A friend of mine, who I recently inspired to wake up early, now inspired me to write this by the fact that she has managed to wake up early for over a week now, and loves it! She never thought she would be able to do it, and actually used to call me crazy for starting this 5 am wake-up routine myself! However, she then tried it and now wakes up at 5 am every day of the week (sleeps in slightly on weekends, but that’s okay) and gets to work on her new personal project for a few hours each morning before work now.
I had another friend who asked me about how I did it as well, and from her asking, I realized a few different things that really help me to start, and maintain, my morning routine. When these same things are not present, they are also the reasons I hit snooze that extra time.
So I decided to share the 3 biggest tips to help you with your morning routine, and help skyrocket your morning productivity.
1 – Have a routine
Each morning I have set of things that I do right away, that require next to no thinking. Not only does this help you start your day in a way that doesn’t require much effort (good for a tired brain) but it gets you doing things right away, gives you a reason and a way to wake up, and also helps build in a little bit of a buffer for your wakeup.
My morning starts like this: I wake up at 5 am, I have a shower, I get dressed in my morning clothes (sweats) I put the coffee maker on, I brush my teeth, I make my coffee (I now do bulletproof coffee), and then I sit down with my iPad at the table to drink my coffee and allow myself 20 mins of watching a new vlog or tutorial on YouTube. Generally, I try to make this something that will help inspire me or get me in the mood for my day’s tasks ahead.
My next thing is my todo list, and I don’t actually “book” myself anything until 6, just to make sure I have that little buffer if I hit snooze. I have found that if I book myself to quick, then if something happens, even 10 mins off, it throws everything off and makes me start my day feeling behind, and it’s just not a good mood to start on. However, if I start my to-do list earlier then 6 am, then I already feel ahead and even more accomplished.
2 – Have your ToDo list READY
Have the first part of your day ready to go. The most important part is having a reason to wake up and get out of bed. Each night before I go to bed I sit down for 5 to 10 minutes and go over my to-do list for the next day. If you have ever heard of time block scheduling, I find this really helps. This list could be an accumulation of tasks I thought of during the previous day, but sometimes I need to sit down and think about what I should do to start the next morning. Tasks that don’t require other people, and that preferably are less distracting (like not social media browsing) are easy to check off and start off that accomplished feeling.
For me, this starts at 6 am, I block my time with things such as “reply to emails for 30 mins” or “research details about new software for 15 mins” or “edit 10 photos”. Notice, each one has a very exact time or amount, making them easy to accomplish and check off. There can also be small tasks like “ask Liam about Airbnb” in which case I just need to send an email, or “update calendar”, “read over latest blog post” or “QC latest podcast” which I know is a 20 min podcast so I think to my self that it will take 30 mins of making notes.
Whatever these tasks are for the morning, I try to plan out the first chunk of my day, from 6 am to noon works for me, but whatever works of for you till you need a little break. The tasks in the morning may inspire bigger tasks in the afternoon. You could also use the morning to work on your passion project or side hustle for a couple of hours before you go to work, so then factor that into your plans for the first few hours. Have a few blocked tasks, and include a few small tasks you can check off if you finish one of the block tasks earlier.
I use some different software to help with this, mainly ToDoist and Google Calendar, which I won’t go into detail about here, but in a future post I will discuss my research of different software that might help you for your needs. Let me know if you would find that helpful or if you have some specific software you would love to hear how I use it (I love to use productivity and organization software since I have a lot of projects on the go!)
3 – Have an overall goal
The most important, have a set goal, something you wish to achieve with this new found time. If you are just waking up for the sake of waking up, you will find it much more difficult to maintain.
Maybe that goal is to start the day off with getting your visit to the gym out of the way in the morning and develop your gym routine, or maybe you want to finish a book a week, and so each morning you want to read 2 chapters of your book to get the day started, or maybe you want to work on your blog so you can launch it in a month and work on making that your next full-time job. Whatever it is, know that and even write down your overall goals so you can refer to it from time to time. This goal can shift, as you move through different projects, but make sure you keep some overarching goal.
The beauty of the morning is there are no distractions, everyone is asleep, so if you answer emails you won’t be instantly bombarded by responses or phone calls. It’s also the start of the day, so that feeling of “its been a long day, I just want to watch my Netflix show” is a lot harder to justify. It’s so much easier to put yourself in the mentality of “I woke up this early, I better make this worth it!” which is much more productive.
Those are the three main tips that I hope can inspire you. Comment if you are going to try this, let us all help you stay accountable! Because telling other people also help you keep yourself accountable.
Until next time, always be creating.