Morning Routines for Busy People: My Six Morning Practices
I'm a busy woman. There is no question about that. I spend 10 hours out of my day at work, most of which is filled with frequent phone calls, emails, or me running in and out of my office. When people ask me the infamous "how's work?", my instant and constant response is "Good, but busy." I'm busy. Recently, I have been trying to figure out ways to bring more structure into my life. How can I achieve balance or discover what my day should really be like? I find that the best way to get some structure is to ensure that I have a good morning.
It has been said that your morning dictates how the rest of your day will go. I find that to be true to a certain extent. Think about it, when we have a pretty bad morning, our instant thought is "I'm having a bad day." I'm learning that if I set up my morning to make it as good as possible, maybe the rest of my day won't be so bad.
In comes the "morning routine" part. I'm an avid Pinterest fan. I absolutely love Pinterest. It's a hub of amazing ideas, recipes, everything you can think about. One of the things I've been searching for is a good morning routine to incorporate into my schedule. But not just any routine. I need a morning routine for a busy woman. Something easy that I can fit into my day, in the little time that I have in the morning, before I get to work.
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If you've done a similar search, you'll find many different quotes, articles, how-to's, etc. They all seem fairly good and reasonable. Do some yoga. Drink tea or coffee. Meditate. Write your goals for the day. Set your intentions. That's all great and sounds wonderful actually! But it just won't work. In fact, trying to set any kind of morning routine if you are a really busy person will not work at all, in my opinion. I guarantee that if your job is anything like mine, your time is unpredictable and your much-needed routine will be interrupted. It will become hard to stick to your routine and eventually you may give up on it altogether.
So if we shouldn't create a morning routine, what should we do?
I started this search for a morning routine over a month ago and I still do not have one. I have incorporated different morning practices instead.
What's the difference, you may ask.
Simple. By having different morning practices instead of a morning routine, you have eliminated the idea of adding another schedule into your already limited time in the morning. The term "practices" sounds more relaxing and freeing than "morning routine". When I think about having a routine, I think about a process that I would have to go through in the morning. For me, it is something I absolutely have to stick to. A rule or law for myself. A new chore. If I think about it like that, I won't do it at all.
Of course, this is absolutely not true. In fact, there are some people who consider their practices in the morning to actually be a routine. That is perfectly fine. It is all about your thoughts and what you are comfortable with.
What I love about having practices or habits is that they are things that I do throughout my morning . They do not have to be done in any specific order. What's even better, I don't have to do all of these things every morning (although I generally do), which is great for me because my schedule isn't always compatible. Incorporating these practices into my mornings has set me up mentally, spiritually, and physically to take on each work day like a champ!
Interestingly, most of these habits were things that I did throughout the day already. Almost unintentionally. I discovered that by incorporating them into my mornings was much more useful and had a better impact on me spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Why Should You Create a Morning Routine?
The lives of busy individuals can be hectic. As soon as you start work, you're going through tons of emails, dealing with phone calls while trying to juggle your many tasks for the day. Having morning practices creates stability and promotes wellness and balance in what's normally a very active and sometimes feverish morning.
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My Morning Practices/"Morning Routine"
My practices are unique to me and my schedule. What I do in the mornings fit extremely well into my schedule. I don't always do the entire list, but that is perfectly okay. It still works.
(Hey! While you're reading, pin this post so you can always come back to it!)
1. I avoid looking at my work emails before I get to work
This is absolutely crucial. When I wake up in the morning, I shut off my alarm and immediately put my phone down. Checking work emails can wait until I get into the office. I am already going to be spending majority of my day at work. Why not leave this short time before work to focus on more important things, like cuddling with my fiance for instance.
2. Open the curtains and let the light in
I'd like to think that this one is self-explanatory. Daylight does wonders for my mind and body. It brightens up my morning (figuratively and literally) leading to a better mood.
3. Meditate on the commute to work
I work right in the heart of New York City. Taking the bus is much easier. My ride is less than a half hour. On that ride to the office, I avoid thinking about work and instead focus on myself for a second. I like to make sure that I am doing okay and am mentally prepared to take on the day. The best way for me to do that is to meditate. Though it only takes a few minutes, it is extremely powerful and effective.
4. Take a few minutes to settle in
On a good day, I get to work fairly early. I take advantage of every second to settle in by eating my breakfast, reading blog posts or new articles, or watching a few YouTube videos. Why not? This allows me to get acclimated to my surroundings in the office and prepares me for the day ahead.
5. Prioritize my tasks for the day
Before I actually start working, I like to think about the tasks that I have to accomplish that day. I do this so that I can prioritize my day and set up a quick structure for myself.
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6. Get to work!
After all of this, I'm now ready to get to work. With these practices, I've noticed a huge difference in my work performance and overall mentality.
What are some of your morning practices?