Last year, when I was about a month and a half into my job, I started working the super early shift. I was at work a 6:30 every morning and had to develop an early evening routine to make sure I got to bed on time. Because if I didn’t, it would affect everything I did the rest of the day. Now that I work a different shift, I stay up later but now I have time in the mornings to prepare for the day. Now, I’m learning the importance of a morning routine and how I’ve developed my own.
Even if your morning routine is something a simple as “wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed and eat breakfast,” that’s still a routine if you do it every day.
When I first got to my new schedule, I flourished in having the late nights back and stayed up late. I slept in, but now that I’ve found my rhythm again, I’m not sleeping in so much and I’m finding my own routine. The days I sit down and do my routine before going to work typically tend to be better days than the days I snuggle in and hit the snooze button a few times.
I realize every person has a different way they need to approach their day. My morning routine came about in a more natural way, but I’m a big believer in at least writing it down and being accountable for myself.
My Morning Routine
1. I start with Myself
The very first thing I do on any morning is take my thyroid medication. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroidis and hypothyroidism. My medication helps me function as a human being. So to be productive, hell, even to just not be a zombie, I start with my medicine.
With my medication, I have to wait thirty minutes before I can eat. I’ll admit the majority of the time, I totally sleep those extra thirty minutes. I’m trying to push myself to do something more useful with those thirty minutes and that’s how I ended up with a more structured routine.
After I take my meds, I always go to wash my face. I’ve had back acne my whole life and I’m finally working with a dermatologist to get it under control and I use a three-step process to wash my face in the morning before I apply my make-up (if I wear any make-up).
2. Planning My Day
While I wait for the half hour to pass by, I sit at my desk and plan my day. I use my Day Designer to check in on some tasks that maybe didn’t get finished the day before. I also use Todoist to see what else is in the pipe that I may not have written down.
Weekends are a little tricky, because my weekend days are combined on a page in my Day Designer. I have a little list pad that I use to write all my tasks down for the days and I have a glue stick I use to glue my list into my planner.
Yes, I’m a little extra.
I’m also trying to get better at making sure the tasks in my planner and in Todoist match. Because a lot of the time, they don’t.
If any of my tasks are quick ones, I’ll try to knock them out before leaving for work. No need to push off stuff for late at night when I’m exhausted, right? This is little stuff, like picking up the floor, taking the trash out, or running the dishwasher.
If I was really on top of it, I’d get up early enough to write some before work. Someday!
3. Eating is Always Important
With time left over from planning, I’ll get dressed, pack my stuff and grab something to eat. Most mornings I’m eating a protein bar or having a protein shake. From the time I leave my house for work to my lunch break is usually five to six hours, so the protein helps keep me going, especially when we’ve been insanely busy at work lately.
Everyone has a different way to attack the morning. I am by far not a morning person, I love evenings more than anything, but I’m an adult with a job. Forcing myself to get up and set a game plan for the day makes me feel like I’m more in control. Especially when I get home from work after 8 hours of talking straight.
Planning my days is a huge boost to my productivity and that all starts with a solid morning routine.