As creatures of habit, we are often at our most productive when we are following some sort of routine. The very first things you do in the morning are all a part of the most important routine you have; whether you know it or not!
Without my morning routine, I am all out of sorts. If my day didn’t kick off in it’s normal, productive way, then the rest of the day follows suit. Waking up without a set list of things to do leaves me less motivated, and the lethargy kicks in early. More often than not, that leads to anxiety midway through the day, as I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything and that the day is getting on top of me. All of this because I didn’t stick to my normal routine.
Routine may sound mundane, but implementing a morning procedure works wonders for your mind and body. Just like any habit or routine, it does take some getting used to; but after a few weeks of practice, you will really feel the difference.
So what is the morning routine that I swear by?
Get up and get moving!
My time slot of choice for physical activity is 6.00am. It is the very first thing I start my morning with – exercise. Most days I will head off to a gymnastic or handstand class at Movement Co; but in summer I like to shake it up with some outdoors work too. On a nice day, an early morning outdoor session with some portable paralettes (like this set that my coach and friend, Mat Harvey, makes) is unbeatable.
Whatever your workout of choice, making it the first thing you do in the morning sets you up for a productive day. Your body is awake, you feel more energetic, and I can promise you that you are more likely to actually do some exercise if it is the first thing you do in your day!
Take a moment for yourself!
Fortunately, my gym is half way between my house and the beach. Every morning I have one of two options – head home and get straight in to the next part of my routine, or stop by the beach for some ‘me’ time (and a recovery swim). Now that we are heading in to the warmer months, guess which option wins out most often?
While not everyone is fortunate enough to have the time in the morning to grab a cheeky coffee and sit on the sand, taking some time out for yourself is imperative. The impending day is no doubt going to be a busy one, so allow yourself some time before you jump in to it. Stop in at the local cafe, order a coffee and spend 15 minutes poring over a magazine. Or, simply make a coffee at home and let yourself enjoy it!
Have a good breakfast!
This is such a fundamental thing, yet so many people skip it. Again, time is usually quoted as a factor, but even the most time poor of people can have a good breakfast. A quick snack pre or post gym just doesn’t cut it. You can tell the difference in energy and productivity levels when you don’t feed your body enough.
My favourite quick, substantial breakfast options include a chia pudding (prepared the night before with left over coconut milk) topped with fresh fruit, bircher muesli (again, prepared the night before) topped with fresh fruit, or some quick and easy pancakes.
Don’t stress – I don’t have the time to leisurely whip up a batch of pancakes every morning either – I just get the frozen gluten-free pancakes from Marcels. Give them 30 seconds in the microwave, top them with some fruit and other toppings, and you have a quick, substantial breakfast! It is honestly quicker and easier than making vegemite toast! If I am feeling really fancy, I will go for some of Marcels savoury, gluten-free crepes and fill them with smoked salmon, avocado and tomato.
(P.S. They do have normal pancakes in the bakery section of the supermarket too).
Plan out your day!
Once I finally settle in to my day of work, I will always take 5-10 minutes to create a plan for the rest of the day. I go through my emails and prioritise them, then write out a to-do list specifically for that day (normally shortened from my massive to-do list). Having a good understanding of the most important tasks for the day, and where I can fit them in, is imperative to keep my productivity going. If I don’t, I waste precious time floundering and panicking – which we all know isn’t the best use of time!