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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 November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

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