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Boost your productivity with the perfect morning routine

Establishing a morning routine is easy, and your business will thank you.

I wish there were a scientific way to identify the perfect start to a day. We know we need around eight hours of sleep, and that breakfast is essential for our metabolism. But when it comes to the nitty gritty there’s not much of a guide.

I have successful friends who get up at five am and go for long runs, and I have successful friends who sleep until midday, drink gallons of coffee a day and complete their workloads at midnight (different things work for different people). There seems to be no real trick. But this post isn’t about the mystery surrounding perfect routines, it’s about establishing routines that are perfect for you. There’s a big, key, distinction.

Someone who has a nine to five job and who runs their business after work will need different routines to someone who runs their business full time on a flexible schedule. There are all sorts of things to take into consideration. Are there children involved? Do you travel to an office? Do you have lots of meetings?

No matter what your schedule is, trust me when I tell you that a morning routine will help brighten your life. It makes common sense: what you do when you wake up will become the foundation of your day, every day. A good morning makes for a good day which makes for productivity and success. Make morning routines work for you!

Morning routine ideas

My morning routine goes a little like this: I wake up around the same time each day, I meditate for around ten minutes before I even open my eyes, and then I’ll have a light breakfast. I’ll avoid looking at my phone until my stomach is full and while I eat I’ll read a chapter or two of whatever I’m reading. I’ll make a list of any essential tasks I need to complete and then, once I’m fed and focused, I leap into my day.

It’s not a particularly difficult or complex routine; I don’t run ten kilometres or get up at five am, but it’s a pattern of habits that lets me start each day feeling genuinely fresh. It means that I’m able to grasp my creativity and wield it, it means that I’m able to concentrate on work, and it means that I’m more likely to get stuff done.

If you like the idea of a morning routine but you’re not sure what to incorporate, consider these things:

  • Exercise | You don’t need to run a marathon to benefit from exercise. Just a few stretches, a quick jog or a few bodyweight exercises are all you need to help boost your energy.
  • Eating a balanced breakfast | If you sleep in until the last possible moment you’re missing out on the most important meal of the day. A balanced breakfast; one with protein, carbohydrates and fresh fruit or vegetables will help prevent sluggishness and tiredness throughout your day.
  • Setting goals for your day | Making a clear, achievable list of what you hope to accomplish at the beginning of each day will help motivate you, give you clarity, and keep you focused.
  • Reading a chapter or two | Since I started reading every day I’ve been able to express myself more clearly and I’ve felt more creative. I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter what I read: fantasy novels or marketing textbooks, they all have a similar impact on me.
  • Keeping a journal | Writing down your thoughts can be a great, effective way to sort out your thoughts, make sense of ideas and process decisions.
  • Meditating | More and more people swear by mindfulness. Taking just a few moments each morning to clear your mind and help keep you centred, especially when running a small business can be stressful and busy.

There’s no right or wrong approach so long as it’s sustainable.

Your morning routine could simply be getting up five minutes earlier so you can eat slower, have a shower and get dressed stress free. Maybe you like ironing before breakfast, maybe you like to cook a fresh lunch each day. It doesn’t really matter what you do so long as it becomes a routine: routine reduces stress and boosts creativity.

Start off slow!

Forming healthy habits isn’t quite the same as running a marathon, but you’ll still need to train. It’s tempting to write down what your new routine will be and then begin it the next day, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Whenever I change my habits or try to introduce new elements into my life (jogging, for instance) I do it slowly; otherwise, I overwhelm myself, miss a day and then just give up.

That’s why it’s so important to introduce routines one step at a time. Pick one of the steps you’d like to incorporate into your mornings and do just that one step every day for a month. Since it’s only a small change it’ll be easier to accommodate. Once you’ve gotten used to it, you can add a second step, and so on.

I started by ensuring I ate breakfast every day. Then, I started getting up at the same time, and then I started reading. Habits take time to form: don’t set yourself up for failure by leaping in the deep end.

Your morning routine could simply be getting up five minutes earlier so you can eat slower, have a shower and get dressed stress free. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as it becomes a routine: routine reduces stress and boosts creativity.

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Enjoy life

Life is hectic, business is busy, and you have two meetings before lunch. Be kind to yourself! Take your time in the mornings to lay a firm foundation for the day. You’ll thank yourself for the gift of calmness and focus.

- Lena Klein

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