Do you find yourself reacting to emails and messages soon after you wake up?
Are you scrolling through online news and social media as part of your morning rituals?
Do you hit the snooze button or need multiple alarms before you get out of bed?
Your morning is your A.M. bookend to your day. A morning routine can help you get the clarity and structure you need every day, wherever you are. How you start your day is key to taking charge of it.
Your start-up sequence – after you wake up – affects your mood and sets the tone for your day. While you can make shifts and practice good habits later in the day, it’s better to get quick wins with your morning routine.
1. A routine doesn’t have to be rigid. You could have different themes depending on your energy level, the focus of your day, the season of your life, or the season of the year.
2. A routine may include fixed tasks or variable tasks. A fixed task is what you do every morning; maybe it’s drinking water or tea, or taking a walk. A variable task is what you can move or drop depending on the situation; maybe it’s eating breakfast or going to the gym. You decide what’s negotiable and what’s not.
3. The difference between a routine and a ritual. A routine is a sequence of behaviors and habits that you do in a certain order. They are things you do automatically and repeatedly without conscious thought. A ritual requires focus and attention to the present moment. Rituals are meaningful activities you do deliberately.
4. Key things to include in your morning routine –
- Quick wins, e.g. make your bed, drink water
5. Key things to avoid in your morning routine –
- Online activity, e.g. social media, news, emails
- The snooze button or multiple alarms
- Sugary foods
6. Hal Elrod’s 6 steps to create a morning routine and save you from a life of unfulfilled potential. They are Life S.A.V.E.R.S.
- Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning
- The Incrementalist podcast, Ep. 2, Building Good Habits
- The Incrementalist podcast, Ep. 3, Breaking Bad Habits
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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.