How do you start your day? If you don’t have a definitive answer to that question, it’s time to evaluate your mornings and develop productive morning rituals. This blog post will show you how to you do it and help you to consistently hit peak performance in everything you do.
First we’ll discuss why morning rituals are so important. Then we’ll outline nine ideas you can implement into your morning routines to increase productivity. Let’s dive in!
Why Morning Rituals Are So Important
There’s a reason why just about all of the world’s most successful people have morning routines they follow religiously. From Tim Ferriss to Oprah Winfrey, morning rituals help high achievers reduce friction in their lives and begin their days on the right foot.
Creating a carbon copy of someone else’s morning rituals likely won’t be effective. We’re all different and what works perfectly for one person will absolutely destroy someone else’s day. The objective of this article is to outline a few best practices in regards to morning rituals so that you can choose and implement the ones that will work best for you.
7 Productive Morning Rituals Ideas
Morning rituals are important, but remember, the point is to discover the right routines for you. Below you’ll find seven ideas you can experiment with and begin implementing. You won’t adopt all of these practices and that’s okay. Focus on finding the ones that allow you to become more productive and make them a regular part of your morning.
1. Set A Precise Wake Up Time
It’s really easy to not set an exact wake up time. Maybe you got to bed late the night before, or your mind was on fire and kept you up well after you first got into bed to sleep. When things like these happen, the natural response is to adjust our alarm clocks a bit, right?
But this isn’t a productive habit. Instead, get yourself in the habit of waking up at the same time every morning. Your body and mind will become accustomed to the routine and be prepared to greet the day and be productive right from the get-go.
We should mention that the actual time you get up should largely be based on personal preference. We’ve all heard that the most productive people rise well before the sun. For many of us, waking up early has many benefits.
But what if you’re a natural night owl? Forcing yourself to wake up early is actually counterintuitive. We recommend you base your alarm clock around your natural preferences as much as possible. Get in tune with your body’s clock and you’ll become more productive.
2. Make Time to Meditate
Many successful people have made meditation a part of their daily morning rituals and we think you should consider doing so as well. Why? Because meditation has been proven to reduce stress, strengthen one’s self-awareness and attention span, and improve health.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to become a spiritual guru to take up meditation or even spend a lot of time doing it. Just five to ten minutes each morning can be amazingly beneficial.
For a self-guided meditation experience, simply focus on a specific goal, life motto, or even just your breath — again, for only five to ten minutes. For those with no prior experience with meditating, an app might be a wise investment.
3. Develop a Writing Habit
For some of us, writing comes naturally. We enjoy spilling our thoughts out on the page, even if we’re the only ones who will ever read the sentences we string together. For others, writing is a chore and to be avoided at all costs.
Regardless of your personal feelings on writing, it can make for a wonderful addition to your morning rituals. Fortunately, what you write isn’t nearly as important as just setting aside time each morning to do it.
For example, you could take up journaling and catalogue your inner thoughts, fears, frustrations, etc., which will allow you to better understand and address them. Or you could simply make a “gratitude list” each morning and write down a few things you are thankful for. This simple practice has been known to reduce stress and increase happiness.
Whatever your current relationship status is with writing, making it one of your morning rituals is at least something you should consider.
4. Set Aside Time to Exercise
Exercise, aside from being a fantastic way to help maintain good health, is also a great way to “dust off the cobwebs” that collect in our brains after a full night’s sleep and sharpen our minds for the coming tasks of the day.
But don’t think you need to adopt a full-scale bodybuilding routine to make this morning ritual work for you. You just need to find a way to move and be active, while doing something you enjoy.
Do you like jogging? How about playing tennis, or doing yoga, or kayaking? Maybe you are the bodybuilding type and a morning workout actually sounds like a blast. Find a physical activity that you’ll look forward to doing each day and make it one of your morning rituals.
5. Simplify Decision-Making Processes
As humans, our willpower and ability to make critical decisions is limited. That’s why it’s often harder to resist fattening treats at the end of the day, or why we’re generally advised to “sleep on it” before making any major, life changing choices.
To combat this, do your best to simplify as many decision making processes as possible during your morning rituals. For example, you could pick out your clothes the night before so that you don’t need to decide what to wear each morning. You could also make and pack your lunch ahead of time, too.
The more you can decide ahead of time, the more streamlined your mornings will become. And if you have a hard time believing in this principle, just look at some of the world’s top performers:
- Mark Zuckerberg, famed founder of Facebook, is notorious for wearing the same colored shirt and jeans every single day.
- President Barack Obama almost always wore a blue or grey suit to simplify decision making processes each morning.
- American Express’ CEO, Kenneth Chenault, always creates his to-do list for the next day before leaving the office each evening.
This is a powerful principle and definitely one you should adopt to aid your morning rituals.
6. Nourish Your Body
It’s important to nourish your body in the morning. Unfortunately, breakfast is easy to skip when there are so many other things to do before work starts. Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to forego your morning meal.
When your body is properly nourished, your brain works better. It’s been proven that a morning meal can greatly increase energy and concentration levels, both of which are directly tied to productivity.
By making breakfast one of your daily rituals, you’re giving yourself a much better chance of having a productive and fulfilling day.
7. Get a Great Night Sleep
Finally, while not really part of a morning routine, a great night sleep will allow you to accomplish your morning rituals much more effectively. For example, it’s much easier to wake up on time when you went to bed at a decent hour the night before. Then, when you’ve woken up on time, you’ll be available to write, exercise, and meditate before you start the rest of the day’s tasks.
There’s no real secret to getting to bed on time. It just takes discipline and commitment. There will always be temptations to stay up later — one more episode of your favorite TV show, another drink with friends, etc.
Keep in mind why you’re developing a morning ritual in the first place: to become more productive and achieve your goals, right? Then prioritize your goals over any momentary pleasures such as Netflix binging.
Your morning rituals, oftentimes, will make or break your day. By strategically planning the way you begin each morning, you’ll allow yourself to become more productive and have a better chance at reaching your goals.
So give the ideas in this blog post a try! Remember, you don’t need to implement all seven, especially not all at once. Use these tips as a starting point and develop your own morning rituals that work for you. Good luck!