Everyone has a morning routine, it’s just a matter of how organized and intentional it is. Mornings are so important and should be treated with care. They have the ability to dictate how the remaining 8 – 14 hours are going to go. If you start your day by scrambling, the whole day can carry that same sense of urgency. A slow, easy morning can set the pace as you go about your daily responsibilities.

The perfect morning routine is different to everyone. Wake up times, preferred food options and activities to be fit in vary. Finding the right routine for you and your life can dramatically change your overall feelings of happiness and success. When you’re comfortable with how you start your day, it frees up valuable mental energy so you can focus better on the tasks at hand.

morning routine

Here are some tips for making the most out of your precious morning routine:

No. 1: Stop reacting.

This is a tough one but don’t pick up your devices first thing in the morning. This may require getting up a little earlier or charging them out of sight.

If you start your day by responding to this email and that one, getting caught up in social media threads or listening to voicemails, you’ll start your day feeling behind. You’ll end up using your morning trying to keep up. You’ll rush through your shower and may skip breakfast because you’re already feeling the pull of “to-dos.”

No. 2: Decide which 3 things matter most today.

There will always be more to do. The question is, what are the most important and valuable to-dos on the list. Determine what these are and write them down.

Your day is filled with “shallow work”, the little stuff like emails, meetings, follow ups and “deep work”, the tough stuff that pushes your current abilities to the limits and produces meaningful results. Though you can’t just not do the shallow work, prioritizing the deep work will allow you to advance in your field and can leave you feeling more fulfilled.

No. 3: Move to your productivity rhythm.

You’re not always at your most productive, but there is a time in the day when you are. Knowing when this peak is, allows you to work smarter not harder.

It is said that everyone has 2 to 2.5 hours of peak productivity each day. Research has shown that most people are most productive 2.5 to 4 hours after they’ve woken up. Whether this is true for you or you know that you’re best in the middle of the night, save this peak time for your most challenging and important to-do’s.

No. 4: Have a starting ritual.

Turning on that pot of coffee may be the signal your brain needs to know that it’s time to get to work. Having a routinized process as you prepare to work establishes good habits in productivity. If you do something enough times, your conscious mind stops noticing and it just starts to flow.

There are many things you can do to prepare your mind for what’s to come. Maybe some meditation or walking to work is what you need. Find your way to tell your brain that it’s time to do the dang thing.

No. 5: Get your blood pumping.

It’s so easy for a day to just slip away and suddenly you’ve realized you’ve been sedentary the whole time. Finding a way to get some exercise in the morning will snap you out of any fog and will leave your body buzzing as you hunker down and get your work done.

Getting your body moving can come in many forms. Roll out that yoga mat and stretch a bit. Find your lover and get a little sweaty. Take your beloved pooch for a walk around the clock. Just do something that gets the blood flowing so you can feel confident about the care you’ve given yourself already.

This post was inspired by an article found on The Week. The image was found on Flickr.