The Importance of Developing a Morning Routine

Picture this: It’s 7AM when you wake up and check your phone. Your boss has requests, your mom sent you a Bible verse, your sister wants to know if you can watch her dog, and your grandpa got the Wordle in four tries. (Why is everyone up so early?) You go from a blissful dream, or maybe not so blissful, to having a full inbox and heightened cortisol when it is already biologically at its peak. 

Modern technology has a way of making us reachable from the moment we wake to the moment we rest. Although you may feel like your smart phone controls you, that your boss needs an instant reply, or that you want to beat your grandpa by getting the Wordle in three tries, there are ways around a stressful morning. 

If you fall into this category, you are not alone. Enter: a morning routine. What you do first thing in the morning matters, and here’s why. 

Studies show that individuals who implement a morning routine display lower levels of stress, higher levels of productivity, and greater job satisfaction. The first 20 minutes upon waking are indicative and predictive of your daily outcome as the brain is most impressionable during that time. So, choose those 20 minutes wisely. 

If you are still struggling with implementing a morning routine, here are a few tips to help you jump the first hurdle. 

When your alarm sounds, count down from five. Literally, 5-4-3-2-1. 

When you hit 1, jump out of bed. It’s that easy! Hitting the snooze button or giving yourself “just 5 more minutes” will increase feelings of tiredness and leave you feeling groggy. 

Open the shades immediately. Getting sunlight first thing in the morning 

increases serotonin and boosts energy. Morning light can even help regulate           

the body’s circadian rhythm which will in turn promote deeper sleep the 

following night.

Make your bed. It may sound too simple, but such a task will elicit a sense of accomplishment right away and will enhance your focus. Author William H. McRaven states in his book, Make Your Bed, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.” 

Keep it simple. Keeping your morning routine simple will allow for consistency while developing healthy practices. 

Give yourself something to look forward to. Whether that be matcha, a hot cup of coffee, or a quick walk, practice small rewards to get you excited for the morning ahead. 

Keep your phone on airplane mode while you sleep. This way, you will not be inundated simultaneously by the sound of your alarm and messages demanding attention. If you wouldn’t let 20 people enter your room first thing, why let them enter your mind? Utilize the Ivy Lee method. Lastly, to prevent feeling overwhelmed, try out the Ivy Lee method. The night before, write out 6 tasks. 1 being most important, 6 being least important. Throughout the course of your day, do not move on to the next task until the one above is completed. This method is perfect for compartmentalization and helps to remove dread from an overwhelming day.

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