How I Learned to Embrace My Mornings

Whether you work from home or have a regular office gig, creating a morning routine can make the difference between being frazzled and being focused.

Woman looks thoughtful at a cafe in the morning

Coming up with a routine that supports me on days that I go into the shop, days that I work from home, and even days that I have off has played a really big part in finding that often illusive sense of balance.

Here are my TOP 10 TIPS for starting your day off right:

  1. Set a reasonable wake-up time. This may mean that you have to plan when you're going to go to sleep so that you get a full eight hours of sleep, but it's totally worth it.

  2. Don't set multiple alarms! You're training your brain to ignore each one, which allows you to turn them off and to oversleep. It's not even restful sleep at that point. If you're picking a reasonable wake-up time, set one alarm and stick to it.

  3. Pick an alarm type that works for you. I hate noisy alarms — they startle me! I am the most refreshed when I wake up naturally with sunlight coming through my windows and the soft pulse of my Fitbit or low chime of my Echo easing me out of sleep.

  4. Start your day off with a beverage. Hydrate. I absolutely hate water, always have. So, I start my morning off with one glass of water. It helps me to know that I have at least that much water down. And then I need coffee because I'm basically addicted.

  5. Get physical. That's right — wake your body up! I like gentle yoga in the morning, but you can do some basic stretches, go for a walk or run, or hit the gym. Whatever works for you.

  6. Accomplish something. Few things are more annoying to me than coming home to a messy kitchen and having to clean before I cook. So, while I wait for coffee, I use this barely-awake time to unload/load the dishwasher and tidy up so it's out of the way and ready for me when I come home.

  7. Give yourself space. Do something just for you. Perhaps it's reading the newspaper. Maybe it’s writing a letter, journaling, reading or cuddling a loved one. Do something that has nothing to do with social media or TV. I bet this will quickly become your favorite part of your morning.

  8. Prepare for your day. Show your future self some love by preparing meals for the rest of your day. Pack your lunch or marinate something for dinner. I also like to pick three tasks — just three! — to focus on throughout my work day. Determining those three tasks allows me to start work with clear goals in mind.

  9. Allow enough time to get dressed. Once a friend took a photo of me paparazzi-style with zero makeup on and wet hair. I felt like a mess. Nope, not happening anymore! Take the time you need to fully get ready. Remember to build in plenty of time for other things you may need time for after you are dressed. If you do this, you'll never be caught rushing out the door unprepared for whatever adventure awaits.

  10. Leave when you need to leave. When I used to drive twelve minutes to get to my job, I left thirty minutes early. I now have a short walk, and I initially found myself leaving at the time I should be opening the shop’s doors — so unprofessional! Now, I have fifteen minutes built into my routine to give me some flexibility and to give me time to settle in and get ready to see you as soon as I unlock those doors, 

Women start their day with croissants at a bakery

My Morning:

7:00 am: Wake up and drink 1 glass of water with lemon/lime
7:15 am: Yoga
8:00 am: Make coffee and put away dishes
8:15 am: Enjoy coffee and read or meditate
8:30 am: Dress thoughtfully, with hair and makeup done, too
9:00 am: Make breakfast and meal prep for the day
9:30 am: Pick top 3 tasks
9:45 am: Leave for work

I hope those tips and showing you my routine helps you craft your own morning routine. Remember to be practical, flexible, and forgiving. You're probably not going to follow this timeline every day, and that’s okay. But if you spend some time thinking through what you want to get done in the morning, writing it down, and timing it out, you’ll create a routine that will help you start most of your days off on the best foot possible.

Do you have a morning routine?  Let us know your tips or routines in the comments! 

Also, here's a peek at what my mornings really look like:



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