be to be grateful for the food on your plate while you eat breakfast, be thankful for the clothes you can afford while you get dressed in the morning, or be grateful for the technology that allows you to work from home.
Phase 3: Set Daily Intentions
Productivity coaches have been saying for years that setting your intentions for the day before your day even starts allows you to concentrate on what you want in life and how to make it happen. Setting intentions will make you more productive to get more of your life and career goals daily. According to lifehack.org, setting daily intentions can help you feel more driven to attain your goals. Here are some intention setting examples to get you started:
- My energy creates my reality.
- I won't let fear be an obstacle to success.
- I will do my best to achieve my goals today.
- My day will be productive and efficient.
- I will control what I can control and accept the things I can not.
Once you become accustomed to intention setting, your intentions will become more laser-focused on your own goals and intended outcomes
While getting up earlier every day may seem daunting, it will be worth it in the long run. Having a dedicated morning routine will help you be healthier physically and mentally and make you more productive and efficient in reaching your career and life goals. Here are some helpful suggestions to get started on a successful morning routine.
Author's Bio- Stacy Walden is a writer from San Diego and enjoys covering topics geared at self-improvement, success and wellness. When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling.