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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

15 Ideas to Help Create Your Best Morning Routine

15 Ideas to Help Create Your Best Morning Routine

Your best morning routine is more than the ideal start to your day. It’s an opportunity to reset; to forget about what happened yesterday, develop a positive mindset about the day ahead, and to take care of yourself before stressors have a chance to crop up.

While most of us want to get the same things out of our morning routine, we go about starting our day in different ways. Some people love to get up early and exercise. Others are happy to lie in bed until the last minute. Some drink coffee, others drink only water, and some skip straight to breakfast.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those morning habits. So which is the best morning routine for you?

The key is figuring out what works for your schedule, body, and brain.

Your ideal morning routine might be three minutes or three hours. What matters is that it prepares you not just for a productive workday, but for a calm and intentional day from start to shuteye.

Only you can find your best morning routine for yourself. But you can build it by testing out ideas from some of the biggest names in business:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a big word, but what it means is simple:

Paying attention to your thoughts without judging or trying to change them.

You can practice it sitting, laying down in bed, while exercising, or at any time you feel stressed.

Mindfulness can take many forms. NuSkin President Ryan Napierski prefers to pray or meditate before leaving the house each morning.[1] By honing his focus through mindfulness, Napierski says that he’s able to be more productive and decisive at work.

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You can start practicing mindfulness easily too: How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

2. Take a Walk

A great opportunity to practice mindfulness — and get some exercise to boot — is to take a walk as part of your morning routine.

If you want to make time for a walk, you may need to start your morning routine earlier. As a rule of thumb, plan to walk a mile in about 15 minutes. If your best morning routine involves walking three miles, for instance, you’ll need a 45-minute block of time.

3. Reach Out to a Connection

If you struggle to make time for networking, take Appointment.com CEO Jon Bradshaw’s advice:[2]

Start your morning routine by reaching out to an old acquaintance or by making a new professional connection.

There are multiple ways to do this. Shoot an email while you wait for your morning coffee to brew. Send a text asking how that new job is treating your old coworker. Do avoid calling people out of the blue before 9 a.m.

4. Drink Tea

If coffee isn’t your style, why not try out tea as part of your morning routine?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sips a steaming mug with his breakfast every day.[3] Green and black tea are popular picks, though Pichai does not specify what he drinks; alternative options include relaxing tisanes like chamomile, mint, and lemon balm.

5. Read

One of the most popular ways to wake up is with some light reading. Rather than scroll through your Facebook feed, pick up a newspaper. Make some progress on that library book you checked out last week.

Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, Warren Buffet, reads six different newspapers as part of his morning routine. After that, though, he doesn’t stop reading: 80% of his day, on average, is spent with a book; all told, Buffett aims for 500 pages per day.[4]

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6. Take a Cold Shower

Self-help guru and business consultant Tony Robbins advocates all sorts of unconventional self-care techniques. One of his most famous is his 57-degree Fahrenheit morning plunge into a cold pool.[5] Robbins does it for the shock to his system that, in his words, feels like “every organ, every nerve in your body is on fire.” There’re also more benefits of cold showers you should know.

If you want to add a cold cleanse to your morning routine, start by turning down your shower a few degrees. Decrease the temperature by a few more each week, challenging yourself to spend ever-longer amounts of time beneath the water.

7. Talk to Your Partner

If you and your spouse’s work schedules do not match up, you may not see him or her until late in the evening. Why not get quality time with your partner in the morning instead?

Tracey Grace, president and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts, has said she starts every day with a cup of coffee with her husband. As they sip, they sit out on their deck and discuss upcoming events, meetings, and dinners.

8. Outline Your Goals

What better time to plan out what you want to achieve each day than right when you wake up?

One shortcut with this morning habit is to write down a singular focus for the day. Maybe you want to reconnect with family, or perhaps you’ve got a proposal to get out the door. Then, you can rest easy knowing everything else can be pushed to the side.

9. Ask Yourself a Powerful Question

Your morning routine is a time to reflect on what actually matters. Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO and co-founder, asked himself every morning:[6]

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Your question might be something else:

If your goal in life is providing for your family, you might ask, “How will I help my family today?”

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If you’re struggling with self-care, “What do my my body and mind need from me today?” may be a good option.

Here’re even more inspirations for you: 100 Inspiring Questions That Make You Think About Your Life

10. Eat the Frog

When you wake up, what weighs on your mind? Solve it as part of your morning routine, generational marketing expert Jeff Fromm mentions in his book Marketing to Gen Z: The Rules for Reaching This Vast–and Very Different–Generation of Influencers. By tackling the hardest thing first, Fromm finds that rest of his day tends to fall into place.

11. Fast

Listeners of “The Joe Rogan Experience” will recognize this tip:

After going for a run or doing yoga, the popular podcaster fasts for the remainder of the morning.

Rogan claims that the practice improves his brain function and focus.[7]

Like the cold-plunge routine, add this step to your morning routine gradually. After you wake up, practice going an hour, then two, and then three without eating. Soon, you’ll be able to stave off hunger until lunchtime, when Rogan eats.

12. Give Back

When Craigslist founder Craig Newmark wakes up, he starts his day with others in mind.[8] After spending an hour on customer service for the buy-and-sell platform, he works on projects that promote voting and support military families.

Whatever fires you up, embrace it with your morning routine. Pick up litter. Write letters to your representatives or local newspaper. Advocate for a nonprofit you believe in.

13. Listen to Relaxing Music

Each morning, Saagar Govil, CEO of industrial manufacturer Cemtrex, gets to work on his company’s five top monthly issues. To stay calm and keep his mind on track, Govil turns on some classical music.[9]

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If Bach and Beethoven aren’t your style, listen to whatever relaxes you. Who says 6 a.m. is too early for some head-banging metal or hip-hop?

14. Do Yoga

One of the best ways to work up a sweat in the morning is with yoga, according to media mogul Arianna Huffington.[10] After drinking a cup of coffee and riding her stationary bike, Huffington stretches herself out with yoga.

If you’ve never done yoga before, start with foundational poses like downward dog and child’s pose. After mastering those, challenge yourself with an online routine.

Learn more about yoga in this article: How Practicing Morning Yoga Transforms Your Life (+10 Beginners’ Poses)

15. Check in with Family

Almost none of us get as much time as we’d want with family. Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia’s CEO, makes time in his morning routine by calling a family member — typically his mother, father, or sister — on the way to the office.[11]

If your family members would not appreciate an early-morning call, send a text. If you haven’t checked in with multiple members for a while, send an email sharing what’s new in your life.

Kickstart Your Early Morning Routine

Starting a morning routine is about your mindset and perseverance. If you wake up thinking “This is going to suck,” then it probably will. To build the sort of mornings you want:

  • Set an alarm: If you want to have time for a morning routine, you need to wake up early. Give yourself at least an hour before work, and realize you may still need more time.
  • Get up at the same time every day: Tempting as it is to sleep in on the weekends, don’t. Make your morning routine a habit by doing it every single day.
  • Tell others your plans: If you tell your partner you plan to be awake at 5 a.m. and exercising by 6 a.m., you’ll be that much more likely to do it. Peer pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  • Give yourself a reward: Humans are reward-oriented beings, just like other animals. If you like shopping for shoes, create a chart for yourself: If you stick to your morning routine for a full month, perhaps you’ll have earned a shopping expedition.
  • Forgive yourself if you slip up: Like it or not, there will be times when you hit “snooze” on your alarm clock. Don’t beat yourself up; tell yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow.

Nothing matters more to your productivity or overall happiness than how you handle your mornings. Change your morning routine, and you’ll quite literally change your life.

More to Help You Start Your Day Right

Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via unsplash.com

Reference

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Kimberly Zhang

Kimberly Zhang is the Chief Editor of Under30CEO and has a passion for educating the next generation of leaders to be successful.

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Last Updated on February 17, 2021

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do, maybe it’s time to check-in with your time management skills.

No one is born to be very good at time management, so that’s okay if you think you’re bad in it. But everyone can learn to boost their productivity and achieve more!

Here are 50 ways to increase productivity and add hours to your day.

1. Set a Timer

Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. How you go about this is up to you as there are many different ways. There is the Pomodoro technique where you focus on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break afterwards.

In the event that you have a task that will take much longer than that, you can consider one of the many timer-based apps. One that comes to mind is Clockify. It’s used for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike, however it’s a good way to be setting yourself a timer. It provides reports and you can serve as a project manager of sorts too. Best of all, it’s free.

2. Eliminate All Distractions

Distractions include the phone, email notifications and having multiple web browsers open on the desktop. Just as it’s important to be organized offline, it’s key to have things organized online as well. This free guide End Distractions And Find Your Focus is a good tool to help you. With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of distractions and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

You can also learn more on how to get rid of all distractions in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

3. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

Distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a bit of music in the background can help you focus.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be heavy rock music, but a bit of Beethoven may do you some good.

Here’s a complete guide to help you pick the right music for better productivity: How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

4. Find Meaning in What You Do (And Love What You Do)

Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.

If you aren’t sure what you love doing yet, don’t worry. Leo Babauta has some unique ways to help you: How to Find Your Passion

5. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.

By listing your tasks in order of importance, you can make sure that you finish all of your most important tasks during the day.

Learn a unique technique to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

6. Batch Similar Tasks into a Single Batch.

Tasks like blog writing, phone calls, email and errands can be grouped into a single batch. You will save time by completing similar tasks in one session. One way to help you with organizing all of those things is through the app Todoist. It’s an easy and simple way for you to plan out your day, set reminders, and group all of your most important tasks in a convenient spot.

7. Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks First Thing in the Morning.

Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.

Many people tend to check emails in the morning because after checking a list of emails, they feel fulfilled. But that’s just an illusion of having achieved more.

Doing simple tasks like checking emails first in the morning is bad for you. Instead, do the difficult tasks because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!

8. Reward Yourself for Finishing a Big Task

To stay motivated for whatever you do, reward yourself every now and then.

Keep track of your small wins and milestones and celebrate them. So whenever you struggle about your progress, you see how far you’ve come!

Find out more about this 2-Step Approach to Self-Motivation: Track Small Wins and Reward Yourself.

9. Don’t Multitask

Research has shown that multitasking is not productive. If you think you can multitask, think again.

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For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.

10. Step Away from the Computer

The Internet has become one of the number one distraction. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.

I do this a lot when I try to brainstom new ideas and have found it to be very beneficial to simply unplug.

11. Use Focus Tools

Make good use of apps and technology to help you remove distractions.

Here’re 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools to help you stay focused. This way, you’re not distracted by the web, e-mail, or IM.

Also, join the free Fast-Track Class – Overcoming Distraction, and you’ll learn the one simple method to work even when you’re surrounded by distractions. Join the free session now!

12. Just Start

Often times, starting is the hardest part. People tend to wait for the perfect time with perfect condition to start. But there’s no perfect condition.

Once you get going, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

13. Find out Your Productive Hours

Everyone has a certain time of the day in which they are more productive than others. For me, it’s the morning.

Find out when your prime time is for productivity and optimize your work schedule accordingly.

14. Keep a Notebook and Pen on Hand at All Times

This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second. Another consideration is getting the app Evernote. Not only does this save you on ink and paper, Evernote is a convenient place for you to jot down notes and thoughts and then share them with the team. In certain circumstances, this can prove useful if you’re the type of person that has a lot of ideas that you want to share.

15. Write a Blog to Chronicle Your Own Personal Development and Achievements

The blog keeps you accountable and always working towards self improvement and personal growth.

When you write down all the small achievements you’ve been having, you’re also more motivated to move forward.

And you know what, this is how I started Lifehack too! What also helped me in starting Lifehack is WordPress, which allows people to set up a website for free. WordPress has simplified a lot of the process of building a site to the point that virtually anyone can build a website now.

16. Write out a To-Do-List Each Day

I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up. The Full Life Planner is a nice tool to help you organize your days and get things that matter done. Check out the planner here and start to plan your day ahead easily!

Make sure you don’t make any of these common to-do-list mistakes!

17. Write Your Most Important Tasks and To-Dos on a Calendar.

The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to be doing there at any given time. Effective calendar management goes hand in hand with good task list management.

Learn here How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space.

18. Reflect on Your Productivity Constantly

As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself:

“Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?”

This one simple question can be an excellent boost to your productivity.

19. Get up Early Before Anyone Else

I know it could be difficult for some to wake up early in the morning but nothing beats a quiet house!

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Here’s How to Start Your Day at 5:00 AM and some Simple Things Early Risers Do to make waking up early easier.

20. Get Plenty of Sleep

When you work online, sleep can become a long lost memory. However, it’s important to get plenty of sleep so that your working hours can be as productive as possible.

Try out this night routine which I highly recommend for productivity: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

21. Exercise

Research has shown that midday exercise boosts productivity and morale in the workplace.

Take a short walk at lunch or do some simple stretches during your break to maximize your productivity.

Here I have some exercises recommendations for you:

22. Outsource as Much as Possible

If you want to achieve more in less time, learn to delegate or outsource work. Here are just a few of the companies that will help you outsource your everyday tasks:

Also, read this guide to learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

23. Set Some Exciting Goals

Without worthy goals, you will never be motivated to get things done.

Set goals that are challenging and achievable. The best goal setting framework is a SMART goal. That said, there are other tools that can help you out as well. For example, The Dreamers’ Guide To Reaching Your Goal is a great guide to help you set and reach goals effectively. Grab your free guide and learn how to make your goals happen this year!

24. Tell Other People About Your Goals

When you tell others about your goals, you will instantly be held accountable.

25. Listen to Podcasts

Listen to educational podcasts or audio books while you’re driving to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or cooking dinner.

Audio learning has the power to add hours to your day. Not to mention, your cranium is sure to thank you for it.

Some recommendations for you: 11 Podcasts To Inspire Yourself

26. Read David Allen’s best-selling book Getting Things Done

This is one of the most important productivity books you will ever read. Read it, apply the tips in your daily lives and get more things done.

Here’re more great books about productivity too: 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

27. Learn to Speed Read

When you can read faster, you will read and learn more! Check out these 10 Ways to Increase Your Reading Speed.

You can also make use of the app OutRead to help speed up your reading speed!

28. Learn to Skip When You Read

When you’re reading a book, just read the parts that you need and skip the rest. But you have to read with a purpose.

Learn how to make it work here: How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

29. Focus on Result-Oriented Activities

Pareto’s law (also known as the 80 20 rule) states that 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. This means that 20% of our actions result in 80% of the results.

We must find the 20% that is creating the 80% of our desired outcomes and focus solely on those activities.

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30. Take a Break

You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times.

31. Start a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

What is polyphasic sleep?

Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily.[1] This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

While you can learn more about it here, you’re recommended to take some naps during the day to recharge your energy too.

32. Learn to Say “No”.

We can’t do everything and therefore we must learn when to say no in order to save our sanity.

Learn the Gentle Art of Saying No from Leo Babauta.

33. Go on an Information Diet

Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing.

Stop reading three different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.

The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. Here’re some simple tips you can try: 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information

34. Organize Your Office

The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system and dumping the junk.

Check out these 21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done and 20 Easy Home Office Organization Ideas to Boost Your Productivity.

35. Find a Mentor

By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.

A good mentor is hard to find, so here’s a guide to help you: What to Look for in a Mentor

36. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

With technology’s help, you can double your work efficiency. Even better, you learn all the shortcuts when using technology, for example keyboard shortcuts.

When you use keyboard shortcut, you gain 64 hours every year!

Not sure what shortcuts to lear? Check out these 22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja.

Besides learning the shortcuts, you can also create keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey.

37. Improve Your Typing Speed to Save Time

Do you know you can save 21 days per year just by typing fast?

You don’t really need to take some serious courses to type faster, try these typing games online:

38. Work from Home and Avoid the Daily Commute

If your job is a flexible one, consider working from home. This saves you the commute time and you’ll find yourself more energetic throughout the day as you have saved the long ride.

Take a look at these tips to help you stay productive while working from home:

How to Work from Home and Stay Ultra-Productive

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39. Get Rid of Time Wasters

Common time wasters include Instant Messenger, video games, Flickr, checking your stats 10 times a day, television and extraneous Internet surfing.

Don’t rely on your willpower, make use of some of these useful tools to help you stay focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

40. Plan Your Meals in Advance

Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This allows you to focus on the necessary – saving you time and money. You can also save yourself even more time through a wide variety of apps. One app that I find helpful is Mealime. It’s an app that provides you with a wide selection of recipes and also a convenient spot for your grocery list as well.

Considering the fact that over 4 million users have this app, it goes to show that there is a good selection of meal plans that you can follow and that the app is friendly to use.

41. Cook Your Meals in Bulk

When you cook your meals in bulk, you will have plenty of leftovers. This can avoid having to cook everyday.

Find out more about how to make cooking in bulk works: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

42. Protect Yourself from Unnecessary Phone Time with Caller ID

The minutes you spend on picking up unnecessary phone calls are time wasted. You can prevent that from happening.

Check out this detailed guide how you can deal with those unnecessary phone calls: How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day – Cellphone Calls

43. Take Shorter Showers

This one may sound silly but it’s actually something I struggle with. I spend up to 30 minutes in the shower. Think of the time I could save simply by speeding up a bit.

44. Save the Trips to Bank by Taking Direct Deposit

Many employers now offer direct deposit. If yours does, then be sure and take advantage of it and save yourself from a number of trips to the bank.

45. Auto Pay Your Bills

How many times have you been worried about whether you missed the bills deadline?

Auto paying your bills will save you time and eliminate late fees and increased interest rates.

46. Shop Online

Whenever possible, avoid going to the store. When you shop online, you can be more focus about what you’re getting.

47. Speed up your Internet With a Broadband Connection

Many people are aware of the slow speed of internet but aren’t doing anything about it. In fact, this is the number one Internet time-saver!

If you must use dial-up, then you can use accelerators like Propel and SlipStream to double or even triple your speed.

48. Keep up the Speed of Your Computer

If you’re a Windows user, use Windows hibernation feature to avoid the slowdown of exiting and restarting Windows.

Or maybe, consider switching to Mac as there’re plenty of Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC.

49. Turn off the TV

The average American watches more than 4 hours of television every day. Over a 65-year life, that’s 9 years glued to the tube.

For better health and productivity, turn off the TV. Here’re 11 more reasons to tell you to stop watching TV so often.

Turn off the TV and you are sure to get more out of life.

50. Use a Tivo or DVR

This can help you cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. You can save time while not missing the fun.

So, here’s the ultimate list of techniques you should learn to boost productivity. Pick the techniques that work for you and make them your daily habits. As time goes, you’ll find yourself being a lot more productive.

More Time Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1] Medical News Today: What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?

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