Morning Routine Actualized

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I recently read an amazing article by Cathryn Lavery entitled Why Creating a Meaningful Morning Routine Will Make You More Successful.

It prompted me to revisit my previously defunct morning routine and restructure it based on all the great tips she offered. After all, a morning ritual is something that will continuously need to be revised, probably several times throughout the year depending upon my schedule. Summer time and my kids being home had trampled all over my previous morning intentions so this was a perfect way to start a new school year and the return to my work from home sanity and productivity.

This is what I came up with

6am Wake up, drink 16–20 oz. water, take supplements, wake kids, make lunches, unload dishwasher, feed pet.

7:00 Coffee/Read

7:15 5 Minute meditation

7:20 Web search, check email, social media

7:45 Set daily goals

8:00 8 Minute GMB Daily Battery

8:08 Training

8:45 Shower/Dress

9:00 Breakfast (if intermittent fasting, coffee only)

9:15 Coffee/Read

9:30 Task 1 30–60 minutes

10:30 Task 2 30–60 minutes

11:30 Break

11:45 Task 3 30–60 minutes

12:45pm Task 4 30–45 minutes

1:30 Lunch (sometimes skip)

1:45 Calls, journal recording, return emails

2:00 Read

3:00 Family Time, Homework, Dinner, Read

7:30 Task 5

8:30 Read

9:00 TV

10:00 Bed

Actual Day 1 Routine

6am Wake up, drink 16–20 oz. water, take supplements, wake kids, make lunches, unload dishwasher, feed pet.

7:00 Coffee/Read

7:15 5 Minute meditation

7:20 Web search, check email, social media

7:30 8 min GMB Daily Battery & Training

8:15 Shower/Dress

8:45 Breakfast

9:15 Coffee/Read

9:30 Dinner Prep

10:00 Task 1 60 minutes

11:00 Task 2 60 minutes

12:00 pm Break

12:15 Task 3 75 minutes

1:30 Lunch

2:00 Calls, baking, dinner prep

3:00 Family Time, dinner prep

5:00 Family, dinner, read

7:00 Task 4 30 minutes

7:30 Set next day goals

7:45 Personal stuff

8:00 Read

9:00 TV

9:30 Bed

As you can see I was pretty close but my intentions and the way life usually rolls sometimes conflicts. For instance, I cook every night for a family. Depending on what we are having, dinner prep can figure prominently into my day. I have dabbled in slow cooker cooking in the past but this Fall/Winter, I will get heavily into crock-pot meals to really leverage my time. “Work” is broken down into a series of “tasks” that offer leeway on how much time I spend on them. Tasks can also encompass things such as cleaning the house because I don’t have a housekeeper (I wish I did). I find daily goal setting is far better set the night before rather than first thing. It gives me something to look forward to the next day and is one less thing to worry about during the morning rush.

What This Routine Has Taught Me So Far

My biggest takeaway is that having a morning routine is crucial for success. This is probably why we hear about them so often. Another is that the more awareness and consistency I bring to my routine, the better I become at time management. This is a pretty amazing thing to realize. I also realized that setting a timer and holding myself to the allotted time set literally translates into making every minute of my day count in the best possible way. Now, I don’t even need a timer to maximize time spent on a task but I still use one regularly. I also learned the importance of building flexibility into my day because every day is not the same.

The truth is sticking to my daily routine starting first thing makes every day better. It does take practice, consistency, and it needs to be a work in progress because things often get thrown off course. Schedules change and last minute things come up. This is why sticking to the earliest portion of my routine is critical. It adds weight and structure and sets the tone for the entire day. It is also the least likely part of the day to go off track.

I am not sure my “real” routine is quite where I need it to be but I can say with confidence that having a routine has made a huge impact on my productivity and my outlook.