5 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Morning Routine
A good morning routine can be the difference between hitting the ground running with positive optimism for the day ahead and wondering whether you really need the job you’re rushing off to. The sad reality is that many of us are so burnt out that finding the willpower to create a solid morning routine can seem impossible.
Whether you care to admit it or not, your morning is what sets you up for the worst day of your life or the best day of your life, yet. When you walk out your front door in a frenzy, you’re likely to forget your sanity along with your wallet.
A good morning ritual is uber important. Why? Well, because if you start your day behind the wheel of your life as opposed to being dragged every which way by things that happen to sneak into your list of endless priorities, you will feel more at ease and in control.
The great news is that whether you’re a parent, a singleton in the city, or nearing your retirement years, establishing a good morning routine is easier than it seems. More often than not, the best way to tackle the issue isn’t to look at what you could be doing right – because, let’s face it, this is completely subjective – but what you’re doing wrong.
That’s why we’ll be walking you through the five most common ways that people sabotage their morning routine. You might just find one or two that resonate with you that you could put a stop to today. That way, you’ll be up and rearing to go tomorrow morning!
Just One More Episode
Night time: the time that adults come alive. For some of us, it’s the time that we get to spend on our hobbies or with our friends. For others, it’s the small shred of alone time that we get away from the unending screams of “Mom, where did you put my iPad?” or “Dad, can you help with a project that I have due tomorrow?” It’s all too easy to get swallowed up by the comforting ‘dun-dun’ sound that Netflix gleefully emits as you sign in to your account. If it isn’t Netflix, it’s Hulu, or HBO, or your social media feed that is perfectly primed with pictures of everyone that ‘has it all together’ – spoiler alert, they don’t. Whatever it is that saps up your time at night, you need to put it to bed and then, literally, put yourself to bed. Here are a few things to consider before bed:
- No screen time at least two hours before bedtime to allow your natural melatonin to really kick in;
- No alcohol or tobacco products before bed;
- No working late into the evening on a regular basis;
- If there is something bugging you, tell yourself that there is nothing you can do about it in the dead of night and close your eyes.
Preparation is Half the Battle
Moms and dads, we’re speaking to you! You have a fairly good idea of what each morning is going to present you with. Who is responsible for dropping the kids off at school if they don’t take the bus? Who is responsible for breakfast? Who needs to be out of the house earlier than the other? If you’re a parent, the chances are that these are questions that resonate with you. If you’re a single parent, this is that much more important because you’re tackling everything on your own. For parents with younger children, what time do your little ones usually get up in the morning? Think about how your morning usually goes and how you would like to change that. It may be worth spending the extra time in the evening to prepare certain things for the following day so that you’re not running around like a headless chicken when the sun rises. Here are a few things you could prepare the night before:
- Make sure you have everything you need for breakfast and place it out on the counter – except for perishable items like milk;
- Make a checklist of everything you need to accomplish the following day;
- Create a realistic schedule of events.
Don’t Go Down in the DMs
Whatever you do, don’t reach for your phone as soon as you wake up. Smartphones eat into so much of our lives and we need to start treating them like business associates and not like life support. You wouldn’t have a colleague standing over your bed telling you the latest news first thing in the morning. That is exactly what a smartphone does. It eats up your time and seeps its way into every crevice of your mental space. Don’t be led by some bothersome email, DM, social tag, or text. Control your morning and be intentional with your time during those precious early hours of your day. Here’s what you can do with your phone to maintain a healthy morning routine:
- Shut off all push notifications;
- Keep your phone on sleep mode or airplane mode throughout the night;
- Don’t check your phone right away – in fact, don’t even keep your phone in your bedroom. Invest in a good old-fashioned alarm clock.
Procrastination is something that most of us battle with. We fail to prioritize our time and we put off important tasks because we know that we can get it done in a matter of minutes. We walk around with this “I have time” notion burned into the forefront of our minds and we fail to take action because of it. The most important things you can do for yourself are to:
- Schedule the most important tasks that you need to get done for first thing in the morning and tackle them straight away;
- Take action even when you feel like doing nothing. Just get up and do something. The hardest part is always starting.
Letting Yourself Get Dehydrated
Water, water, and more water. Staying hydrated is known to increase mental clarity and productivity. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel lethargic and struggle with an inability to concentrate for long periods. If you want to make sure that you’re on the ball, load up with water in the morning and keep topping up throughout the day. Here are a few tips:
- Drink at least 12 ounces of water in the morning;
- Keep a water bottle at your desk so that you stay hydrated throughout the day;
- Make a habit out of taking small sips during the day so that you’re always hydrated.
If you can wipe out all of these elements that are sabotaging your morning and work on the following, you’ll have a killer morning routine in no time:
- Create realistic schedules to prioritize your time;
- Focus on deep breathing techniques or yoga in the morning;
- Create a ritual that makes you feel good about yourself and your day.
Now, go out there and have your best day, yet!