Establishing a morning routine

This is a break from the usual practical tips that I generally share on thebossbusiness, but as we go into 2021 and with the challenges that 2020 has brought for everyone, I wanted to share something that I will personally be trying to do to focus on for my wellbeing. 2021 for me is about shifting the balance from “work hard” to “live better”. This year I will be working to establish a productive morning routine.

I have always been a morning person, and I’m not sure whether the “morning routine” would work well for people that are naturally night owls. I’ve read a couple of books recently that suggest that you can only be successful if you get up early and tackle the day first thing, but that won’t work for everyone. I say – a) try the morning routine, b) try an evening routine, c) give it up and look for something else. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

For me, I know that I am most productive in the morning, but recently I’ve found that it’s easier to lie in bed until I actually HAVE to get up and start my work because of a deadline or a meeting. And then by the time I finish work I’m too drained to focus on my personal goals or learning more to be more effective in my job. The last couple of years have gone by in this way where I get to Christmas and I’m buying gifts at the last minute and beating myself up for being a bad friend / wife / daughter / sister. My morning routine will focus on my personal goals and growing in the neglected areas of my life.

It starts the night before

In an effort to avoid the snooze button repeatedly (I’ve taken to ignoring snooze altogether and just setting another alarm in 30 mins). I’ve set a bedtime deadline (sounds relaxing, right). I have to be in bed, with my eyes closed and my phone out of my hand by 9:30pm (told you I’m not a night owl). I also put nice clothes out the night before so that when I roll out of bed I can put my gym clothes on, but my nice clothes are ready for after I’ve done my exercise.

Something to look forward to

Have a part of your morning routine that you enjoy that will make you want to get out of bed. Buy a luxury candle or a really nice coffee machine so that you can start the day with a treat. Mine is my daily cup of tea that I want to have before I get pulled into work so that I can actually enjoy it.

How much time do you want?

Notice I said “want” not “need”. This whole routine is a little reward for yourself, these aren’t things to force yourself to do, they’re things that are going to make you feel better, so if you don’t “want” to do anything, you don’t have to! I want to start work at 8am feeling like I’ve already achieved something for myself, so I want 2 hours before work to:

  • Get ready (about 20 mins)
  • Do some exercise (about 20 mins – yoga, walking or running)
  • Have a cup of tea and think about my goals for the day / week / year (aka meditate)
  • Do something for a friend – reply to a text / send a birthday card
  • Do something off a long list of things that will help me in the long run if I invest the time (organise my emails, read a personal development book)
  • Write a plan for the work day ahead… What 3 things to I want to achieve today? What am I looking forward to? What can I delegate or ask for help on?

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