Is your must-do list long and the list of things you want to accomplish even longer? Are you trying to figure out how to create more hours in the day so you can get it all done? Or maybe you are just curious about my morning routine.
Waking up earlier probably sounds dreadful. Sleep is important. And you might be wondering if it’s really possible to get anything done while still groggy and half asleep.
Amazingly – even half asleep – you WILL be able to accomplish things.
I was too.
But I was in dire need of an extra 90 minute uninterrupted time block in my day. I decided I had nothing to lose. I challenged myself to wake up an hour earlier than normal for three weeks.
It’s been almost a year and a half since my personal challenge. My morning routine, from 5:30am -7:30am, is now the most productive time of my day.
If the thought of an extra uninterrupted 90 minute time block in your day sounds heavenly to you keep reading. This post will cover:
- Easing into Your New Morning Routine
- Prepare the Night Before
- Start with Easy Tasks
- My Morning Routine
- Give Yourself Grace
How to Create a Morning Routine You Can Stick With
1. Ease into it your new morning routine
Are you (or your spouse) worried how are you going to function the rest of the day if you are waking up that much earlier?
A great way to overcome this fear, and your desire to hit snooze, is to ease into your new morning routine.
I’ve read a lot of articles that suggest waking up 30 minutes earlier the first week then increasing that time by 30 minutes each week for three or four weeks.
If you are someone that can accomplish tasks in a 25 to 30 minute time blocks go for it. If you’ve already trained yourself on the 25-minute Pomodoro Technique then this is probably a great first step for you.
But if you are like me, and at the 20 minute mark of a 25 minute time block you are just finding your groove, I’d like to suggest something different.
Start by waking up one full hour earlier.
One hour gives you time to fight your subconscious that wants to stay in your cozy bed. It gives you time to make coffee and shake the sleep out of your head. And it still leaves you with 40-45 minutes of time to work.
I started my morning routine this way and after two weeks added a second hour. I maintain this schedule 6 days a week. I usually “sleep in” on Saturday which really means getting up at the same time as the rest of my house.
2. Prepare the Night Before
Set a backup alarm clock before you go to bed. Just kidding! What I really mean by preparing the night before is to leave yourself some quick wins ready to go.
I find I’m the most productive if I leave myself a list of three things to work on. One of the items might take up the whole two hours or maybe all three only take 20 minutes combined.
The length or size of the task isn’t important. Your goal the night before is to reduce your need to make decisions the next morning. Be kind to yourself and don’t start your morning with decision fatigue!
Set yourself up for success the night before. If you want to use your uninterrupted morning time to edit a presentation, leave the presentation open on your computer before you go to bed.
If writing thank you notes helps turn your brain on, pull out the box of thank you notes and stamps the night before.
If a real win for you is going for a 20-minute walk, pick out your exercise clothes the night before. And don’t forget to put your socks with your shoes. Or am I the only one that can’t find matching socks at the crack of dawn?
3. Start with Easy Tasks
Earlier I mentioned easing into you new morning routine by setting yourself up for success. And just above I talked about preparing the night before.
I want to emphasize how important it is to allow yourself some easy wins to build from. Who wants to give up precious sleep if the only result is to spend the rest of the day acting like Oscar the Grouch?
Make sure to give yourself some easy wins that first week to create enough momentum to motivate you to keep getting out of bed. Some first week wins include:
- Write out your to-do list
- Write old fashion snail mail thank you/nice to have met you notes
- Watch a unit in a Course
- Update an old document or post
- Finish a social media graphic in Canva
- Or even fold the laundry, pay the bills or do a short exercise video.
Be successful with your new hour. Give yourself a reason to wake up the next day
4. My Morning Routine
Now that we have addressed how to create a morning routine you can stick with let’s talk about an example of a morning routine – my morning routine.
If you skipped everything above and are only reading this to learn what my morning routine looks like, that is completely okay! I wanted to know how other woman did it too when I decided to start waking up early to create more hours in my day.
When I’m not interrupted by the occasional early waking of my preschooler, my morning routine Sunday – Friday looks like this:
5:35 – 5:50 am
10-15 min Morning Yoga, Pilates or Exercise Video on YouTube
- My daughter LOVES Cosmic Kids Yoga. I have to confess that on mornings assigned to exercise, if I’m struggling to wake up, I do the Betsy Banana YouYube video by myself!
5:35 – 5:50am
Scroll though Facebook or my personal email
- The experts will tell you this is a no-no and I do agree with them.
- When I first started my morning routine, I didn’t allow myself this option. But now that I’ve been waking up at 5:30 for so long I’ve added this back in a couple mornings a week.
5:50 – 7:30am
- I keep my to-do lists in Trello and usually pick my morning tasks from there.
Make my daughter’s lunch and get everyone up.
You might be wondering where “take a shower” is. My daughter’s school starts at 9am and I work from home so my morning routine doesn’t always need to include getting dressed for an office.
On the days I have meetings outside my home I make trades. Sometimes I wake up at 5am and sometimes I end up with only an hour of work time and no morning exercise.
This is my morning routine and is meant to be an example morning routine. I’ve shared my morning morning routine to show you it really can work.
Your morning routine might end up looking a lot different then mine.
The most important step to creating a morning routine and gaining more hours in your day is to just get started!
5. Give Yourself Grace
New habits are hard. If it was easy you would already be doing it, right?
Give yourself some grace. This isn’t an excuse to hit snooze and go back to sleep. But this is an encouragement that it’s okay if the first few mornings you sit at your desk, or on your sofa with your laptop, and accomplish nothing.
Because you DID accomplish something. You got out of bed an hour earlier!
You took a tangible step toward creating more time in your day.
It will get easier. Really it will. Really.
Build in a reward for yourself for sticking with it. Maybe new wireless headphones (AirPods are on my wish list!) Or maybe earning 10-15 minutes to scroll on Facebook is reward enough.
My reward is sleep in on Saturday mornings. If I wake up Sunday – Friday without hitting snooze I can choose to sleep in on Saturday.
Waking up early to create more time in your day and creating a new morning routine you can stick with doesn’t happen overnight.
But by easing into your new morning routine, preparing the night before, starting each day with easy tasks and giving yourself grace you can create a morning routine that works for YOU!
Still not convinced?
My morning routine doesn’t fit your needs? Or maybe you just need a little more motivation or some more tips?
Check out these post if you still need another nudge:
Pam Sthal How to Build a Healthy Morning Routine that Works FOR YOU!!
The Thriving Lady 5 Tips For A Successful Morning Routine
Tayloring The Good Life Habits to Start the Day Positively
A Simple And Contented Life My School Morning Routine and How to Create One That Works for You
Natural Working Moms 5 Tips to Get Kids Going In the Morning
Empowered Single Moms 8 Ideas from My Night Routine to Make Tomorrow A Good Day
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