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How you start your morning and how you spend your time really sets the tone for the rest of your day. A morning routine is one of the most important elements for a productive day. Most productivity experts recommend a morning routine; it isn’t so much that your routine needs to include A, B, or C, but just that you have a consistent routine.
By starting your day with a routine, you anchor yourself, yourself focus, and energize yourself for the day ahead. According to Claire Diaz Ortiz, the author of Design Your Day and a productivity expert, says in order to achieve your highest level of productivity, you need to master a regular morning routine. Help yourself be productive by creating your ideal morning.
The beauty of this is everyone’s “ideals” are different. This is, by no means, a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. Yes, there are some key elements, common denominators, and patterns to help your routine be effective, but no routine is the same. Here are a few things to remember when crafting your morning routine:
Wake Up At Your Best Time
Not all people are early birds. According to Discover Magazine, only 10% of people have early chronotypes, 20% are late chronotypes and the rest fall somewhere in the middle. This means the vast majority of people have already missed the worm! If you’re not an early riser, this 9-5 business can be exhausting and is actually counterproductive.
If you’ve got the late chronotype, whenever possible, start your day a little later. For a productive day, make sure you are getting enough sleep and waking when you are ready. Forcing yourself out of bed, if you’re not a morning person will only lead to a burnout and crash. Forget the 5 A.M. Club and say hello to 9 A.M.!
Make Morning Decisions the Night Before
Many mornings can make you feel pressed for time or you’re still so groggy, making a decision seems overwhelmingly difficult. Get a head start on your morning and avoid the stress by making morning decisions the night before. Before your day is over, start thinking about the next day and what it will bring and how you can prepare yourself for it.
Kenneth Chenault, the American Express CEO, preps for the next day by writing out three things he wants to get done the following day. Making big or little decisions throughout your day can really slow down your momentum. By eliminating decision making from your mornings, you can put more time and effort into doing the things you need to accomplish, thus having a more productive day. Whether it be choosing your outfit, planning out your lunch, or deciding which projects to tackle, decide what you’ll do the night before.
Do Something You Love
Be sure to do something you love in the morning. Whether it be reading, writing, yoga, exercise, meditating, or whatever. Taking a moment for yourself, first thing in your morning will help you focus and ground yourself and help you mentally prepare yourself for your day. This is a great time to think about what your To-Do list looks like and prioritize it. This is also the perfect time to decompress.