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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 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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