Morning routines. I had heard about them for quite some time before I actually gave them a try.
Bloggers and YouTubers promised that they would increase productivity levels, lower stress, and about a dozen other things. When I heard that I immediately became skeptical and wrote it off as just exageration, refusing to even give it a try.
You see, I’ve always been a night owl. I still am, though I have a tendency to force myself to get up early.
It was only when I started working twice as much as I used to that I realized that a morning routine might actually be beneficial. I needed to get up earlier anyways, so I decided I might as well watch a few videos and read a bit about morning routines, so that I could give it a try.
Waking up early was difficult for me, to say the least.
Fortunately, I had some pretty good motivation. It didn’t take me long to find a pattern that made getting up early so much easier, because I quickly realized that I was happier and more productive when I got up early.
So instead of sleeping in until sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., I started getting up at 6:00 a.m.
I still didn’t have a routine in place though, I was only getting up earlier. But since getting up earlier was helping my mood and making me more productive, I decided to give morning routines a proper try.
And I have to say, I’m glad that I did. So here are 10 reasons why a morning routine will improve your productivity levels.
1. Starts the Day Pleasantly
The alarm goes off in the morning, demanding you to wake up. You stumble out of bed and turn it off or snooze it, while still half asleep. Then, like the zombie you are, you crawl back into bed, under the warm covers, and fall back asleep.
After that, there’s 3 ways your morning can go:
1. You keep snoozing your alarm, every five minutes, for around a half hour. Each time you fall back asleep, but you only get 4 minutes of sleep before the next alarm goes off. Finally you get annoyed enough to get out of bed, for real this time.
This means that you’re starting off your day by getting annoyed, and you’ll feel the same for the rest of your day.
2. About 2 or 3 hours after you turned off your alarm, you get woken up by a pet asking for food, or someone else wakes you up, and you’re forced to get out of bed and start your day. As you get up you realize just how much time you’ve wasted by sleeping, and you also realize that you don’t feel anymore energetic than when your alarm first went off.
You become anxious and/or angry, because now you’re behind your schedule and you don’t even feel any better than you did before.
3. Your snoozed alarm wakes you back up, or you wake up naturally after a few more pleasant hours of sleep. You feel refreshed and energized ready to take on the day. This is the best outcome to this situation, but unfortunately it only comes around every blue moon.
Those scenarios were what my mornings were like before I started getting up early and using a morning routine.
After I discovered this pattern of having bad days after sleeping in, with only the rare good day convincing me to sleep in, I started getting up early. It doesn’t matter how tired I am (unless I’m sick), since I know that chances are I’ll still be that tired after sleeping in.
Afterwards I feel pretty good about myself, because I got up early and got more work done than I would have otherwise.
Plus, my morning routine gives me enough time to relax a bit before I start working, which always puts me in a good mood. It also helps reduce my stress in the mornings, so overall my mornings go really well when I follow my routine. And when my mornings go well, my days tend to go well as well.
2. Gives You Time to Wake Up
One of the most difficult things about the mornings is waking up fully.
Usually I need at least 30 minutes to wake up properly, otherwise I’m just in an incredibly groggy state. Sometimes it even takes me a full hour before my brain is fully awake. During this half asleep state, I wander around zombie like.
Of course my zombie brain isn’t really good at doing things that it’s not used to, so having a routine keeps me in check.
My morning routine is usually 1 hour long, so that gives my plenty of time to wake up fully before I start working. This means that I’m a lot more productive at the beginning of my work day, and I get more work done during the entirety of the day.
3. Makes it Easier to Wake Up in the Mornings
Not only do I have more time to wake up in the mornings, it’s also easier for me to get up in the mornings when I have a morning routine in place.
I’m no longer battling my alarm clock when I wake up because I know that I have some extra time after getting up to do whatever I want. This leaves me excited for the day, and I actually look forward to waking up in the mornings, so that I can have those peaceful moments to myself.
Plus I tend to have bad days when I sleep in, so I have lots of motivation to wake up early.
4. Keeps You Calm and Focused
One of my favorite parts of my morning routine is that it’s a routine, so I know exactly how my mornings are going to go and I don’t need to spend time thinking about what I need to do. I can just go through my routine without stressing out about the small details.
I no longer have to overthink the little things.
5. Promotes Routine in Other Parts of Your Life
I wasn’t really one for routines before I started using a morning one. Sure, certain parts of my life would fall into routine (for awhile), but I would never actively seek out routines in my life. I thought routines were boring and stifling, so I automatically rejected them without giving them a fair try.
I was wrong.
I tend to be an overthinker, and I’ve struggled with anxiety in the past. Keeping routines has helped me avoid overthinking and really helps me when I’m feeling anxious; routines are my safety blanket, they’re something that I know well and they comfort me.
I wish I had tried out a morning routine a long time ago.
6. Creates an Opportunity for Growth
Waking up (and staying awake) when you feel like sleeping is a difficult thing to do, especially if you’re naturally a night owl like me. But persisting and changing your habits to improve yourself is a good way to personally grow.
Over the past few months I’ve grown a lot, and developing a morning routine has helped with that.
A couple of years ago, if you told me I would be consistently (and willingly) waking up at 6:00 a.m. and working hard all day, almost every day, I would have laughed at you. Just the notion of waking up early would have been strange to my younger self, let alone having the energy to work hard all day.
Now I wake up early and have productive work days.
I’ve changed, and I’m proud of that.
7. Promotes Self-Discipline
As I said, I found waking up early to be incredibly difficult, since I’m a night owl. And waking up early hasn’t magically changed me into a morning person either. Trust me, when I’m taking some time off I still revert to my night owl ways, staying up late and sleeping in even later.
But waking up early has remarkably improved my self-discipline.
I’m sure you’ve had those moments where you know you need to wake up early and you have good reason to do so. Maybe you even say them outloud so that you’re sure you’ll remember those reasons when you wake up the next morning.
And then you end up sleeping in anyways.
Somehow, while half asleep, you managed to convince yourself that sleeping in was more important than whatever rational reason you thought of for getting up early the night before. It used to happen to me a lot, and I always regretted it a few hours later.
Now I have enough self-discipline to follow my rational reasoning, even if I’m exhausted.
8. Gives You More Time
My morning routine usually goes like this:
- Wake up at 6:00 a.m.
- Go to the washroom
- Make the bed
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Start working
With that routine I’m able to start working at around 7:00 a.m. each morning. I like to take my time while I eat, so eating takes around 30 minutes for me, everything else takes another 30 minutes. I go to bed at 10:00 p.m., so I have lots of time during the day to work.
This really improves my productivity since I have lots of time, energy, and a positive outlook.
Sometimes I adjust my morning routine a bit, and somewhere after I go to the washroom, but before I eat breakfast, I squeeze in an extra 30 minutes of relaxing. This gives me some time to relax and gives me some peaceful time before I properly start my day.
9. Helps You Remember What to Do
I tend to fluctuate between getting distracted and forgetting what I need to do or overthinking things to the point where I just get in my own way, so without a routine or sense of structure in place I’m not a very productive person.
Sometimes I would even forget to eat breakfast in the mornings.
Now that I have my routine I know exactly what I need to do in the mornings. Unless I’m sick, I never start working in my pajamas, or forget to eat breakfast. I can’t even eat breakfast before getting dressed now.
I always know what I should be doing in the mornings, and what needs to come next.
10. Creates Good Habits
Overall, introducing a morning routine has created better habits in my life.
I wake up early, I work hard on the things I love, and I eat healthier.
Creating a morning routine has changed my life for the better, so I hope that if you’re skeptical you at least give it a try. I was skeptical too, but once I tried using a morning routine I saw just how useful they can be.