A Productive Morning Routine
There are many ways to a productive morning routine. You can start at 5 am, do some light exercise, write morning pages, talk to a chimp, or even eat a frog! Busy professionals share 12 ways they start their day with inspiring alternatives to kick start your mind, body, and soul, but most importantly, get things done.
12 Ways to a Productive Morning Routine
1. Join the 5 am Club
Join The 5 am Club – Through the enchanting story of an entrepreneur, an artist, and their eccentric billionaire mentor, The 5 am Club (2018) shows how embracing a revolutionary morning routine can deliver epic results. It explains how you can use the first hour of your day to drive personal growth and get the most out of life.
However, I am by default a night person, so I can get an incredible amount of work done in the evening. You need to do what works for you, but I can tell you one thing. If I go to bed at 10 pm I am awake by 4 am and ready to work by 4:30 am. If I go to bed at 2 am I am dead until at least 10 am. I actually need 2 hours less sleep if I go to bed early, this means 2 hours more in my day.
How do I know the details of my sleeping habits, because I have a Fitbit Ionic that gives me valuable insights and measures my sleep quality, sleep zones, and duration?
So despite being a night person, I actually rest a lot better and need less sleep when I go to bed early.
Experiment with your sleep patterns and see what works for you. Try a Fitbit smartwatch; it will help you learn about you.
Barry D. Moore: Founder – GreatWorkLife.com
2. A Disciplined Morning & An Easy Evening
By being disciplined in your workday, you have the opportunity to spend more time in the evening procrastinating and enjoying the simple life. If you do not have the discipline to focus on the critical business goals and tune out the distractions, you will end up spending more time at work. Sure 25% of that time was on social media, but psychologically you will return home late and drained from the day.
Imagine returning home at a reasonable time, spending a little more time with the family, and then playing around and really engaging with friends with an actual phone, Skype, Facetime, or WhatsApp video call. It is so much more rewarding than getting a “like” on Facebook.
3. Easy Morning Exercises
I know what you are thinking, “not another person telling me to have a workout before going to work.” But let me share what works well for me without breaking a sweat.
If you spend a lot of your day sitting in meetings or in front of your desk, you may be troubled with back problems or a weak core. To combat this, I simply do 10 minutes of stretching, situps, and core work every morning.
It is not really a cardio workout, and I do not really sweat, it is literally just enough to wake up and invigorate the body. For me, is it a great way to kick start my day and strengthen my core.
4. Try Morning Pages
Morning journaling is my most effective productivity tool. I spend ten minutes each morning writing—in the style of Julia Cameron’s famous “morning pages”—stream of consciousness style.
The writing is not for posterity or for keeping; it is simply a tool to clear my mind of the chatter and clutter so I can focus on a more productive day.
5. Your First Hour Monday
“I always suggest that a person spends the first hour of each Monday looking at and planning the week ahead. If you do this all in one go, then it saves you the time of trying to pick up where you left off each morning. Plus, you may even overlook some tasks or projects in the shuffle.
The best way to do this is to regularly use an organizational software like Asana, Trello or Teamwork, so that you can see all of your projects at a glance, along with due dates and any uploaded information. You can also see which tasks other members of the team are working on, which can be especially helpful if the current project is layered and will be passed from one person to the next.”
Angela Ash – Flow SEO – Expert content writer, editor & marketer
6. Eat a Frog in the Morning
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over ten years now, and the single biggest factor in my success has been productivity and organization, so I feel like I have a lot to say about making Mondays more productive, which you could add to your article.
To have a productive Monday, start the day before on a Sunday night. Do a quick weekly planning session for 5-10 minutes every Sunday evening. This means that you can hit the ground running on Monday morning. You won’t end up wasting time deciding what you should be working on. You just do it.
In my early years as an entrepreneur, I used to start on a Monday morning by looking at the email that had come in overnight and working through that. This killed my productivity on a Monday as I’d inevitably end up responding to low-value emails. By implementing a quick planning session on Sunday evening, I’d know exactly what I was supposed to be working on and could just wake up on Monday morning and start working on that.
Another point on top of this is around priorities.
“Pick the hardest task of that day and complete it first before doing anything else.”
Even if you do nothing else that day, you will still make good progress and be productive this way.
It also helps avoid procrastination. Many people end up doing small or unimportant tasks just to make it feel like they are making progress when they really aren’t.
For years I would focus on the small, quick tasks first. This meant I kept putting off the more challenging tasks. These tend to be those that would impact the business the most. As soon as I switched to doing the hardest task first, my productivity skyrocketed.
Scott Watson Co-Founder of Wickfree Candles
7. Talk to the Chimp
Here is the toughest challenge.
Eliminating internal distractions is especially difficult because, according to Professor Steve Peters, there is a Chimp chattering away in your head, giving you background stress and alerting you to any subconsciously perceived threats.
I have read this book three times, and it is an amazing insight into how we work.
It is real, and you can deal with it by talking to the chimp.
The Chimp Paradox changed my life.
8. Start Your Morning the Night Before
What is your favorite productivity or effectiveness tip?
Mine is simple: Make a To-Do list at the end of each day so you can hit the ground running on the following day. I’ve been doing this since I started my business over four years ago, and it has helped me immensely.
As a business owner, it’s easy to let a million little distractions derail your day. I’ve found that by having a concise list of things I want to accomplish — compiled before my day begins –, I am able to have much better focus.
What benefit did you realize by using it?
I’m someone who struggles to flip the “off switch” at the end of a workday. Making a to-do list at the end of my day for the next business day has become a mini-ritual of sorts that helps me bring closure to the current day.
If I have my list written down for the next day, it’s easier for me to unplug after work and spend quality time with my family — which is a top priority for me!
9. Plan Each Day
Lay Out Each Day, but Don’t Shy Away From Pivoting
Everybody is going to have their own system, but the closest thing to a universal tip in my eyes is laying out a schedule before you start each day. While you will still be able to tap into your productivity without doing so, you are limiting yourself by not building even a rough schedule.
Unless you are consciously monitoring it, you won’t realize just how much time is wasted between tasks deciding what to move on to.
Those little moments add up over the period of a week, month, year, etc. Some people view a daily schedule as this commitment with absolutely zero flexibility. Laying out a schedule is supposed to act as a guide, and it certainly allows you to pivot away if something more urgent comes up.
Some people thrive off of being able to build a daily schedule on the most granular level possible, and while commendable, it is not for everybody, especially those who have routines that are constantly changing.
Ultimately, it will boil down to a trial and error process of deciding what works best for you, but building a daily schedule is my suggested jumping-off point for those looking to be more productive with their time.
Barbara Hernandez-Taylor, Head of Product Marketing for Azuga
10. Put One Goal On The Whiteboard
As I work from home, staying productive is often one of my biggest challenges. So, I put a system in place to help myself stay on track of the goals I want to achieve for my business. I would write down the ONE goal for my business in big capital letters on my whiteboard. Personally, I work well with this visual and in-my-face kind of reminder.
Then, I would break it down into 3 to 5 actionable steps that I have to take consistently every single day. So, I know what exactly I have to do every day to stay productive and be on track to achieve my goal for my business.
Gladice Gong is a personal finance blogger who is passionate about helping people starting a business online
11. Focus on What Matters Every Day
My simple tip is to read the book “Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day.”
Nobody ever looked at an empty calendar and said, “The best way to spend this time is by cramming it full of meetings!” or got to work in the morning and thought, Today I’ll spend hours on Facebook! Yet that’s exactly what we do. Why?
In a world where information refreshes endlessly and the workday feels like a race to react to other people’s priorities faster, frazzled and distracted has become our default position.
But what if the exhaustion of constant busyness wasn’t mandatory? What if you could step off the hamster wheel and start taking control of your time and attention? That’s what this book is about.
12. Reduce Stress Boost Productivity
This book offers practical insights for the executive, manager, or professional who feels like their RPM is maxed out in the red zone. By making the concepts and practices of mindfulness simple, practical, and applicable, this audiobook offers actionable hope for today’s overworked and overwhelmed professional. New research shows that the smartphone equipped professional is connected to work 72 hours a week. Forty-eight percent of Americans report that their stress level is up and that the number one source of stress is the job pressure of a 24/7 world.
Packed full of simple yet effective stress-relieving strategies that you can start putting into practice today, this is a survival guide tailor-made to today’s fast-paced corporate world.