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Can’t Keep Up With Your Morning Routine? 6 Ways to Make It Stick Again

Can’t Keep Up With Your Morning Routine? 6 Ways to Make It Stick Again

You just sometimes wish you are more organized in the morning and more productive so that you could start your day relaxed, instead of running around and trying to squeeze everything into one hour before you hit the road and go to work. We do want to change our habits, and we do make plans, but oftentimes, it is so difficult to stick to the routine, especially in the morning, and after a week or two, you go back to your old habits.

So, why does it feel like a torture to have a routine and stick to it?

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Why It’s Hard to Stick to Your Morning Routine

  • You get tired of doing the same things every morning: When you make plans what to do every morning, you get excited. But, after a while, you get really bored, and it starts to feel tiring and you no longer find pleasure in doing those things, you begin to see it as just another obligation.
  • You need to leave for work really early: Your work starts too early, and you get up at the crack of dawn, so it’s feels rather impossible to do everything you plan in the morning. You want to do so many things, but there is so little time.
  • You are not the morning type: You don’t like mornings, and you are not enthusiastic about doing any kind of activity that is not necessary before heading out to work. You just want to brush your teeth, have a shower, maybe have breakfast, if necessary, get it over with, and leave the house.
  • You are not organized: You really have good intentions, but are just all over the place, and don’t know where to start. Eventually, you end up not doing anything you planned.

Negative Emotions May Stay With You for a Whole Day When You Can’t Follow Your Morning Routine

But, why is it important to have a morning routine in the first place? If you start your day in chaos, running around, rushing to get everything done, you will feel nervous. And if you feel nervous in the morning, that negative feeling will stay with you throughout the day. It’s better to start your mornings with positive energy, well rested and productive. If you want to feel great in the morning, you need to have a pre-planned routine you will stick to. Luckily, we have a few tips for you how to overcome the obstacles when trying to stick to your routine.

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6 Ways to Make Your Morning Routine Stick Again

  • Pick the right activities to do before bed: If you wish to get a good night sleep, no phones, tablets, computers, or TV before bedtime. You may want to try some relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating or listening to some relaxing music. Once you start going to bed earlier, it will be easier to get up earlier as well.
  • Take small steps to wake up earlier: If you still have the urge to smash your alarm clock in the morning, try to gradually change the time when you wake up, so don’t go from 7 am to 6 am in one day. Fist, set your alarm 5 or 10 minutes earlier than usual, than work your way to the desired time day by day. This way, it won’t be such a big change and you will have time to get use to it.
  • Less is more: You may want to cram all your favorite activities in the morning. But, ask yourself, will you feel overwhelmed by doing this? You need to choose the one that put you in the good mood and give you energy for the day ahead. If you love to exercise, find a short 15-minute exercise program to do in the morning. And that’s all. Nothing more.
  • Speed up rituals like fixing your hair or doing make-up: Find tutorials with quick styling tips and start saving time. Prepare everything you are going to wear and everything you need to bring to work the night before, as it will save you a lot of time and make it possible to do things in the morning you really enjoy.
  • Get prepared at night so you won’t panic in the morning: Prepare a list in the evening and write down everything you need to do, in the order you will do it, and try to predict how much time you will need for every activity. After a while, you will know exactly how long does it take for you to do your make-up or to get dressed, and you won’t need the list anymore.
  • Alternate your morning routines so you won’t feel bored: If you get tired of doing the same activity in the morning, try to add new ones from time to time and you will feel excited again. If you like to read in the morning, and, for example, you always sit at the table while doing that, try changing your location form time to time. Sit outside in the sunlight, or go to another room and your brain will be more stimulated when you change your environment.

Yet, there are some people who just don’t feel like doing anything in the morning. If you are one of those people, find an activity you really enjoy doing, and do it every morning. You will feel much happier and eager to get up, as you know you will be doing something you really love.

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Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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