My New Life Changing Morning Routine

It sounds dramatic, I know, to say that something is life changing.  But friends, this has been exactly that to me.  I only wish I had done this years earlier.  As a follow-up to the post - 7 Highly Effective Early Morning Habits To Change Your Life post, I am sharing my new morning routine.

It All Started Because Of A Desire To Run
Days go by so quickly, don't they?  And we struggle to fit in everything we'd like to accomplish before it's time to go to bed and prepare for the next day.  Just like anything else, making the most of your mornings requires intention.  When I first started working for myself I had a goal of running every weekday.  And I was able to do that most days.  That being said, I found that there were times I would sit down first thing in the morning and start going through email, reading social media comments, and get lost down the rabbit hole of the internet.  Next thing you know it was too late to go running, I had nothing to show for the time I'd been up, and I needed to get started on my to-do list.

I wanted to get more from my mornings which meant they needed to be mapped out with intention.

My Morning
To start, I had to determine at what time I could get up and still be functional.  The reality is, I need at least 7 hours of sleep which brings me to 5a.m. at the earliest.  I then looked at what time my work day needs to start (since we are self-employed this is luckily a choice).  And lastly, what I want to accomplish, every single morning, before the rest of my day begins.

Since Oliver likes to get up between 6 and 6:30, this works out well for me.  I selected 6:15 as my start time, although I get up earlier in the summer so I can water the garden after taking care of Ollie.

Next I created a list of my ideal morning accomplishments:
  • Run
  • Drink Water
  • Work Toward A Personal Goal
  • Practice Gratitude
  • Check email & social media

6:15 - 6:30 - Take Care Of Oliver + Practice Gratitude
Oliver goes out to do his business and then eats his breakfast. While he's eating, I grab my journal and am able to take a few minutes to practice gratitude.

6:30 - Consult My To-Do List
I take a quick look at my to-do list so the tasks of the day are fresh in my mind and I can start to think about how to accomplish them.  I brush my teeth, grab a jug of water I prepped the night before and then head back outside.

6:30 - 6:35 - Get Chickens Up

6:35 - 7:20 - Running + Drink Water
I found that starting with running was easiest.  It gets me up and moving and I have no time to get lost in another activity.  During my run I also go through my day in my mind.  I think through the list of to-do's that I created and walk through it.  Sometimes this allows me to solve problems or think of additional ideas.  This is also time for me to listen to a podcast if there's one I'm wanting to listen to.

I just don't drink enough water, so I bring 1 jug of lemon-water with me and I make myself finish it before I can have a cup of coffee.  

7:30 - Eat A Healthy Breakfast + Coffee
I eat oats most mornings (baked oats, overnight oats, slow-cooker oats, etc.) with fruit or make a fruit & veg smoothie.  The oats are either made ahead or prepared and ready to bake ahead of time.  I keep smoothie packs in the freezer that I put together once a month.  In the morning I throw a pack in the blender with either oat milk (my new favorite milk alternative), coconut water, or water.  And just like that, breakfast is served.

7:40 - 8:00 - Work Toward A Personal Goal
I've created a habit every evening to write out a list of things I would like to accomplish the next day.  I have to stay organized, especially during spring thru fall, because our lives can be a bit hectic.  The list consists of business tasks, personal tasks, etc. and I highlight the items that absolutely must be accomplished.

On that list I also include what I need to work on for my personal goal so I don't have to waste time figuring out what I'm working on.  Sometimes it's something as simple as reading a few more chapters of a book.
**Once I begin my workday I make an effort to accomplish the most undesirable task on the "must do" first so that's out of the way and it's easier to move on to the remaining.**

8-8:15 - Check Email + Respond
I force myself to shut it down at 8:15.  This also means I won't keep clicking through links sent to me (because time flies right on by once that happens....)

8:15 - 8:30 - Check Social Media + Schedule Posts (3 days per week)
8:15 - 8:30 - Work on QuickBooks and/or Business Taxes
With the social media, I put timeframes on it so, again, I don't start clicking through and waste time.  I give myself time at the end of the day to get lost on the internet if I desire.  With quickbooks and/or business taxes, this is something I implemented after struggling to find time to fit this in during the day.  If I simply tack it to a to-do list, because it doesn't absolutely have to be completed (until the due date comes around) then it's been too easy to fall off the list.  Instead, I've scheduled time every week where I have no excuses.

And then I start my workday.

I have two additional times during the day to check and respond to emails (after lunch and after dinner).  I try not to peruse the internet until the evening, once everything else is complete, because it's amazing how much time is lost while searching for something.

Having the list I make each evening is also handy because if we end up with small bits of down time I can consult the list to see what I had hoped to accomplish.

The One Thing That Made The Biggest Difference
You can probably guess what it is.  It's scheduling my internet, email and social media time.  Initially, I would find myself out of habit reaching for my phone or laptop throughout the day.  That was my "aha" moment realizing how many minutes we spend on our devices.  It really is a few minutes here, a few minutes there and they add up.  When I get online to write blog posts or emails it's very hard not to get sidetracked.  Most of the time I'm disciplined..... 😉

On the weekends I don't necessarily follow the schedule, mostly because we've got shows so our schedule changes quite a bit.

How about you?  Do you have morning habits or a morning routine that help guide you through any "down time"?

1 comment

daisy gurl said...

I think it's brilliant that you save your free browsing time for evenings, when your tasks have been completed. I am fairly scheduled as well, but love my routine and find that it definitely helps to gets things crossed off my list.

Not everyone thrives on routine, but it works well for us.

Enjoy your day!