There’s an unfortunate myth out there that you either are or aren’t a “morning person.” You may feel like it’s your destiny to hit the snooze button four times, begrudgingly roll out of bed and rush through everything before barely making it to work or school on time.
The good news is that anyone can be a morning person. It’s all a matter of knowing how to build the right morning routine, putting in the effort and staying disciplined.
A Morning Routine
How can you set up the right morning routine? Your best option is to reverse engineer it. Start by making a list of all the activities you’ll need to do every morning, and that does mean everything. Include an estimate of how long each activity normally takes you.
For example, your morning routine may include getting up and brushing your teeth, putting on sweats, going for a three-mile jog, taking a shower, getting dressed for work, and finally driving to your job while eating a small meal on the way there. Separate all these activities and put a time estimate next to them.
The Clock Is Ticking
Then, subtract that time estimate from when you need to arrive at work or school, and you’ll have the latest time you can wake up every morning. If you need to be at work by 9 a.m. and your routine takes you two hours, then you can’t get up any later than 7 a.m. By giving yourself enough time, you’ll avoid stressful mornings where you’re rushing to get ready.
Sleep Is Critical
To be ready for that morning routine, you need enough sleep, and the optimal amount for most people is around seven to eight hours. Subtract this amount from your wake-up time to figure out when you need to be in bed every night. Using the example above where you need to wake up at 7 a.m., you should make sure you’re in bed by 11 p.m. or midnight every night to avoid feeling groggy when your alarm goes off.
Reverse engineering your morning routine this way can make a huge difference in the quality of your mornings, but there are still a couple other improvements you can make. One is getting a quality breakfast. When you eat a breakfast full of nutrients, you’ll feel better throughout the day and have more consistent energy levels. Aim for a healthy meal with a nice balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
TV and Radio Can Make Or Break Your Day
Last but not least, pay attention to what you’re watching or listening to as you start your day. Avoid anything that gets you emotional or stressed, because that will carry into the rest of your day. Comedic podcasts or music you enjoy are good choices to start your day with the right mindset.
Don’t buy into the myth that you’re not a morning person. If you set up your morning routine properly, eat a good meal and find the right content to start your day, you’ll improve your productivity and be in a better mood.
Writer, reader, husband, father, triathlete, and clearly I drink too much coffee.