A good morning routine is a simple way to improve your mood, alertness, and productivity throughout the day.
When I was working at an online start-up SmartShopper, I had a morning routine that made me more productive throughout the day.
What did I do? I got up when I woke up, exercised, showered, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair, and put on my glasses to see.
Doing these daily morning rituals made me feel fresh, alert, and ready to work. I had a very clear picture of what I needed to do, and when to do it. It was my ritual.
But it’s not only because of what I did that improved my productivity; it was also because of what I didn’t do. I didn’t check my social media accounts until I was at my desk or lunch.
My mornings became cleaner, less stressful, and more productive because I made more room in my day for work.
So today, let’s look at how to develop a morning routine that makes you more productive at work.
Figure out when to sleep
It’s easy to wake up, go to bed, and start your day. But what about when you’re not doing those things?
After all, being productive means you’re getting things done. So, how do you figure out when you’re not getting things done?
One of the easiest ways to figure out how much you actually get done each day is to track your hours. Don’t forget to account for sleep, too.
All you have to do is add up your working hours.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, then it’s time to get better sleep. I’m not suggesting you go to bed at 2 AM, but anything less than 7 hours of sleep will affect your performance and health.
But if you’re getting 8 hours of sleep a night, then that’s good too.
Keep in mind that one of the most productive people I know, Nike founder Phil Knight, gets only four to six hours of sleep a night.
Just like any other activity, productivity is almost impossible without sleep. If you are trying to be more productive, you need to find the best time to do it.
Do the most important things first
This morning routine trick from Michael Hyatt is incredibly useful. It’s an easy way to determine what you need to do during the day.
The premise is simple. You give yourself 30 minutes to write your top three most important tasks for the day.
Take the time to write them down. This will help you stop making so many distractions and will create an expectation that you will focus on only three things during the day.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it all done. This is just to get the ball rolling.
If you have 10 things on your list, then try to do one of those tasks. Break it down.
And have fun with it. If you wake up on a Monday and you have 10 tasks to accomplish, don’t forget to do one or two of them that day.
It’s a great way to do one or two things each day. By doing just one or two things each day, you can keep your days under control.
Take a full day off each week
One of the worst things you can do is start your week by working nonstop.
The problem is that the emails are building, the newsletters are getting delayed, and you can’t seem to get any work done.
On the flip side, if you take a full day off, you can come back recharged.
Do a full day of errands. Do a full day of chores. Do a full day of exploring new places. Do a full day of volunteering.
Or, if you don’t have enough time, use that time to catch up on things like writing a book.
After all, some of the most productive people I know to work from home.
Getting enough rest is critical to productivity. If you get too little sleep, you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed, anxious, and underproductive.
If you have more than 7 hours of sleep a night, then that’s great.
But if you can’t get to sleep until late, or get up before dawn to go to the gym, then consider taking a full day off every week.
Enjoy the quiet of your desk
Some of the most productive people I know spend a lot of time in their office.
By all means, love your office, your company, your job. This is the time when you create things, build relationships, and learn a ton of new stuff.
But remember that your office is just a physical location. It doesn’t mean you should spend more time there than you need to.
Too much time in your office can cause mental strain. It can affect your focus, your creativity, and your happiness.
Think about how much better you’ll be when you’re out of your office and doing something different.
For most people, it’s best to spend your entire day in your home office. But you can break up that time into chunks, including office hours.
If you have a spouse, try to spend some time with them. The days when you get home around the same time, work a couple of hours, then go home and spend time with your wife or husband are some of the best.
You’ll be more productive, happier, and less stressed when you do this.