The “Don’ts” of a Morning Routine

The “Don’ts” of a Morning Routine

 

There are plenty of blog posts and articles on the internet with suggestions of items to include in your morning routine.  I read quite a few of them when I first decided to establish a routine myself about six months ago.  I incorporated many of the recommendations I found into my morning routine, and now it is an important and productive aspect to my daily life.  Yet many of these posts will give you suggestions on what you SHOULD include as part of your routine.  To me, that seemed a little odd.  Everyone’s life is different, and what works for me may not work for you.  In a strange way, I think it is more inclusive by offering suggestions of what you SHOULDN’T do as part of your morning routine.  For example…

  • Don’t check emails/social media/news. This is so common today.  You roll out of bed, your feet touch the floor and your hand grabs immediately for your smartphone or TV remote.   I understand: the world wasn’t sleeping just because you were. But is there ANYTHING you will find in your emails, social media or news alert that is so time critical?  If the answer is yes, you might as well skip reading the rest of this post. You are obviously too busy and important to even HAVE a morning routine.  Otherwise, embrace the calm by starting your morning in a positive way.  But I suggest you…
  • Don’t believe the hype that you MUST get up early. Many of the articles I’ve read seem to suggest that if you want to be successful, you need to get up at some ungodly hour when the only things awake are insomniacs and horny crickets.  There are examples throughout history of famous people who were successful AND late risers (Winston Churchill immediately comes to mind).  In fact, there is research that suggests late risers may be more prolific and innovative than early risers.  The fact is, it doesn’t matter. Your body has a natural rhythm. Listen to it.   Once you commit to a morning routine, you need to have enough time to complete it.  In fact, you need just enough time so you…
  • Don’t rush through your morning routine.If you are like most people, your day is hectic enough.  Don’t add to that chaos by creating tasks you complete in a hurry to get to the next stage of your day.  If your routine becomes another set of “to-do” items you must fulfill, this whole morning routine is probably a useless exercise for you anyway.  You are missing the whole point of having a morning routine.  You want your morning routine to create the foundation of a focused, positive and productive day.  That’s why it is important that you…
  • Don’t cram too many things into your routine.The world is full of overachievers.  I’m not one of them.  When I started my routine, I quickly realized that it was easy to fill up my morning with the myriad of items to make me successful, wealthy and enlightened.  Hmmm, that didn’t work so well for me.  My suggestion is to identify specific areas of your life you want to improve and establish a morning task to assist in that process.  For example, I am a hardcore introvert.  I need quiet time in the morning to give me the energy to interact with people and handle stressful conditions that exhaust me mentally. I set aside time every morning to be alone (well, not counting my dogs); to write, reflect, and plan how I need to tackle my daily goals.   Another issue for me was my weight.  I simply was not getting enough exercise.  So now part of my morning routine is a short walk (again, with my dogs) to get my blood pumping, wake my metabolism up, and help me stay active for the rest of the day.  Don’t feel you need to tackle all your issues at once.  If your routine becomes a hassle, you won’t stick with it.  You want to create a schedule you look forward to completing every morning.  However, I caution you…
  • Don’t set your morning routine in stone.  In other words, don’t make your morning routine too “routine”.   Life has enough drudgery, don’t allow the start of your day to become that. Don’t be so dogmatic, always search for ways that might improve or enhance the goals of your morning.  At the end of the day, the most important thing is…
  • Don’t forget WHY you want a morning routine.You have created your routine for a reason.  You want to be more creative, productive, alert, mindful, etc.  Never losing sight of those reasons ensures that your routine will be a positive habit for you and something you will stay with moving forward.

 

The requirements of your day are unique to you, and only you can decide what works (or doesn’t work) for you.  Kids, job, pets, commute, location and weather may all factor into how you develop the “Do’s” of your morning routine.  Most of these “Don’ts” are universal, and can apply to any routine you choose to develop.  Ultimately, I hope for is that you come to view your mornings as I view mine now. With any luck, my morning is not always the best part of my day, but it is always my favorite.

 

AJ

Carolina grad, business owner, Master of the Oblivious, "Rural Renaissance Man", dog lover, family man, geek...

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