Just the thought of mornings is enough to make many people cringe. Whereas some of you may be able to jump right out of bed and start being productive, the majority of us struggle. There’s no need for mornings to be painful, though — all you need is a morning routine. In fact, there are numerous benefits of having a morning routine.
What Is a Morning Routine?
From the moment you wake up, your mind is flooded with all the things you need to do. This can feel so overwhelming that you end up wasting time. A morning routine means you perform the same basic tasks in the same order every day.
Science-Backed Benefits of a Morning Routine
Morning routine benefits are both psychological and physical.
1. Prepare Yourself for the Rest of the Day
How you spend the morning will influence the rest of your day. If you start feeling rushed or lazy, expect that sensation to remain with you. A morning routine, however, gets you on track from the moment you wake up and puts you in the right frame of mind.
2. Increase Your Productivity
With a morning routine, you start the day right. You spend every moment of your time on something valuable and productive from the moment you wake up.
Maintain this feeling throughout the day to avoid wasting time. You’ll find that you’re able to focus and are more likely to finish tasks — as opposed to starting several and leaving half of them incomplete. When you reach the end of the workday, you’ll know you achieved all that you could and can relax in the evening without worries.
3. Feel in Control
When you have many commitments, it can feel like you’re rushing through one task to the next. Your day starts to control you, rather than the other way around. A morning routine may cover just a small part of your day, but it could be a step toward helping you regain control.
4. Lower Stress
Stress often occurs when you feel like you lack enough time to complete all your responsibilities or you worry about what needs doing next. When you have a routine, you always know exactly what you should be doing and what follows. You can complete your entire routine without even thinking. Plus, you’ll know that you have enough time to finish everything without rushing.
When you avoid stress, you improve both your emotional and physical health. For instance, it may decrease your risk of developing depression and anxiety along with illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
5. Develop Healthy Habits
It may be tempting to hit the snooze button or to stay in bed with your phone instead of getting up immediately, but these habits waste your time. When you have a routine, it’s much easier to avoid bad habits and to develop healthy ones. You may start eating a substantial breakfast, practice mindfulness, or even make time to exercise in your morning routine before work.
Such healthy habits will carry over into the rest of your life. You may well find that you start eating better, exercising more often, or wasting less time on your phone in general.
6. Boost Your Energy Levels
The reason many people hate mornings is because their energy levels are low early in the day. A great thing about a morning routine is that it can increase your energy, especially when you give yourself no time to be lazy and dedicate all your time to your scheduled activities.
If you want an extra energy boost, include a high-intensity workout, meditation, or a cold shower in your morning routine.
7. Improve Relationships
There are several ways something as simple as a morning routine can impact your relationships. The big one is lowering stress. It is common to take out stress on a loved one, even though the person may have nothing to do with your frustrations. When you reduce stress, you’re less likely to snap at someone.
A morning routine will also mean that you’re more accessible to your family, which is critical for improving relationships. When you’re better organized, you have more spare time to spend with family members.
Developing a morning routine is most important for improving relationships with the people you live with. When your family or roommates know your schedule for the morning, they can work around you. There will be no disputes about who gets to use the bathroom and no problems with two or more people trying to share the kitchen at the same time.
8. Combat Forgetfulness
When you have the same routine every day, it’s much more unlikely you’ll forget something. Without even thinking, you’ll go through the motions of getting ready for work. The chances are slim that you’ll arrive to work and realize you left something you need at home. There will also be a lower risk that you forget to do an important chore, like taking the trash out or closing the door to your bedroom to stop your dog sleeping on your bed.
9. Improve Your Confidence
When you’re calm and collected, you naturally feel more confident. Plus, better time management will mean you accomplish more, which can also improve your self-esteem.
Finally, giving yourself enough time for personal care in the morning can improve your self-confidence. When you set aside a portion of time just for personal care, there’s no need to rush. You can spend time carefully doing your hair and choosing clothes that make you feel good.
10. Learn to Be Flexible
Your morning routine is just the beginning of your schedule. It’s normal that things won’t always go exactly as you hoped, meaning you’ll need to adapt. Sticking to your morning routine as often as possible is great, but you’ll also need to learn to be flexible if something unexpected happens. Learning to adapt your morning routine around such events will train you to be flexible in other aspects of your life.
How to Start a Morning Routine
Starting a morning routine is simple. Just create a short schedule for the morning, beginning with the moment you wake up. Experiment with different orders of activities to find out what works best for you.
Examples of Winning Morning Routines of Successful People
Need some inspiration for your morning schedule? Consider including some of the activities from the morning routines of these successful people.
1. Tony Robbins: Cold Plunge Pool
As we mentioned above, a cold shower is great for increasing your energy levels for the day. Life coach Tony Robbins takes this a step further: he plunges into a 57-degree Fahrenheit pool for a “radical change in temperature.” If (like most people) you’re not lucky enough to have a plunge pool, a cold shower will give you much the same result.
2. Tim Draper: Play Basketball
Venture capital investor Tim Draper starts his day early with a game of basketball. He says he does this for the release of endorphins exercise brings. He follows the workout with a breakfast of three eggs (for their high levels of protein), which keeps his appetite in check and helps him stay focused.
3. Muhammad Ali: Read Inspiring Content
Boxer Muhammad Ali would start his day by reading empowering affirmations. His idea was that repeatedly reading the same affirmations would change his beliefs, subsequently changing his behavior and thoughts. You can do the same to prepare for success.
4. Dr. Nick Zyrowski: Meditation
Lifestyle expert Dr. Nick Zyrowski wakes up before the rest of his family and spends 30 minutes meditating. This puts him in the right state of mind and gives him the chance to set goals for the day.
5. Elle Russ: Mindfulness
Best-selling author Elle Russ definitely understands the benefits of a morning routine: she starts her mindfulness practice before she even gets out of bed. She gives herself a few moments to stretch and express gratitude for her body and health. She then chooses an intention for the day, saying it out loud to solidify it.
6. Payal Kadakia: Talk to Loved Ones
Founder of ClassPass, Payal Kadakia makes sure to chat with her husband every morning. She even makes the effort to call him in the morning when she is traveling. As well as helping her feel positive for the rest of the day, it ensures her relationship always stays top priority, no matter what else she has going on.
7. Arianna Huffington: Leave the Phone Alone
It is just as important to avoid wasting time during your morning routine. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, never begins her day looking at her phone. Instead, she wakes up slowly, taking deep breaths, reminding herself of what she is grateful for, and defining an intention for the day.
There is no question that structuring your morning is worthwhile — you just need to look at the scientific benefits of a morning routine to see that. Plus, as you have seen from the morning routines of successful people, there is no need for it to be anything complex. But the best thing about a morning routine? You can start one right away! Come up with a morning routine for yourself and put it into action tomorrow.
Once you’ve created your morning routine, it’s time to move onto other areas of your life that need improving. A next step to take could be to strike a better work–life balance. We have some great tips to help you get started.