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“Morning routines” has been a buzzphrase in recent years, but with good reason. Your morning is when you are fresh and gives you a chance to start your day off on the right foot.
In this post, I’ll give you a detailed walk-through of my typical morning routine as a working professional.
The biggest three things I look to accomplish through my morning routine is to…
- Be as efficient as possible
- Optimize my mind and body to take on the day
- Leave my home feeling good about myself
Let’s walk through my day. I’ll tell you what I do and why I do it.
1. WAKE UP BY 6:00 AM
My alarm is usually set at 5:45 am even though my workday doesn’t start until 9:00 am.
Why exactly 5:45? Well, I have just found that 5:45 is the best time that works for me that leaves me feeling well-rested, but not groggy.
If I sleep until 7:00, I usually feel groggy throughout the day.
If I wake up at 5:15, I feel too tired and sleep-deprived.
You have probably seen videos and read books from entrepreneurs and self-help gurus saying you need to be up by 5:00 am to be great and successful.
For myself, I see personal benefits from waking up early because between the hours of 6-9, my mind is fresh and calm and I have a sufficient amount of time to be productive and work on my projects and hobbies (such as this blog).
However, I wouldn’t prescribe that waking up by 6 am is a must.
Everyone is different. People have different sleep preferences and circadian rhythms and some operate better waking up at 5 am and others at 8 am.
The point is to find what works for you to have the best day you can.
2. DRINK A GLASS OF WATER UPON WAKING
Right after I wake up, I drink a glass of water. I find myself parched in the morning after a night of rest and I believe in the benefits drinking a glass of water can bring upon waking.
Some of the benefits may include:
- Rehydrating your body
- Improving mental performance
- Helping flush out toxins
- Jump-starting your metabolism
- Improving appearance
3. MAKE COFFEE OR TEA TO START THE DAY
If you are a coffee or tea drinker, next would be a good time to get your drink of choice brewing.
I like to get my coffee brewing first and then I take care of other things while it is brewing to be efficient on time.
The reason I drink coffee or tea in the morning is for the health benefits, the caffeine, and drinking something warm in the morning makes me feel whole.
4. MAKE THE BED
One of the things I do while my coffee is brewing is make my bed.
Entrepreneurs and authors swear by making your bed in the morning.
It is seen as an easy way to accomplish your first task of the day and build momentum.
I believe so too. Once my bed is made, I have accomplished one small task that will ease me into the larger tasks I have to accomplish for the day.
Along with that, as I make my bed orderly, I also feel that my mind is orderly too.
When I work at my desk in the morning in my apartment, having a cluttered bed would have my mind feeling cluttered as well.
In the last year, I have been experimenting with breathing exercises to start the day. You have probably heard of the “Wim-Hof” method of breathing.
His method basically involves…
- Doing 30-40 power breaths
- Holding your breath for a short amount of time
- Breathing in 10 seconds and holding it another 10 seconds
- Repeating steps 1-3 for as many rounds as you would like
I typically only do one or two rounds of this.
Some of the benefits of the Wim Hof method I use it for include:
- Supplying oxygen to the body and brain
- Relieving stress
- Increasing energy
- Improving concentration
Wim Hof describes many more benefits you can check out here.
I find myself more alert after about a minute of power-breathing.
During this time, my coffee is still probably brewing, so this doesn’t take any extra time out of my morning, but has a big impact.
6. PRODUCTIVE WORK
At this point in my morning, it has probably been 15 minutes since I have woken up.
It’s now time to be productive and get things done!
I’m not talking about working on things for my 9-5 job. I’ll leave that work to be done once I get there.
During this time, I am looking to be productive by reading, learning, writing, or working on my side hustles.
I’ll usually watch about 15 minutes of instructional YouTube videos while my mind still wakes up.
Following that, I’ll get to work on my side hustles, which can include this blog and my YouTube channel.
I’ll usually work on this for 45 minutes to an hour.
I’ll then read for about 30 minutes if I have time. Reading is something I try to do every day, but don’t always have time to do.
One thing to remember when designing your morning routine is that it can be flexible. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t fit everything in every single day.
Just be productive.
7. EXERCISE TO GET THE BLOOD PUMPING
As another way to get a big task out of the way and wake myself up, I like to get any form of exercise done in the morning.
This can be 15 minutes or a full-hour workout, but I like breaking a sweat and getting my blood flowing in the morning.
Benefits of working out include:
- Increasing energy levels
- Increasing mood through the endorphins and hormones released
- Getting oxygen and blood flowing through the body and brain for peak performance
- Lowering stress levels
After a workout, I feel amazing and it helps me get to work energized and primed for the day.
8. BRAIN EXERCISES TOO!
Just as you would warm up the body when preparing for a workout, you can also warm up your brain before preparing for your day.
I frequently use the app Peak, which is an app with brain exercises to help improve cognitive skill.
The app has games to help improve memory, problem-solving, language, focus, mental agility, emotion, and coordination.
If I have 10 minutes to spare, I’ll play a few games just to fire off different parts of my brain to warm it up and get those gears going.
The app has pre-made daily workouts for you, testing different areas. The games are fun to play too!
9. MEDITATION AND GRATITUDE
After the exercise and brain games, you’ll find yourself a little amped up. It’s after this time that I like to meditate to bring that energy into a calm, yet alert and focused state.
I simply sit in a comfortable position on my chair or couch and take no more than 5 minutes to calm down and clear my mind.
During my meditation, I focus on slowing down my breathing which puts me in a calm state.
Once my mind is cleared, I’ll practice gratitude and think of the things that I am grateful for. This is uplifting and gets you into a positive mood.
10. PLANNING OUT THE DAY
With the focus and clarity from my meditation, I then take a few minutes to plan out the rest of my day.
I use the Google Keep app to type in the large tasks I want to get done for the day.
I use the Keep app because I can pull it up on my phone or my computer and the app itself is visually appealing and user friendly.
11. SHOWER, WITH A HINT OF FREEZING WATER
One of the final parts of my morning routine is a shower. After going through the prior steps of my routine, a shower helps freshen me up for the day.
I typically shower with the water hot because it is soothing, but for the last 30 seconds to a minute, I turn the shower temperature to the coldest temperature.
Cold showers have also been a trend people rave about these days.
Here are some of the benefits of cold showers:
- Improves blood circulation
- Strengthens your resilience
- Lowers stress levels
- Lowers depression symptoms
- Increases testosterone levels
- Increases mood and alertness
Ending my showers under cold water has had 100% effectiveness for me in wiping away any remaining tiredness or sluggishness.
It’s much easier said than done, but it does work. I can tell you that.
12. GET DRESSED AND READY
Finally, I get dressed and ready to head out.
I’m not personally one of those people that pick out their outfits the night before. While I warm the shower, I take 20 seconds to pick out a fit.
After I’m ready, the morning routine is done and I take on the day, having accomplished the three things I set out to accomplish during my morning routine:
- Be as efficient as possible
- Optimize my mind and body to take on the day
- Leave my home feeling good about myself
WHAT TO AVOID IN YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
Waking up too late
Do what is comfortable for you, but I stay away from waking up too late.
When you wake up too late, you roll into work tired and there is not enough time before you waking and when you go into work to get anything done.
Laying in bed too long after waking up
I try to get out of bed within a minute of waking up, but during those days when I woke up groggy, I’ll give myself 5 minutes to wake up.
You may feel tired, but staying in bed for an extended period of time isn’t going to be conducive to waking you up. Getting out of bed gets things going and moving.
I never hit the snooze button. If my alarm goes off, I am up for the day.
Allowing yourself to hit snooze and sleep longer wastes time and prolongs the tiredness you feel.
When it comes to social media, I’ll quickly browse it in the morning to check messages from my friends and I’ll also check what’s trending on Twitter to stay in touch with current events.
That’s about it.
Social media can be toxic, although I have done a good job of filtering that out of my feed through who I follow.
But reading through toxic content can waste away your mental energy in the mornings and throw off the mindset you try to build up through a morning routine.
Watching toxic news channels
I don’t watch TV in the morning and I stay away from toxic news outlets.
You know which ones I am talking about.
Again, this can waste away your mental energy, get your state of mind out of alignment, and just doesn’t do anything beneficial for you.
If you are interested in news and current events, find a reputable website or app to consume content from.
You’ll be able to quickly read headlines and choose what you want to read. When watching news on TV, you have to listen to what they are talking about, which may not interest you and takes more time than skimming an app.
Eating a heavy breakfast with carbs and sugar
Personally, I don’t eat breakfast in the morning because I intermittent fast (ahh yes, another popular buzzword and trend).
I like the way my body feels in the morning and skipping breakfast saves time.
I’m not perfect though. I eat breakfast from time to time, mostly in social situations where I am meeting with a friend or business contact for breakfast or brunch.
When I do eat, I avoid carbs and sugars and generally eat a light portion of whatever I decide to eat.
Carbs and sugars can cause a whole mess of damage that can negatively affect how you feel throughout the day.
Leaving your home with things unorganized
When I leave my apartment, I always make sure things are tidy.
I mentioned making your bed earlier in the post, but I also like to organize everything else including my desk, kitchen, bathroom and living room.
When I leave and things are organized, I feel like my life is organized.
It’s also a great feeling to come home and walk into an organized, clean, and welcoming environment.
Well, there it is for you.
That’s what a typical morning of mine looks like as a working professional.
This morning routine was crafted through trial and error, finding out what worked for me and what didn’t.
I hope this can jog some ideas for you and your morning routine to help you structure one that works.
I believe morning routines are important. They give you structure and allow you to be productive and get your mind, body, and plans right for the day.
Experiment and try things out and you’ll find that once you land on something that works, your days will be more productive and go by much better than before.