In “My Morning Routine”, authors Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander discuss their mornings before they instituted a morning routine: “The underlying stress of these mindless mornings fed into workdays of fluctuating moods and haphazard productivity. Far from feeling accomplished after a long day of work, we felt exhausted, and not at all excited to repeat the whole process the next day.” Their book, published in May of this year, interviews 64 different successful people about their morning habits, as well as giving advice on how to create a routine of your own.
The authors continue, “The way you spend your morning has an outsized effect on the rest of your day. The choices we make during the first hour or so of our morning determines whether we have productivity and peace of mind for the rest of the day, or whether it will clobber us over the head.”
Even a study done by Wharton School of Business has found that your mood in the morning tends to affect how you feel the rest of the day. According to professor Steffanie Wilk: “We saw that employees could get into these negative spirals where they started the day in a bad mood and just got worse over the course of a day.”
Although a morning routine will vary from person to person (the entire premise of Spall & Xander’s book is that each person has their own optimal routine), everyone can reap the same three powerful benefits from their daily morning routine:
No one likes the feeling of waking up late, skipping breakfast, and rushing to work only to be late anyways. By creating a daily morning routine, you add relaxation and consistency to your morning.
Instead of stressing about whether you’re prepared for the day, you can give yourself time to plan. Especially for those with families, the morning may be the only time that you can spend alone. Waking up a little earlier to give yourself some headspace can be the difference between a good and bad day.
“When you start your morning with intention you can bring your morning “wins” with you into the rest of the day,” says Forbes.
It feels good to start your day calm and organized. Beginning your day stress-free allows you to carry that feeling into the rest of the day, no matter what happens.
“A well-designed morning ritual allows you to become proactive from the moment the day begins. You’ll wake up feeling grateful for a new day and instantly start your day with a proactive approach. You’ll take control and make your own decisions. In short, you’ll actively decide what you want to accomplish and set clear goals for the day. No longer will your be at the mercy of your environment,” says Pick the Brain.
If you complete a task before the day has started, with it’s inevitable interruptions, emails and phone calls, you are able to quickly and efficiently establish a “win”. This win makes you feel motivated and accomplished, driving you forward to accomplish more tasks. Whether that task is personal or work related is up to you: either will give you momentum that you can take into your day.
Help you to develop positive habits
As the authors of My Morning Routine have said, “[If] you spend your morning spending quality time with your family or working on your passion project before heading into work, your mornings will become a meaningful, exciting time that you’ll actually look forward to when your head hits the pillow every night.”
You’ve probably read about decision fatigue— the concept that you have less and less willpower as the day goes on. By capitalizing on your morning willpower, you can motivate yourself to start a new meaningful habit, or make time for a lapsed one. You can even use your morning routine to habit stack.
“A morning routine sets the tone for the whole day, and if you do each day right, you’ll do life right.” says Cathryn Lavery.
Do you have a morning routine? How does it help you? Let us know in the comments!
Always trying to improve yourself? Read our article on how to become the most productive person you know.
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