The work from home life has made it a lot harder to get going in the morning. There’s no commute, no office to be at promptly by 9 a.m., and no real reason to change out of pajamas. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I fall into a slump because of it. My whole morning passes by and I seem to have accomplished nothing. I’ve read that a morning routine checklist can help increase motivation and keep productivity going all day long. The routine can be a simple task that you look forward to every day, or it can be a set of steps to wake up your mind and body. Consistency is key, and creating a routine that works for you will help you to continue to do it every day.
Here are some tips for creating a morning routine to look forward to each day.
Make your bed, change your clothes, and put your pajamas away — a clean bedroom can make all the difference. This task doesn’t take too much energy or thought, but has a very positive outcome on your overall mood throughout the day. If this is the first thing you do in the morning, you will start the day off with a sense of accomplishment. Then when it comes time to go to sleep that night, crawling into a nicely made bed will feel so relaxing.
If you work at home in a small space, you might also want to tidy up your workspace each morning — clearing through the clutter allows you to better focus on what is important in the day ahead.
Starting your day off right with a glass of water is a great way to energize your mind and body. Research shows you will feel more awake once you’re hydrated due to an increase in the oxygen moving to your brain, raising your levels of alertness. Aim to drink half your body weight in water every day, and add some lemon or fresh fruit if you like more flavor.
Each morning, make a to-do list with everything that needs to get done that day. Creating a to-do list can be extremely motivating for productivity because with each task you finish, you get to cross that off your list. Studies show that while tasks we haven’t done distract us, making a plan to do them can ease this anxiety.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can think long-term and create a list of to-do items for the upcoming week or month as well.
Sweating it out early is a great way to feel energized. Morning exercise can wake you up and keep you feeling motivated all day. You’ll feel accomplished and the hard part of getting to the gym is already over. However, if you don’t have the time for a full workout, try stretching for five to 10 minutes in the morning to get your blood flowing. Following along with a short instructional video can be the easiest way to do this. Sign up for Cat Valadez’s app to access her Daily Deep Stretch program, which has 15-minute body part-focused flows.
Additionally, Alex Silver-Fagan’s app has quick stretching videos for your upper and lower body.
Starting your day is easier when you aren’t feeling hungry and can focus on being productive until lunchtime. Eating a fiber-filled breakfast is a great way to make sure you are getting a substantial amount of food in the morning. Yogurt with fruit and granola, oatmeal, and avocado toast are easy and quick examples.
Maintaining a skincare routine is an essential part of your morning routine. Start the day by rinsing your face with lukewarm water and putting on your serums and moisturizer. You will walk out of the bathroom feeling great and ready to go. Focusing on skincare is a form of self-care that can help boost your mood for the day.
When you turn your alarm off, keep your phone right where it is, and get out of bed without checking it. This will make all the difference, giving you the space you need to wake up and follow your morning routine without distractions. Move through the rest of your morning without checking your phone to truly stay unplugged until you absolutely need to check in.
Listening to your favorite songs, or a great podcast, in the morning can help boost your mood. This simple action can set you up to feel great throughout your day by lowering stress levels and helping you stay focused on the things that you need your attention.
Now that you know the benefits of having a morning routine, start incorporating these eight steps into your checklist each morning. Waking up and being productive all day does not always have to feel like such a daunting task. Having a routine you look forward to each night before bed can make a difference. Add in anything that makes you feel good and motivates you to push through your day.
About the author
Jessica is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University, now based in New York. Jessica loves to read, is passionate about fitness and nutrition, and is always looking for new restaurants with the best pasta dishes. On the weekends, you can find her playing with her dog Wilson, at the beach with a good book, or doing pilates.