I will preface this post by saying that I am fully aware that everyone is NOT a morning person.
I get it. The truth is that some of us would rather walk on broken glass than wake up before dawn.
I also know that there are many people who work a second or third shift, and are usually just going to sleep when others are waking up to start their day.
If either of these applies to you, then you can use the information I’ll provide for whatever time you’re starting your day. Maybe your successful evening routine!
Either way, if you find yourself dreading mornings (or evenings) before work, I encourage you to keep reading.
My “Pre” Morning Routine Story
I have always been an early riser, usually waking up before 7 am most mornings.
Before realizing the difference between simply waking up early, and having a morning routine, I used to spend those early morning hours rushing around the house, frantically getting ready for my day.
My 9-5 schedule required that I leave home no later than 7:30 am to get to work on time.
I would fail miserably at trying to squeeze several tasks into my morning, including devotional and prayer, choosing an outfit, packing my lunch and, more times than I care to admit, stopping for gas!
After years of unproductive mornings, I decided that I had enough.
I began reading articles and watching YouTube videos on others’ morning routines. I used the information I found from my
Google searches extensive research to create my own simple, straightforward morning routine.
Here are 5 practical tips to help complete your necessary tasks efficiently so that you can get out and start your day.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead
It goes without saying that having a solid plan for the week or day ahead is a must.
Planning ahead is one of the most effective ways to save time and sanity on weekday mornings. I use my Clever Fox Planner to write down appointments and my most important tasks of the day.
Here are several things you can do to ahead of time:
Pack Your Lunch
- Have your lunch packed and ready to go the night before. Choose something easy like a sandwich, salad, or leftovers.
- If you are up for the challenge of planning for the entire week, consider taking a few hours on Sunday afternoon to plan out and prep your lunches.
- If planning an entire weeks’ worth of meals seems too overwhelming, consider a second meal prep session midweek to prepare your lunches for the remainder of the week.
More Ways To Plan Ahead
- Take some time to try on and iron all of your outfits for the week. I emphasize trying on your clothes for a reason. There have been many mornings I went to put on a pair of pants that did not fit. I ended up running late because I had to pick something else out. Don’t be like me.
- Fill up your gas tank for the week
- Place your purse, tote, coat, shoes near the door so you can easily grab them and go
Sacrificing a few hours on a Sunday afternoon to prepare for the week ahead will not only save you time, it will also make for a much smoother, peaceful start to your day.
Tip 2: Get Enough Rest
Now, I believe that there is a direct correlation between going to bed late and having difficulty waking up early.
If you have to hit the snooze button 10 times before you finally drag yourself out of bed, you’re probably not getting enough rest.
If you are a night owl, I suggest you do a self-assessment.
If you notice that you usually feel sluggish and tired most mornings, it may be that you are not getting enough sleep.
Consider going to bed 30 minutes earlier every night for a week, then assess how you feel in the mornings.
Each week, you can make your bedtime even earlier until you have decided on a time that makes sense for you.
We don’t want to just get by on inadequate sleep just because we choose to cram too many activities in our evenings.
Tip 3: Minimize Distractions
There are so many things vying for our attention every minute of the day. It is so important to be aware of the oftentimes mindless behaviors that can interfere with your productivity.
Are you staying up late to binge watch Netflix or scrolling social media feeds? Maybe you use the evening hours to catch up with your friends and family.
While these things are fine in moderation, they should not be robbing you of your sleep.
Consider using your smartphone’s do not disturb feature that blocks any calls and alerts you receive after a certain time.
This also applies in the morning. If you tend to reach for your phone as soon as you open your eyes, it is likely a distraction.
Chances are, your friends have not done anything so earth-shattering between 10 pm and 6 am that you just have to find out about as soon as you wake up.
Instead of lingering in bed checking your social media feed, make the most of your morning by saving the status checks for later.
Tip 4: Make Time For Breakfast
Skipping breakfast in favor of a cup (or three!) of coffee is not uncommon these days.
In our current single-serve coffee age, it is easy to pop a coffee pod in your Keurig coffee maker, enjoying several cups before you’ve left the house.
Have you ever left home for work, got in your car, then felt the hunger pangs hit? What do you do? You search for the nearest drive-thru to grab something quick.
Only, it’s not quick because there are 15 cars lined up ahead of you. Or, maybe you decide on Starbucks. After all, you could use a fourth cup of coffee.
But, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a long line in there, too. Sigh. But, you’re hungry, so you wait. And, before you know it, you are running late.
Making time for breakfast not only satisfies your hunger, it saves you time.
During your Sunday afternoon meal prep, try making a big pot of oatmeal and portioning it out into containers.
One of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts is egg muffins. Beat 6 eggs, add salt, pepper, and anything else you’d like. Portion into a muffin pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll have a delicious egg muffin that you can enjoy with your coffee.
Try it out. After all, it’s breakfast. You have to eat at some point, might as well get it out of the way!
Tip 5: Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Day
Which activities calm your mind, centering you for the day ahead?
For me, it is Bible study and prayer. I believe that it only makes sense that we begin our day thanking God for the blessing of another day of life.
For you, maybe it’s meditation, yoga, or simple silence.
For many of us, it is common to wake up in the morning, so consumed by worry about the day’s challenges that we sabotage our day before we even get started.
The Bible App by YouVersion – this is by far my favorite app to use for structured Bible study. There are tons of devotionals and Bible reading plans that will help guide you through God’s word.
Insight Timer – good for meditation and will also help you get to sleep faster. The free version has lots of guided meditations, trackers, and a meditation course. There is also a premium that costs $5 a month.
Headspace – a well known meditation app that provides lessons and courses on various topics including health and wellness
Recap: Your Successful Morning Routine
Your time is the most precious asset that you have. Implementing these tips will help ensure a successful morning routine and, in turn, create a more productive, peace-filled life.
Reviewing the list below, which tip are you going to implement in your morning routine?
- Plan ahead
- Get Enough Rest
- Minimize Distractions
- Make Time For Breakfast
- Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Day