A solid morning routine is the breakfast of champions. Having a go-to morning routine builds momentum into your day and lowers your decision fatigue. If you don’t have a morning routine you are missing out. It does not matter too much exactly what is in your routine, but having one is key.
The ingredients of a good morning
If a morning routine is to set you up for the day then it will benefit from a few key ingredients. Your morning routine should leave you hydrated, nourished, mobile and clear about what the days’ priorities are.
One thing I will be prescriptive about it starting by making your bed. When your alarm clock goes off get up and make your bed (unless your significant other is still asleep in it). In the Power of Habit Charles Duhigg reveals that “making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” Making your bed is the keystone habit that the rest of your morning routine will build on.
First thing in the morning is a great time to anchor habits. These habits can chain together from the simple instigating act of getting out of bed. Practising them daily will form a habit that you automatically execute without the need for willpower.
Having a fixed time to get up every day (yes the same time 7 days a week, even when you don’t have to go to work) is essential for good quality sleep. It also helps you to form a pattern form which you can build your routine.
My morning routine
After the alarm clock and making the bed my routine continues with a short mobility workout to get my body moving. Mine is not as extream as Brad Kearns but I do get out of bed to do it. While I’m doing this I’ll start drinking water. Unless you tape your math shut at night (yes that is a thing) you will wake up dehydrated.
I then go for a 30-minute run. When the mornings are light enough this is outside to get some time in nature. When it is dark I do it on a treadmill to get my body working. Wherever I’m running I take my water and keep drinking.
Just 45 minutes after the alarm went off and I have already ticked off things from my to-do list. I have made the bed, done some mobility & flexibility work, started to rehydrate and get a 5k run in. This has got my body in a good condition to start the day.
I then move on to a high protein breakfast with a nice coffee. I’ll not go into the pros and cons of various diets here. I find if I have toast, porridge or cereal I’m hungry well before noon. A 3 egg omelette keeps me going until lunch.
I confess that I don’t follow my multi-tasking advice over breakfast. While eating it I review my BuJo to remind myself of the commitments for the day and to set my priorities. I sometimes reflect on the goals for the day on my run but more often than not I’ll just listen to audiobooks and podcasts. My journal helps me be intentional about what I want to get done that day.
After breakfast, I jump in the shower and then get dressed. Obviously, I get dressed once I come out of the shower. Then I can head off to work ready to face whatever the day has to throw at me.
Things to keep out of your morning routine
Limiting yourself to external sources of information first thing can be powerful. Avoiding social media, the news, and your email inbox before completing your routine is important. It is easy to get dragged into other peoples agendas and time sinks especially before you have determined what you want to achieve that day.