My Morning Routine for Productivity
A question I frequently get asked is: "How do you wake up so early and be productive?" I wanted to share a few of my tips and tricks on how I wake up refreshed and get things done!
First, waking up “early” is such a general term. Someone might think that 4am is early, someone else might think that 8am is. It’s all relative. I just finished a master class on sleep and it was really insightful to hear about how each person’s sleep requirements and patterns are so different. Some people are morning people, others are night owls, and the rest are somewhere in the middle. With that, some people might need 9 hours of sleep, while others only need 6. It really just depends on you and your lifestyle.
For me, I start my day somewhere between 5:00 - 5:30am. It used to be 4am back in the day! (That’s actually how Mike and I met, we were both going to the gym early in the morning). When I wake up, Kona is right next to me on his bed either fully awake or still passed out. As soon as I get up, though, he gets up. He knows that it’s his breakfast time! I start by making some warm lemon water, I feed Kona and sit down to read. I read for about 15 minutes or so, and then I dive into my Italian lessons for about 30 minutes. For those of you who don’t know this, I’ve been learning Italian and am hoping to become fluent!
By this time, Mike has woken up and gets his coffee and breakfast. I used to eat right when I woke up, but after years of traveling I actually started to wait to eat. Before, I would solely wake up to eat, haha! But now, I wait to eat until after I workout. I know, I know, there are so many debates over if you should eat before you workout or not. I personally just think that you should do whatever works for you. I work out for about 45 minutes after I read. I mix it up, but I typically do weights 4x a week, and then switch up between kickboxing one day, yoga, pilates or run (but I haven’t been running since last summer because of my back). I workout Monday-Saturday and let Sunday be my rest day.
I workout in the morning to kickstart my brain and get me ready for the day. I love the burst of energy that it gives me. I also like to workout in the morning because I honestly never know my schedule. Sometimes, I end up working late and have meetings that weren’t on my calendar. By working out in the morning, I get done and don’t have to think about working out after work. Working out is one of my favorite parts of my day. It is my alone time, my time to destress and to fuel that competitive side of me! If you don’t currently workout, I would say to start out small. Start adding it in a couple of times a week. Incorporate it into your life slowly so that it’s sustainable for YOU.
A couple of times a week, I have a chiropractor appointment. I have them scheduled Monday's and Wednesday's at 7:30a. So, after I workout and shower, I go there.
After that, I eat breakfast. I’m pretty basic, I eat the same couple of meals every morning. In the winter, I have a protein smoothie with a fruit and protein powder. I also have a bowl of oatmeal topped with some other kind of fruit, nut butter and cinnamon. In the summer, I make a protein smoothie bowl topped with nuts and seeds. I do love to make pancakes or waffles on the weekend though! I also have some green tea with my breakfast.
I eat my breakfast at my desk. I don’t open my emails just yet. (Just like Gary V. talks about!) I like to go onto Pinterest, pin some items and just get inspiration for the day. After I’m done with my breakfast, then I’ll go into my emails. By this time, it’s about 8am. I like having a few hours before digging into emails. I’ve found in the past when I start going through emails so early in the morning, that it stressed me out and I ended up spending so much time on things that I didn’t plan on doing. My job is all about time management and productivity. I need to prioritize things that are pertinent. I make a daily to-do list to keep myself accountable. I do this for things for work and also personal. (i.e. meal prep, laundry, clean, etc.) It it’s not on the list, then it’s not a priority!
By setting a morning routine, I am able to set up my day for success. I’m such a routine person that I feel out of sorts when I am not able to do so.
People also always want to know when I go to bed. Honestly, I am terrible with sleep. Just last night Mike and I went upstairs to go to bed around 11:30pm and I climbed into bed and just started talking and giggling, not being tired at all. (He was so tired and he just fell asleep). I will say that while this isn't necessarily “good”, it depends. I’m not one to say “right at 10pm I go to bed!”. I just listen to my body and go to bed when I’m tired. If I try to go to bed when I’m not tired enough, I end up just laying there and staying awake for hours. Anyways, to answer the question, it’s usually somewhere between 10:30-12pm.
You might see that and see that if I wake up at 5, that could only be 5 - 6.5 hours of sleep. Yep! I don’t actually need a lot of sleep to function. I am trying to get better at this though. I am trying to sleep a bit more for long term health reasons. But, for now that’s all I need and it works for me. Back in the day when I was in college, I rowed crew and woke up at 4am, had classes from 8am-5pm, I worked at the mall from 6pm-11pm, and then I would go home and do my homework for a few hours. It was a good day if I got 2-3 hours of sleep. (And now you understand why I drank so much coffee!). I definitely couldn’t do that now!
This is all to say that this routine is what works for me, and helps keep me motivated and productive. This isn't necessarily going to work for everyone, so it's important to find out a routine that works for you specifically!
Feel free to add questions to the comments!