I am not a morning person. I do not wake up on the right side of the bed, birds do not help me get dressed and I definitely hit the snooze button more than once. Most days, I get out of bed with a scowl on my face and stay that way until I can get into the shower and shock my body into waking up by dumping tons of water on my head.
Mornings are definitely not my favorite, but I am on a mission to become a morning person.
I know I will never be able to be one of those people who loves waking up before the sun and is immediately bright and cheery the minute they roll out of bed. But I do want to be someone who takes advantage of those early morning hours to be productive and get my day started on the right foot.
In the last few months, I have both successfully and unsuccessfully established a morning routine. By that I mean I have an ideal morning routine – but some days I do it, others I don’t. In my quest to establish a morning routine, I’ve learned a few things about how to make my routine work for me.
1. It starts the night before.
The biggest indicator of whether or not I will wake up on time is when I get to sleep. To get my morning routine in, it’s so important for me to go to bed at a decent hour and get my eight hours of sleep. This, however, does not always happen.
There’s always more work that needs to be done – especially with juggling both a 9-5 job and a freelance side hustle. The house always needs more cleaning, I always need to squeeze that workout in, cook dinner, something.
We all have a lot on our plates, but it all comes down to staying organized and figuring out your priorities. Getting a full eight hours of sleep needs to be one of them. If I’m running on too little sleep, I’m not likely to wake up early and even if I do, the work I do is not my best.
2. A successful morning routine means a successful nighttime routine.
If you want to be productive in the morning, you need to set yourself up for success. That means prepping everything for the next day at night so you have less to worry about when you wake up.
For me, this means packing my lunch, packing my gym bag and choosing an outfit for the next day. These few simple tasks save me tons of time in the morning. This way, I have to less to think about and I’m ready to go. I don’t need to rush (something I hate doing but somehow always end up doing) and I’m out the door on time.
3. Do what you gotta do.
Don’t think that just waking up will make you more successful or productive. You need to have a plan in place to use those early morning hours to your advantage. Ask yourself, what do I want to accomplish?
Think about what the best use of that time may be. Many people like to work out in the morning to get exercise out of the way and spend their afternoon doing other activities. I hate morning workouts, so I use my morning time to get writing done. The quiet time lets me focus and get more done even when all I have is a short hour.
Or maybe for you morning is the perfect time to read that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand or catch up on the news. Whatever it is, with just a little prep and thinking, you can make the morning time a useful and productive part of your day.