Going ‘back to work’ this year looks different for most. Although we may be more accustomed to working from home, this new way of working still poses its challenges. We’re sharing our morning routine tips because by introducing a simple routine, we can boost happiness, increase productivity, reduce stress levels and start the day on the ‘right foot’. No matter your current routine or ritual, we could all use a boost of energy and self-discipline.
A morning routine also allows you to start your morning with intention, rather than letting the day run away from you. You control the day; the day doesn’t control you. This positive feeling of being on top of things results in a positive feeling and effect on your entire day.
1. Your morning routine starts the night before
Sleep is vital if you want to have a productive day. Without enough hours, you can feel tired or sluggish and our brains can’t function properly. This can impact our ability to concentrate and think clearly. In order to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day, it is recommended to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
2. No screen time until breakfast
Yes, you’ve heard this one before – but this tip helps! When we pick up our phones immediately after waking up, our brain is flooded with information. Whether you’re reading the news, scrolling on social or checking work emails, wait until after breakfast time. The rest of your day will be filled with information and likely technology-reliant so make sure to skip the screen first thing.
3. Make your bed
This simple, yet effective tip sets the tone for the day. By making sure your surroundings are in order, you will find you have more clarity. This small act will also encourage a sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride which will encourage you to do another task and another and another…
4. Drink a glass of water
Drinking water first thing in the morning is great for hydration, digestion and overall health. Your first liquid should not be caffeine! Top tip: have the glass of water ready by your bed so it’s there when you wake up. If the weather is very cold where you are, opt for warm water before your cup of coffee.
If you’re working from home, you can spend your travel time on exercise! Wake up 30 minutes earlier to do some form of exercise. Some days you may feel like running and other days you may need some yoga or Pilates. Listen to your body but do your best to allocate this time in the morning. This will also heighten your sense of completion and promotes energy and focus throughout the day.
6. Get ready for the day
We all know by now that getting ready for the day and changing our clothes promotes a more productive day. If you were active, you will need to have a shower and get dressed – another bonus of exercise! Try opting for clothes that make you feel good and although full work attire is not needed, getting dressed sends signals to your brain that this is ‘work mode’.
7. Eat a healthy breakfast
If you exercise in the morning, you’re likely to opt for a healthier more nutritious breakfast to start the day. Incorporate fibre rich breakfasts such as oats with berries and banana, smoothies with chia seeds as well as wholegrain toast topped with avocado or sugar-free peanut butter. Remember, try to reduce the number of processed products and sugar. This includes in your coffee and tea as well! Minimise or eliminate sweeteners in your beverages as sugar will spike your blood sugar levels causing you to crash soon after breakfast.
8. Clean your desk space
A clean environment is a clean mind. A Princeton University study found that people who worked in a clean workspace outperformed those who worked in a cluttered one because clutter pulls your attention away from your work.
9. Write a list of goals/tasks for the day
When compiling your list, try not to write everything you need to do for the week! Rather, prioritise the most important tasks and complete those first. When you write a list, you can actively tick off each task which gives you a sense of accomplishment and encourages you to take on the next. This list can often grow during the day (I know mine does!) so it’s important to use the morning to get these tasks done.
10. Try not multitask
Multitasking in the morning — when you have lots to do, tons of energy, and it feels like you can do two or three things at once — is tempting, but it sets your whole day back. Research conducted at Stanford University confirmed that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus adequately on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our wellbeing and mental health tips here.