How to Build a Productive Morning Routine

If your morning routine looks something like throwing on the same outfit combo and grabbing coffee on the way out the door, I’ve been there. I used to think every minute of extra sleep was valuable, and I’d stay in bed as long as possible. But when I start my day in a rush, I feel like I never catch up, and that anxiety tints my whole day!

No matter how busy you are, you can build a morning routine that works for your schedule and helps you start your day with less stress and more productivity. No routine works for everyone, but there are basic building blocks that you can modify to work for your lifestyle. Figuring out what works best for you starts by looking at your current morning habits.

The first thing to do is list out all the things you have to do each morning. If your mornings vary, base your routine around your busiest morning. If your days are very morning-heavy, see if any tasks can be saved for later in the day. You’ll be amazed at how much stress you can alleviate just by writing down and organizing all your morning to-dos. Then, build in a little time each day for these customizable self-care rituals that will help you be more productive, organized, and energized all day long!

Wake Up Your Brain

woman waking up in bed

Don’t reach for your phone first thing after your alarm. The notifications, and accompanying anxiety, can wait. Instead, take a few minutes to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What are your goals for today? Enjoy the warmth and comfort of your bed. If you’re religious, take a moment to pray. A little meditation first thing will do wonders to boost your mood and get your morning started on the right foot.

If you’re prone to falling back asleep, make sure to set a second alarm!

Wake Up Your Body

Whether it’s a few stretches while you’re in the shower, a 15-minute yoga flow, or a full-on gym session, carve out some time to activate your muscles and move your body. Most of us spend our work days sedentary, and making time to be active helps prevent restlessness, improves our mood, and sharpens our ability to focus all day. Any time you ‘waste’ being active, you make up for in increased productivity.

Dress Yourself

Taking a little time to be thoughtful with what you wear will improve your mood all day. When you like how you look, your confidence is boosted and others will naturally gravitate toward you.

If you don’t have time to craft an outfit in the morning, take a moment before bed to lay out your clothes for the next day. Building a capsule wardrobe is another great way to ensure you always like your outfit.

Feed Your Brain

I like to take some time to read every morning. Whether it’s a fashion article or a chapter of a novel, I love taking half an hour all to myself to relax and be inspired. Choose something that works for you, but make sure it sparks further thought and teaches you something new. It could be listening to an audiobook or podcast, catching up on news, practicing a language, or even playing a puzzle game.

I am such a proponent of the growth mindset. Even though you may be done with formal education, you can always keep learning and improving your skills and value. If you’ve ever read one of those “5 Things Every Billionaire Does Before 9 AM” articles, this step is on all of them.

Feed Your Body

breakfast oatmeal with syrup and fruit

Don’t skip breakfast. There may be some debate as to whether it’s actually ‘the most important meal of the day,’ but you need at least a little slow-burning energy to carry you to lunch. If you don’t have time to assemble an elaborate meal, at least have a banana and peanut butter with your morning joe. Coffee alone, especially with sugar, is a good way to run out of steam.

Another way to save precious morning minutes is by meal-prepping breakfasts on Sundays. Check out some of my favorite breakfast and lunch meal-prep recipes here. A balanced, healthy breakfast goes a long way toward boosting your morning productivity, and while it may not make you a morning person, a little food in your stomach is definitely a mood-booster.

These five broad building blocks for a productive and happier morning are easy to adapt to any routine and lifestyle. If you’re still concerned about having enough time in your mornings, try working these practices in one at a time, and do what you can to prep for your day the night, or even the weekend, before. What does your morning schedule look like?

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