Develop a Habitual Morning Routine52 Weeks of Habits


Morning routine habitHaving a morning routine is great for a number of reasons:

  1. It reinforces your habit of waking up at a specific time
  2. It makes it easier to get out of bed because you have “tasks” you need to complete
  3. It provides some order to your mornings
  4. It helps make your mornings more efficient

So it’s a shame that I and so many others just roll out of bed and get on Facebook/Reddit/etc. instead of having a good productive habit to go to.

My summer internship starts this week, and while I already wake up early, I don’t have a set routine for when I wake up. Having to get to work by 8 AM should help “jolt” me into one immensely, so I see no better time to start.

The Cue

The cue will, pretty obviously, be waking up. This habit should be something that I immediately jump into once I get out of bed.

The Routine

So what should be in my morning routine? Well, I always make coffee, so that’s definitely in there. I’ll also need to shower, get dressed, and do all of the toothbrushing/flossing stuff. I also don’t want a few things in it:

  1. I don’t want to check my emails when I first wake up (the world won’t end, I promise)
  2. I don’t want to check facebook/reddit
  3. I don’t want to watch youtube or anything like that (TED talks might be okay)

I figure the routine should take 45 minutes maximum. With that in mind, I think it will look something like this:

  1. Wake up (Cue)
  2. Go downstairs and make coffee. Read while waiting (~10 mins)
  3. Consume coffee, make bed, clean room, put together stuff for work (~5 min)
  4. Shower, do other hygiene things (~15 minutes)
  5. Get dressed and finish getting ready (~15 minutes)

I’ll likely add to this list as I go on (I’ve started running in the morning to supplement my exercising, if there’s a spot for it before work I’ll add it) and make other adjustments as necessary.

The Reward

The reward will largely come from the sense of accomplishment and productivity that accompanies having an effective morning routine. It’ll be even better if I’m able to work running in to the routine, but that’s to be determined. I’ll also be saving a lot of time in the morning, and the way you start your day frequently influences how the rest of it feels. Start it productive and efficiently, and you’ll continue to be productive and efficient.

Update: 6/3/13, 1 Week Later

Having a set morning routine like this has made a huge difference in how effective I am when I wake up. I’ve tweaked it a bit since I first started it, so now it looks more like:

  1. Wake up (6:00am)
  2. Make coffee (6:05)
  3. Shower (6:20)
  4. Drink coffee, get dressed (6:40)
  5. Make bed, hygenie things, pack for work (6:45)

Going from rolling around doing nothing in the mornings to this is great. My biggest complaint with getting up early had been that I felt like I wasn’t doing anything when I woke up, but now that I have it down to a science I don’t feel that way. It also really increases my productivity for the rest of the day, leading to getting a lot more work done and feeling like I can really sit down and focus. I’m very happy I picked up this habit.

Update 2: 6/11/13, 2 Weeks Later

I realize now that having a single morning routine is not only a lie but selling its usefulness short. I love how effective having one is at making my mornings quick and productive, and I’ve gone ahead and created one for when I get to the office as well.

  1. Pull out laptop, begin the dreadful log-on process
  2. Make the coffee (first person in the building)
  3. If there’s any clutter from yesterday, clean it up
  4. Go through my Rule of 3 for the day
  5. Start work!

It’s nice to have some order in the mornings at work as well as home–especially before those first couple cups of coffee.



4 Responses to Week 2: Habitual Morning Routine

  1. 4 years ago by trenks

    Do you not eat breakfast? I feel like it might be good to throw that in there.

    • 4 years ago by Nat

      I don’t actually–I tried living on an Intermittent Fasting schedule last year (16 hour fast, 8 hours eating) and I’ve never gone back. I think that if you were someone who eats breakfast though you’d definitely want to include that!

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