✔ Why you should have a morning routine - intro to Productive! Magazine #33 with Laura McClellan

The new issue of Productive! Magazine has just been published. It is the next to last edition of my free magazine. It includes articles that will help you develop productivity-boosting habits and routines. If you really want to achieve your goals, don't miss this issue!

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This is the Editor's Note that I wrote for 33rd issue of Productive! Magazine. See why and what I do every morning :-)

For the last several months, one of my goals was to create a perfect morning routine in order to help me put myself in high gear. Frankly speaking, it took me some time. Mornings can be really difficult when we are tired, stressed and have a busy day ahead. On top of it all, we begin our days with a thousand new ideas to consider and decisions to make.

I knew that there was a link between not having a good morning routine and the mental fatigue and general feeling of being overwhelmed. I wanted to make it work! Here's why:

Why having a morning routine is so important

A well-designed morning ritual lets me set myself up for the day.

It gives me the sense of purpose for the day that is simply to begin.

A well-organized morning (without: snoozing, postponing getting out of bed, standing in front of a wardrobe thinking which trousers to choose and deciding what to eat for breakfast) ensures a productive day.

A morning routine consists of small tasks. If I get them done deftly, one by one, I feel like I am winning something. I am accomplishing a small mission already early in the morning. It evokes the feeling of satisfaction and power.

My morning routine

… starts in the evening the day before. Then:

  • I write some ending thoughts in my journal to summarize the day and keep track of the things I hadn't thought of earlier.

  • I write down my three most important tasks for tomorrow.

  • I put all the charging devices away from my pillow — I put my iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch on the opposite side of bedroom.

  • When falling asleep, I avoid surfing the internet.

In the morning:

  • When the alarm goes off at 6:55 a.m. (after at least seven hours of sleep), I get up immediately, turn it off and prevent myself from using the snooze option. :-)

  • I go to the bathroom, where I weigh myself and note down the result in a dedicated task in Nozbe.

  • I note three things for which I am thankful (small things in the context of yesterday and today) in my journal on my iPhone.

  • I check out the template for today with 30 minute blocks pre-populated with tasks.

  • I read the Bible and pray.

  • I drink water with lemon.

  • I prepare and drink coffee with my wife.

I would like to squeeze in one more step which is a three minute-long meditation — I am working on it at the moment.

Morning routine tips

Experiment and adjust. Have beta versions of your routine and see if it works for you and sets you up for the day. Your routine is well designed when you don't feel a constant temptation to cheat. If you do, you won't feel OK about yourself and won't be really able to have a productive day. The will to cheat is a sign that you'd better modify the morning steps — make them easier, more pleasant or more consistent with your big goals.

Create triggers. It will be much easier to stick to your routine if you manage to build an optimal environment — the path of least resistance. Prepare everything that could hinder your morning plan the evening before. Make use of triggers that will lead you from one activity to another. Don't let small things ruin the whole morning. Set everything up, especially the things that require decision-making in order to...

...avoid mental fatigue. Each of us only has a certain amount of willpower everyday. The "battery is fully charged" in the morning and it slowly gets drained away by decisions we make — both petty and crucial ones. The battery can fade very quickly with all the small decisions that mean nothing and that you must make in the morning if you don't have a good routine. That's why you should try to have the first hour of your day almost totally decision-free. You can prepare your clothes, your bag and some breakfast products in the evening to make your morning steps as "automatic" as possible.

Take care of four important aspects. When creating your personal morning routine, you can try to take into consideration these four things:

  1. physical health,

  2. mental equilibrium,

  3. personal and professional goals, and

  4. productivity.

I promise you, a good morning routine will boost your energy and productivity. It will let you switch your operating mode in the morning from reactive to proactive — and perhaps it will remain as such throughout the rest of the day!

If you wish to learn more about morning routine you might want to listen to 34th episode of The Podcast I co-host.

Posted on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 (productivity,magazine)

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