Even if you don’t consider yourself a “morning person,” it’s important to start your day on the right foot. Having a structured morning routine can make it easier to manage a busy schedule and set the tone for a productive day.
Here are eight simple steps for creating the perfect morning routine:
- Start your day early – The key to a productive morning routine is waking up early. Rather than getting ready and rushing out the door in 20 minutes, give yourself some extra time in the morning to wake up, eat a good breakfast, and plan your day. Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes to an hour before you would usually wake up.
- Avoid your phone – As difficult as it may be, avoid checking your phone until you’re out of bed. Turning off your alarm and immediately unlocking your phone can lead to an additional hour in bed scrolling through social media, which isn’t a healthy habit. Plus, without that extra hour in the morning, you might end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
- Play music – Playing your favorite tunes while getting ready can boost your mood and help you start your day on a positive note. Turning on something upbeat and energizing can take you from sleepy to alert.
- Hydrate before coffee – It’s tempting to pour yourself a cup of coffee first thing in the morning to energize yourself. However, it’s better to hold off on the cup of Joe until you can drink a glass of water. We tend to become dehydrated while sleeping, and putting coffee in our systems right away can increase dehydration. Start your day with water instead to help with digestion and allow your body to recover from the night before.
- Eat a hearty breakfast – Never skip breakfast because of a busy schedule, as it truly is the most important meal of the day! Making time to eat a hearty breakfast (one filled with protein, fruits and whole grains) can improve concentration, increase energy and reduce your urge to snack throughout the day. Avoid ingesting a heaping amount of carbs, like a large muffin or a donut, as these will fill you up initially, but can cause you to crash later. Do yourself a favor and grab something healthy to fuel your day, such as yogurt and a banana.
- Review your day – Take 10 minutes to plan out your day or review what you already have planned. If you need to reprioritize some items on your schedule, this is the time to do it. Taking the time to plan out your day can help reduce feelings of stress and make it easier to hold yourself accountable for important tasks. You’ll be more aware of what you have going on and you can prepare accordingly.
- Exercise – Dedicate some time to exercise before you start your day. This can be something as simple as taking a short walk or doing some stretching. Running several miles isn’t necessary, but if you have the opportunity and the desire to do so, go for it!
- Make time for yourself – Treat yourself to some free time before your day starts by getting out the door a little earlier than normal. Just five to 10 minutes can make a big difference in your day, allowing extra time for a trip to the local coffee shop or that new podcast episode you’ve been waiting to listen to.
While your morning routine can shape how the rest of your day will go, there are a few additional steps you can take the night before to ensure your morning goes smoothly. A good night’s sleep can be the difference between feeling alert or sluggish when your alarm goes off the next day. Experts recommend getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. While this may not always be feasible, do your best to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, as this will make it easier for you to stick to your morning routine.
By implementing a morning routine, you have the opportunity to make every day a productive one. Everyone has a different definition of what a successful morning looks like for them, and that’s okay! These tips are a starting point to help you find what works best for you.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.