If you’ve done any research into productivity and success habits, you’ll always come across the same big idea: “Follow this CEO’s morning routine to be uber successful!” or “Wake up at 5AM in order to be the best you!”. These claims, although highly clickbait, go to a central point that is, in fact, true: how you start and end your day will have a big impact on your productivity and mindset.
If you don’t believe that, try it yourself. You know from experience, I’m sure, that when you oversleep in the morning and rush off to school or work, that you feel flustered and exhausted. When you eat a healthy breakfast and have some time to chill, you probably feel a lot more grounded.
You probably also know from experience that if you work up until 12:00AM and fall asleep unintentionally with your face in your calculus textbook, that you don’t feel very great when you wake up, and the sleep you got only left you with a crooked neck and some calculus with drool on it, rather than quality rest.
For a while, I was waking up as late as possible in order to get more sleep. This was working, in a way, because it made it so I could work a little later in the evenings. What I didn’t realize was that I could actually maximize my time in my day and be more productive if I started a little earlier.
After some motivation from YouTube and articles targeted toward me kept coming up on Facebook, I decided to try to establish a better routine. And it helped me be so much more productive!
The Routine: Morning
5:45 – wake up
I this is about the earliest that I can wake up on a consistent basis. Ideally, this would be 5:30 or even 5:20 but who am I kidding let’s be real here, I’ll snooze it if it’s any earlier than this.
5:45-5:55 – brush teeth/hair, wash face, get water, make tea
This is kind of an accelerated form of getting ready. I do these things so I can feel awake and refreshed right when I get up.
5:55-6:10 – morning page
Next, I sit at my window with a pen and my favorite notebook and write a page of whatever is on my mind. This gets my creativity flowing and starts off my day with creating rather than consuming.
6:10-6:25 – yoga routine
Lately the extent of my yoga has been a few sun salutations in the morning accompanied by intentional breathing and any other postures that feel good. It’s something, and that’s what matters!
6:25-6:45 – read and learn
Then, I’ll go into more of a consumer mindset by reading a productivity book (currently High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard) and doing any necessary exercises in my notebook.
6:45-7:05 – do makeup and get dressed
I’ve distilled my makeup routine down to 15 minutes. While I do my makeup, I typically listen to a podcast.
7:05-7:15 – eat breakfast
I’ll typically continue to listen to my podcast while I eat breakfast, or I’ll go on YouTube and watch a constructive video there. On Fridays, I treat myself to a bit of Netflix (currently watching Gossip Girl).
7:15-7:25 – pack up and leave for school
If I want to make coffee or anything to bring to school, this is the time that I will do that. It’s important to give yourself some time right before you leave to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything!
Real Talk: It’s Not Always Like That ^
I’m writing this blog post on Monday morning at 7:00 after doing a very condensed form of that routine above. I try to incorporate parts of it no matter what time I wake up, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I’d like to get to a place where I do that routine most days, and lately it’s been about 3 days/week, but expecting that to happen precisely every day right off the bat is unrealistic.
As you embark on your journey to creating an intentional morning routine, please have compassion for yourself in realizing that you’re human: some days you’ll wake up late, some days you won’t feel like it. It takes a lot of learned discipline to wake up early and do these things – it takes a lot of strength of mind. But, when you do it, I guarantee you’ll feel much better and get substantially more accomplished throughout your day.
Stay tuned next week to learn about my new night routine!