12 morning routine hacks for a productive day ahead

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Are you tired of waking up groggy and struggling to get motivated for the day ahead?

Sick of hitting snooze and wasting time?

If so, look no further! In this article, I’m going to share 10 morning routine hacks to set you up for a productive day ahead:

P.S. – As someone who was notoriously rubbish at keeping a good morning routine, I can attest that these hacks do work and will revolutionize how you start your day!

Let’s jump in:

1. Use the correct type of alarm or app to wake up to

I know how tempting it might be to have House of Pain’s “Jump Around” as your alarm ringtone, but it’s not exactly the best way to wake up…

You see, as your mind and body slowly emerge from slumber, the last thing you need is something extremely stimulating that’s going to shock you out of bed.

That’s why it’s best to go for an app or alarm ringtone that simulates the sun rising and gentle sounds to gradually wake you up… the key here is to wake up calmly!

And when it does wake you up, avoid hitting the snooze button.

You see, every time you hit snooze, you’re already “failing” at something, before you’ve even got out of bed. This isn’t a good way to set yourself up mentally for a productive day!

But don’t worry – it’s not time to get up from your nice warm bed just yet…

2. Don’t jump out of bed straight away

I’m all about starting the morning in a relaxed manner – especially if you want to have a productive day ahead.

So, rather than jumping straight out of bed after your alarm sounds, start to stretch your body, slowly working your way up from your toes to your face.

Use this 5-10 minutes to slowly move your body, but also to wake up your mind.

Don’t start visualizing all the things you’re dreading or the emails you need to send, instead, visualize how you’re going to have a great day ahead.

Give yourself a little pep-talk if needs be, think of things to look forward to and then count down…

3…2…1…now it’s time to get out of bed!

3. Put your phone away after turning off your alarm

After you’ve done this, put your phone away.

The reason?

There’s too much stimulation; emails, messages, social media notifications, and the dreaded worldwide news.

That’s the last thing you need to fill your mind with as soon as you wake up!

Plus, the stimulation will also trigger your stress response; you’ll go into overdrive before even having a cup of coffee!

So, the bottom line is:

Put your phone away for at least 30 minutes after you wake up. This will allow you to start the day with YOU being the priority, not the rest of the world!

4. Make your bed

Okay, you’ve got out of bed, put your phone away, and now it’s time for the next step:

Make your bed!

Now, I’m not saying this just because it’s good for the mind to have a clean room, but because by making your bed, you’ve already achieved a small accomplishment.

This will set you up for the rest of the day when you’ve got harder tasks to face and have to be more productive!

In my own case, since my partner works nights I can’t make the bed, so I see to my cats’ first thing in the morning instead.

Once I’ve finished cleaning and replenishing their cat bowls and other unsightly, less enjoyable tasks (cat owners will know what I mean), it’s one job I can tick off my list!

5. Get active or get outside for some fresh air

Now that you’ve achieved your first accomplishment for the morning, it’s time to get active.

But here’s the thing, I’m not going to preach about going for 10k runs first thing – let’s be realistic.

You can do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

Whether that’s 15 minutes of yoga in your living room or a brisk walk around the block, the point is to get active and if possible, get some fresh air and vitamin D!

The benefits in terms of productivity include:

  • Getting your blood moving and heart pumping (so you have more energy)
  • Boosting your metabolism (so you can eat a healthy breakfast)
  • Improving the quality of your sleep (so you’ll sleep well the following night)
  • To help you focus during the day (so you can tackle your work like a boss!)

But if you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, this next point might help you out…

6. Put upbeat music on while getting ready

That’s right, now you can bust out some House of Pain if you really want to!

Music has incredible effects – not just on the body but also on the mind.

So if you struggle to exercise, why not dance?

It’s less of a chore and you probably do it anyway when your favorite song comes up. Boogey along while you brush your teeth or shimmy your way into the kitchen for a coffee, whatever floats your boat!

But that’s not all…

Mentally, music can be great for putting you in a good mood. It can uplift your spirits, and help you get motivated and ready for some productivity!

Now, a little motivation might be needed for this next point, so don’t switch off the music just yet…

7. Take a cold shower

Yes, I know, I’m not a fan of the cold either.

So I’ll let you in on a little trick here:

Start your shower at the normal temperature you enjoy. Toward the end of the shower, slowly reduce the hot water until you reach a comfortable “cool”.

Then, about 2-3 minutes before you’re ready to get out, switch to completely cold.

This gives your body a chance to adjust, so rather than a freezing cold shock first thing (that’ll probably traumatize you and your neighbors) you can gradually work your way to having a “cold” shower.

And hey, the benefits are great! Some include:

  • Increased energy levels throughout the day
  • Better focus and concentration
  • The release of happy hormones (endorphins)
  • Reduce inflammation and pain

The truth is, once you get into the habit of a cold shower, you’ll never look back!

8. Prepare a breakfast that you’ll actually look forward to eating

Now, after all this, you should have worked up an appetite.

This is one of the most important morning routine hacks to set your day for a productive day ahead.

Why?

Because your body and mind need fuel!

And since you’ve done the steps above, there’s no way your stomach won’t be grumbling.

I’m not one to eat in the morning, but the combination of exercise and the cold shower means I get to enjoy a good, healthy breakfast.

But one thing to keep in mind; sugary cereals or toast slathered with Nutella aren’t the best way to go.

You need slow-burning carbohydrates and nutrients.

The trick is to prepare a breakfast you’ll actually enjoy and look forward to. Even if it takes you 15-20 minutes, it’s worth it over a fast and cheap option!

9. Allow yourself time to do one creative thing before you start work

Next up on our morning routine hacks, I’ve factored in some “you-time”.

This means a space of 15-30 minutes where you get to do anything that makes your heart happy.

Whether that’s listening to your favorite podcast, reading a book, or painting a picture, the point of this is to do something creative.

Get those juices flowing and activate your mind ready for a productive day ahead.

10. Make a task list the night before and complete it first thing

Finally, this hack is actually something to start the night before, but it’ll help your morning routine…

Make a list of the most important tasks you need to complete the night before.

This is good for two reasons:

  • You can write it down, put it out of your mind, and forget about it until the next morning (so no worrying about work while you try to sleep)
  • You’re ready to go in the morning with a clear purpose of what you need to do

But the trick with this is to complete the top 3 important tasks on your list FIRST.

Everything else can come afterward.

Why?

Well, it’s best to tackle the most difficult tasks while you still have full energy and focus.

All the steps above will have got you to this point, so now all that’s left is to consult your pre-prepared list and get going!

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a foodie, writer and traveler. She considers herself a citizen of the world, who gets her inspiration from the people she meets along her journeys. She's currently living in Spain, where she spends her time writing, watching the shepherds and eating tapas in the mountains of Andalucía.

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