If you want to get the most out of every workday then you need to start the day properly – and that involves building a morning routine that works for you.
A great morning routine will deliver all-day benefits, from more focus and concentration to extra energy and a calmer, happier state of mind. They’re important attributes for succeeding in the workplace and will help you beyond the office.
Start Your New Job Search in Minutes with ZipRecruiter
With over 8 million jobs, ZipRecruiter is the one of the best places to start looking for your next job. Get started for free today.
Everyone will have a different morning routine, and you’ll have to adapt your routine to suit your situation – but if you start with these ten tips, you won’t go far wrong.
Consistent routines are critical for business success. Head here for practical self-improvement methods or the perfect ways to create a flawless work/life balance.
A good morning routine starts the night before, because you must make sure that you get high-quality sleep to set yourself up for a day of productivity.
Make sure you avoid food, caffeine and electronic devices before you go to bed, and try to go to bed at the same time every day so your brain knows that it’s time to rest. Ensure that your bedroom is clean, tidy and calm, and head to sleep at a time that gives you a solid eight hours before your alarm. It’s even worth considering meditation, breathing exercises or reading a book because those activities will keep you calm and help you sleep.
Prepare the night before
It’s not just about getting solid sleep the night before, either, because if you can get some morning prep done in the evening you’ll save time and stress when you wake up.
If you’ve got to get food ready to take to work, do that the night before to save yourself time in the morning. Similarly, get your clothes ready before you go to bed, and make sure your wallet, travel cards, office pass and anything else you need is within arm’s reach so you don’t have to rush around and look for things before you head out the door.
Don’t snooze, don’t lose
Set your alarm at an appropriate time – you want to ensure you get a good eight hours of sleep while giving yourself enough time in the morning to get everything done without rushing.
And, when that alarm goes off, do not hit the snooze button. It’s tempting, but if you create the habit of getting out of bed when your alarm rings your body and brain will both become accustomed the fact that it’s time to get going. If you want to develop a morning routine for productivity later in the day, you must avoid slapping the snooze button and the lethargy that comes with it.
You’re bound to be thirsty when you wake up, and your brain and body will both suffer if you’re dehydrated.
A good morning routine tackles this issue quickly. Keep a glass of water on your bedside table or head straight to the kitchen when you wake – because the sooner you’re hydrated, the sooner your brain and body start to truly get going. Start here, and everything else follows, including better productivity.
Eat healthy food, too
When you’re busy and trying to rush out the door it’s too easy to skip breakfast or slam down a bowl of sugary, unhealthy cereal. Neither option is conducive to all-day productivity because you’ve not fed your brain or body properly.
Instead, wake up to give yourself enough time to prepare and eat healthy food before your day really starts. This doesn’t just give you better workplace fuel: it gives you time to stop and think and enables you to consider the day ahead. It’s part of the routine that can keep you calm and considered.
Calm your mind
Even the best morning routine can feel busy and potentially stressful – but if you incorporate mindfulness techniques, you’ll have a better time before you get to work and be more productive for the rest of the day.
Use an app like Calm or Headspace to steady your breathing, deal with anxieties and think about the day. If you spend ten minutes clearing your mind you’ll lower your stress levels and ensure that you’ll be more productive for your entire day – because your brain is less chaotic.
Meditation and healthy eating can look after your brain, but a good morning routine should also take care of your body. If you get some exercise, you’ll feel more energized and focused and your physical health will get a boost.
Don’t think that you need to have an intense workout to get this benefit, either. You could do yoga, take a walk around a local park or cycle to the office. The main thing here is that you get moving because your body and mind will benefit. In turn, that’ll improve your productivity when you do arrive at your desk.
Take care of yourself
This is another part of a morning routine that’s easy to skip, especially if you work at home, but if you want to build a routine to encourage productivity for the rest of your day, you need to hit the showers. It’ll make you feel better, it’ll help ease aching muscles and wake your brain up, and it can be a relaxing brain in an otherwise busy schedule.
Put clean clothes on, too, because that’s another aspect of your morning routine that will help encourage productivity. If you’re showered and wearing clean clothes, you’re telling your brain that it’s time to get up and go – and that’ll make the rest of the day better.
Enjoy a hobby
If possible, build time into your morning routine to enjoy one of your hobbies. That might sound counterintuitive if you want to create a routine to encourage productivity, but if you can create a good work/life balance then you’re more likely to put the hours in when you’re actually working – because you know what’s waiting for you when you’ve finished for the day.
Spending time on a hobby or a creative endeavor will make you feel happier and more content, and it’ll put you in a better mood. And if you feel happier, there’s no denying that you’ll be more productive when you do get to your desk. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time; it could be fifteen minutes with a video game, a podcast on your commute, or some exercise.
Think about what’s coming
Your entire day will benefit if you take time to consider what your day looks like: figure out what tasks you should prioritize and what ones don’t need your full concentration, think about what you want to achieve and make mental notes about conversations you need to have later. If it helps, add tasks to a physical to-do list, or in a journal.
A morning routine that incorporates some consideration about your working day is a routine that’ll help you overcome challenges, stay calm and anticipate potential problems. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of time on this step, either, and it doesn’t matter where you do it either – it could be while you’re eating, in the shower, or on the commute or on the treadmill.
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.