Not a morning person? Is there such a thing as “being” a morning person? Are we born into being a morning person or do we evolve into it with our morning routine?
Think back to when you were a child and you had to get up for school in the morning. We had a morning routine enforced on us by our parents: wake up, get dressed, catch the bus (or walk) to school.
But as we got older, or go into university or college, we start to lose these habits that motivated us in those early years. Some days we’d have a late class, so I’d sleep in. Other days I’d have extra money on my food card, so I’d eat a bigger breakfast.
Routine is gone.
Now we are left wondering why some days start amazing and some are a trainwreck leaving the station. Having a morning routine that fits you and your schedule is key to starting your day. Plus, it gives you a higher chance at having both a successful and enriching day.
Over the years, I’ve had thoughts of “I’ll get up and try this in the morning” or “I’ll workout or read this”. But when I wake up, I don’t do it. It’s because it’s not been laid out, the routine is not there. I haven’t done a great job of quieting all the objections in my head, so they win.
But if I establish a routine, then the possibilities are endless.
3 Morning Routine Tips for Focus and Clarity
1. Get Going and Exercise
This doesn’t have to be an hour-long workout that hits every part of your core, but it does need to be intense enough to wake you up, make you sweat, and shake off the sleep.
I’ve always found running to be the best. But living in Canada, I’m not big on running in the snow. I could drive to work so I could exercise (or hit a gym on the way), but it never works out because something inevitably distracts me once I get there and it never happens. For me, 20 minutes is the optimal time to get your heart rate going and feel the burn.
What does that all involve? What exercises do you need to do? You decide – but stick with it.
2. Stimulate Your Mind
We each have that “thing” that enriches us and gives us a huge sense of accomplishment above all in our day. It could be listening to a podcast, writing a blog, or checking in some code. Maybe it’s a group of podcasts you listen to? Cycle through them. If it’s writing a blog each day, put 30 minutes aside to do so.
Whatever it is, find the “thing” that stimulates your mind to be ready for the day. Do it regularly, and make it part of your morning routine.
3. Improve Focus by Planning Ahead
We all have a plethora of things we need and want to do coming at us on a daily basis. But we can’t do it all in one day. Whether it is the night before or when you are doing your daily workout, think about what you need to do, and how long it will take for you to get it done. This will help set your day in motion.
By proactively focusing on what you are going to accomplish, you will be ready to push off those distractions (I’m looking at you, emails) that are going to come in and try to take focus away from you.
How long will all this take? That is up to you and your schedule. But the key is consistency. Develop the routine, build the rhythm, get up early enough so no one else hears you, and make it happen.