This week I have given two talks on the importance of having a good morning routine to increase motivation and productivity – one was to over 200 sixth formers and the other was at a networking event – both were well received. So, I thought I would take the key elements of my routine and share them with you because I honestly believe that it is this consistent routine of mine which plays a huge part in how I feel each day and how I manage to get as much done as I do.
The need for a good morning routine has existed for me since 2004 when my first child was born and I worked for myself – I had a lot to fit in each day! It is a routine which I have adapted overtime as my knowledge has increased and I have learnt more from resources such as Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning – a great read. I have always considered myself a morning person but I have since realised that anyone can be a morning person, it is just about gritting your teeth, changing your habit and sticking to it.
So, what is my routine? Well it starts the night before (preparation is key). I try to put my phone down at a reasonable time and I go up to bed at about 9pm (early for some I know) and I read – generally something easy! I am normally asleep by about 9:45 and I sleep well. My natural alarm clock wakes me at about 5 and I jump out of bed (without looking at my phone), I go downstairs and have a glass of water to rehydrate my body. I cuddle the dog and then put the kettle on (because I simply cannot start a day without a cup of tea) and while that is boiling I do some stretching exercises. While drinking my cup of tea I read (a coaching/self-help book) for about half an hour. I then write my to-do list, reply to some emails, look at social media, I might write a short blog (as I glance up at the clock it is 5:54 as I type this blog) and I generally relish in the peace around me. That is until 7am when the kids wake up and we start the day. What I do notice about myself is that having had those two hours means that I am a calmer mum and rarely do we have a stressful morning.
One thing that I do naturally every morning, but I have only recently appreciated its benefits, is I make my bed. When I presented this to the sixth formers you should have seen their faces! If you google ‘the importance of making your bed’ you will see a great speech delivered by Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven who talks about how starting your day by making your bed can give you a big sense of achievement and it can set the tone of your day.
Hal Elrod, in his best selling book ‘The Miracle Morning’ talks about setting the alarm 30-60 minutes earlier than you would do normally and incorporating six key things into each morning routine – he has a community of followers who swear by his ‘Life Savers’ for aiding self-motivation and productivity:
S – silence / meditation
A – affirmations
V – visualisation
E – exercise
R – reading
S – scribing / journaling
You can do these for one minute each or 10 minutes each but incorporating these into your routine before you really start your day can really have a positive impact.
So, if you are struggling with self-motivation or productivity, take a closer look at your morning routine – can you change anything to make it better? Is it consistent? Is it a habit? What can you try differently to bring about a positive change? And remember, don’t just try it once and give up, stick to it – remember it takes up to 30 days to change a habit!