How to Use a Morning Routine to Set Yourself up for a Productive Day
BY BIG CAT CREATIVE
OUR MORNINGS REFLECT THE REST OF OUR DAY
I’ve been hearing more and more lately how much a good morning routine can transform you life. Experts in every industry have been raving about how much more successful they have become after implementing a strict morning routine.
It mean, it makes sense. The first thing you do every day always sets the tone of the day. If the first thing I do in the morning is bicker with my partner, I know I’m going to be verging on grumpy for the rest of the day. So why not be intentional about making the first things you do in the morning the most impactful and important, setting the tone of your day to be positive and productive, because, we all want our days to be positive and productive, right? If not, you’re definitely reading the wrong post.
The thing about setting up morning routine for success is that it’s not just about the things we do, it’s also about the things we don’t do (maybe more importantly about the things we don’t do!). We want to avoid things that will stress and overwhelm us first thing in the morning.
I’ve been implementing these things into my routine, and they’ve been really beneficial. Once you get the ball rolling, it’s not as hard as it looks (promise!). You don’t have to spend hours doing these things, some days I pick and choose what I want to do. Though if you’re going to just pick and choose a few things, I strongly suggest you commit to the “don’ts” because even doing one of these could unravel your whole morning.
When you first wake up...
look at your phone!
In the morning you wake up with a fresh slate of creative ideas and balanced emotions, by going on your phone you’re filling your brain up with ideas emotions from your notifications, from your social media, from your stressful emails that all poured in overnight. The morning is the time to let your creative ideas circulate and form, these ideas could be life changing! Instead, our normal routine is to give all of our energy to our phones, because we don’t want to spend silent time in our own heads, and we’d rather be given our thoughts. It’s easier, right?
This is the hardest one. I know. My usual morning routine would be rolling over, half asleep and grabbing my phone, shining the bright blue light in my eyes to wake myself up and checking all of my notifications. But try to avoid your phone until you have finished your morning routine.
This includes not checking social media (on your computer, too!). “You mean I’ve lost 20 followers overnight??!!” - not a good way to start your morning. We can’t handle that type of emotional rollercoaster first thing in the morning.
And it includes not checking emails (yup, on your computer, too). Your emails can wait an extra hour in the morning. Nothing ruins my morning more than checking my phone and seeing I have 15 new “urgent” emails. My still-half-asleep brain goes into instant overdrive and I tell myself today is going to be stressful - so my whole day is stressful. If I do my morning routine first and prepare myself for a positive and productive day, checking my emails is always less stressful and doesn’t affect whatever else I have going on that day. Exactly the same situation = completly different mindset!
TIP: If you struggle with not checking your phone first thing in the morning out of habit, put it on the other side of the room, or in a different room - works a charm!
Hit snooze on your alarm clock
I admit, I am the QUEEN of hitting snooze, especially in the winter when it’s pitch black outside. “This is ridiculous, I’m basically getting up in the middle of the night!” - me. But there’s more to it than that. Every time we hit the snooze button, we’re telling ourselves that we don’t want to get up (because we don’t, right?). The more we tell ourselves we don’t want to get up, the more negatively we are affecting our day ahead. Going on the idea that the our thoughts first thing in the morning reflect how we function during the day, starting the day with the mindset that we’d rather stay in bed than get up and be productive is obviously going to make us have a negative and unproductive day.
If you struggle not hitting snooze on your alarm (seriously, I sometimes do it in my sleep) then put your alarm clock on the other side of the room (with your phone…). This means you have to get up and turn it off, and since you’re already up, you may as well start your day!
When you first wake up...
Using guided meditation or just sitting in silence, even for 10 minutes, will make a difference to your overall day. Meditation is about calming your thoughts but still being present. It’s in these moments where we have some of our greatest ideas and revelations, but to have these, first we must make room in our head for them to come in.
TIP: Download an app like Insight Timer App or Headspace for some more information on how to get started, and some great guided meditations.
Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? No? Then you need to look it up ASAP. Spend some time each morning visualising what you want to do, see and become. Try to visualise the larger picture, not just your days work. Think about where you want to be in the near future, visualise it and make yourself really feel it, like you are already there and you already have it. If you do this every day correctly, your mind will be aware and open to the specific opportunities that will eventually get you there, thus "manifesting" your dreams into reality.
I love starting my day with visualising. It gives me such a positive outlook on the day (and just my life in general), and makes me super productive because I know I have a long term goal and I want to get there.
TIP: If you want to find out more about the Law of Attraction and manifesting, read The Secret by Rhonda Bryne or watch the movie, The Secret (on Netflix).
Everyone knows exercising in the morning is good for you. It gets your blood moving, focusses your mind, gives you energy and releases endorphins, which sets you up for a positive and productive day. If your normal exercise schedule is at a different time of day, try at least to do 10 minutes of exercise in your morning routine. Even 10 minutes can change your whole day. Exercises like walking or yoga are good early in the morning while your body is still waking up.
Affirmations are positive phrases that we tell ourselves, about ourselves, (ideally) everyday. We do this because our thoughts become our reality. If we have negative and limiting beliefs about ourselves, our reality will be negative and limited. If we have positive and unlimited beliefs about ourselves, our reality will be positive and our opportunities will be unlimited. Focus on the negative thoughts you tell yourself everyday, and turn these around into affirmations.
For example, if you doubt that your new business is going to be a success, tell yourself every day “I am a successful business owner and my business is rapidly growing”. Say these words over and over and over again, every morning, and slowly your brain will shift and you will believe those words. And what you believe, you become.
Starting your morning with these is good because you're working with a clean slate. You're more likely to absorb these affirmations on a fresh mind, and it's a serious mood lifter/positivity boost! You'll spend the rest of the day motivated and as productive as if you truly are a successful business owner with a rapidly growing empire!
Focussing on what you’re thankful for in your life is one of the easiest ways to get you out of a bad mood and put a positive spin on, well, everything. Sit down with a piece of paper and write down what you’re grateful for. You probably won’t be able to write everything, because if you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance you have A LOT to be thankful for. Try to focus on how you’re feeling that day, what are grateful for right now in this moment? In this day? Or something that happened yesterday? I also like to write down what I’m grateful for in the future, like it’s already happened. This is another way to to be grateful, while also visualising and manifesting your future.
I hope you can take some of these morning routine ideas and implement them. I suggest choosing a few and commit to doing them for a set amount of time, like a month. See how it makes you feel and how much more positive and productive you become!
What does your morning routine look like? Do you use any of these strategies? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!