Morning routines have been a consistent part of my day. While I’ve had some questions about morning routines that I was unable to answer when I first started committing to an intentional one, I’ve managed to answer some of them through trial and error over time.
In this article, I will share some answers to 6 important questions I had about morning routines that could help you better your morning routines.
Understanding – Is A Morning Routine Really Necessary?
A morning routine is necessary for one to get ready for the day and an intentional morning routine can help one get ready for the day better.
To me, a morning routine is simply a set of actions that are repeated daily in the morning to help me get ready for the day.
Put simply, a morning routine is the preparation part of everyone’s day.
Even if you think you do not have a morning routine, chances are, you do have one, albeit one that is not well defined yet.
To me, a morning routine is critical to having the rest of my day run well. I used to start my days without having any sort of intentional morning routine for them. Nowadays, I always make sure to be highly intentional about my morning routine because of the benefits I’ve experienced.
Here are 3 main benefits I’ve experienced because of having an intentional morning routine:
|Without an intentional morning routine||With an intentional morning routine|
|Time may be wasted thinking about how to start off my day||I know exactly what to do to start off my day|
|There is a higher chance I will feel overwhelmed and forget to bring things when I head out||I start my day well prepared, rarely forgetting anything|
|It can be difficult to improve on the effectiveness of my day as my morning routine is not well defined and I have nothing concrete that I can improve upon||I am better able to improve on the effectiveness of my day because I can have a well defined morning routine that I can work on|
The Best Way To Begin A Morning Routine
No matter how busy or how late I wake up, I begin my morning routine by putting in some work that will advance the big goals that I have. I found that by starting my morning routine in this way, I am able to get a small dose of positive feelings for this small win that I’ve put under my belt from the start of my day.
The best way to start a morning routine is to start it with any activity that is non-distracting and that can help you get ready for the day and allocate attention to the most important things in your life.
Contrary to what I see in a movie, I found that the best way to begin my morning routine is not necessarily to brush my teeth first, but rather, to do the activity that would give me the greatest positive impact.
I’ve also found that as I make each activity a habit, things start to become second nature for me, so much so that over time, I’ve found that I no longer need to put it as one of my morning routine to-do items.
Here are some activities that are non-distracting and have worked to help me to get ready for the day and to get focused on the most important things in my life:
- Brushing my teeth
- Drinking a big glass of water
- Doing some exercises
- Washing up
- Having breakfast
Here are 2 main things I avoid doing as part of my morning routine because they are potentially distracting:
- Checking for messages and emails
- Browsing through social media
Creating A Morning Routine & Keeping To It
I remember my first time creating a morning routine. I included things like 30 minutes of meditation and some reading, keeping to it was a challenge, but I kept to it almost every day.
Creating and keeping to a morning routine is about creating a list of things to be done first thing in the day, recording the list down somewhere that is easily accessible and referring to that list every morning.
When I decide or review what I want to put into my morning routine, there are 2 key considerations:
- Getting ready for the day ahead (Starting fresh, priming myself with correct mindset etc.)
- Allocate attention to the most important things in my life (Goals, values etc.)
Every few months, I review my morning routine to see if every item in my list serves its purpose to either help me get ready for the day ahead or allocate attention to the most important things in my life.
If I find that any one of the items in my list is impractical, I remove them. This process over time helps me to create a morning routine that really works.
To stick to my morning routine, I record and refer to my routine every morning.
I used to record my morning routine on apps like the iPhone notes app and Things 3. Now, I record my morning routine on Trello and refer to it every morning.
Whichever method I use, I found that in order for me to stick to my morning routine, I must record my morning routine and refer to that list every morning.
The Ideal Length Of A Morning Routine
My morning routine once consisted of 30 minutes of meditation which I soon realised is much too time-consuming. Over time, I’ve learned how to adapt my morning routine so that it serves its purpose without it being unsustainable because it takes too much time.
The ideal length of a morning routine is anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes – where enough is done to get prepared for the day and yet, is not too long that it interferes with other priorities of the day.
When I create my morning routine, I make it adaptable to my morning by making sure that I put the item with the highest impact first.
So even if I only have 5 minutes to get my morning routine done, I am still able to do 1 or 2 of the items on my morning routine list to get myself somewhat prepared for the day while leaving the rest of the routine to my morning commute.
Making Morning Routines Easier To Do
To make morning routines easier, start with tasks that are not totally unfamiliar. These are can be tasks like – brushing of teeth, drinking water, doing 10 push-ups.
I used to make the morning routine harder than it needed to be by trying to include going for a run as part of my routine. It didn’t work and it made me feel like a failure every time I didn’t go for the run. I quickly removed it from my morning routine to something more manageable.
I found that when I started off with tasks that are more familiar to me – like brushing my teeth, I am much more likely to build confidence and continue in my morning routine.
I also found that when I start with simple tasks, I gradually graduate into more complex tasks as the simple tasks start to become things that are so natural to me that I do them without thinking in the morning.
How To Fix Broken Morning Routines
Before I deem my morning routine as problematic and broken, I observe and see if the problem is recurring or one-off. Once I’m sure that it is indeed my morning routine that is problematic, I then proceed to try and fix my morning routine.
Broken morning routines can be fixed in 3 ways: (1) removing the task from the morning routine, (2) making the task easier to accomplish in the morning routine and (3) revamping the entire morning routine.
Times when my morning routine did not work. I’ve found that it happens in 2 ways:
- I was not doing a certain task from my morning routine (Solution: remove the task from the morning routine or make the task easier to accomplish)
- I was not doing the entire morning routine (Solution: revamp the entire morning routine)
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