You don’t have to be a morning person to create a productive morning routine. Set yourself to success with these 3 tips.
I don’t know about you, but waking up early in the morning isn’t my thing.
If I have to do, I do it, of course. However, don’t expect me to be all smiles. It just doesn’t happen. In fact, I need time a couple of hours to warm up first before I can start my activities full throttle.
I can’t say I’m proud of that, but I don’t feel sorry about it either.
It’s who I am, period.
Unfortunately, when you aren’t a morning person, chances are you miss valuable hours of the day regarding productivity.
If you have to be at work early in the morning, you won’t be at your best right from the start, for example.
Some companies are flexible enough not to have fixed starting hours for all employees, but it doesn’t happen everywhere.
Entrepreneurs, who many think have all freedom in the world, also need to get things within a certain timeframe.
Besides, there’s this myth that implies you are a productive person only if you wake up early. Luckily, science is proving it to be as much as an urban legend as multitasking.
Either way, there are things we can’t change at all, such as:
- Morning appointments
- Shopping hours
- Class time
What to do then when you have to comply despite your personal preferences?
Making the most out of your morning
While you won’t be at the top of your game at 6 am, you still need to get things done in the morning.
If you are also a night owl like me, you won’t be excited about setting up your alarm clock or getting out of bed. And that’s OK.
However, you need to make sure you’ll be able to keep up with your responsibilities somehow.
One complaint I hear from clients and friends who aren’t morning people is that they already feel overwhelmed when they wake up. The sound of the alarm clock and the idea of everything that’s coming up during the day is enough to stress them out.
Because of the lack of planning, they don’t have time to allow their bodies to wake up naturally. This pressure of having to go from total rest to full speed isn’t healthy.
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What to do then to avoid this madness?
How to build a productive morning routine for night owls
Those who struggle with the first hours of the day can also implement these 3 tips to set themselves for a productive morning routine:
- Prepare in advance
- Sleep your hours
- Start smart
1. Prepare in advance
Even though my mom is the kind of person who wakes up at 5 am on a daily basis without an alarm clock, she didn’t leave anything to chance.
One of the things I learned from her was getting as much organized as possible the evening before.
In other words, before going to bed, I:
- Choose my outfit for the following day.
- Organize my bag.
- Prepare breakfast.
- Check my to-do list.
- Set my alarm clock with enough time for myself.
Thanks to this evening preparation routine, I do much less in the morning.
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When I get out of bed, I’m not stressed out and I save energy by being in autopilot mode.
2. Sleep your hours
Another misconception about productivity is that you don’t need to sleep much. It’s all about waking up early without taking bedtime into consideration.
To be productive, however, you have to be fully awake.
Coffee may help you get started, but unless you are well-rested, there’s little it can do for you.
Even if getting started as early as possible is your ultimate goal, make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
If you can’t go to bed before midnight for whatever the reason, waking up at 5 am shouldn’t become your morning routine.
When you can hit the bed early, go for it.
How many hours one needs per night to feel fully recover vary from person to person.
Pay attention to the signs your body is sending and adapt your bedtime accordingly.
3. Start smart
Whether you’ll get up at 5 or 7 am, if it’s too early for you, create a morning routine that fits your energy levels.
If you can barely open your eyes, planning to work on your most important projects right away might not be the best idea.
I prefer to workout first thing in the morning.
I do my CrossFit WODs to start the day with a healthy habit that doesn’t demand much of concentration.
Besides, training helps me wake up.
Instead of sluggish staring at the computer screen, I’m outside home, doing something good for my health.
Other less demanding tasks you can start your day with are:
- Walking the dog.
- Writing in your journal.
- Going through your calendar.
Instead of forcing yourself to do things you won’t be able to proficiently perform, pick more productive alternatives.
Keep it real
Now that you know your productivity isn’t directly related to the time you wake up, you can start to plan your morning routine mindfully.
One thing you should always take into consideration is that you aren’t a machine.
There are indeed a lot of people who open their eyes, and they are wide awake.
I remember doing my morning cardio with a grumpy face and listening to everyone around having lively conversations. I couldn’t follow them.
Instead of feeling guilty about who you are, just think of the times when these people are probably falling asleep on their couch, and you’re rocking your projects.
Even if you cannot change much in your schedule to fit flexible times, it won’t change who you are.
Stop fighting against your nature and think out of the box.
If you are new to planning and have no idea where to start, whether you are a morning person or not, then my course Planning For Productivity is perfect for you.
In this course, I teach you, step by step, how to build a productive routine that fits your lifestyle and helps you get more done in a day.
The workshop Planning For Productivity comes with a workbook you can use to follow the presentation as well as to start your planning. You also get a bonus video in which I share tips and quick-wins on consistency.
Unless you can schedule your time efficiently, you won’t be able to achieve your goals.
Use the 3 tips above to create a morning routine and start having more productive days.
Before you go
Can you answer the following question in the comments below, please?
Are you a morning person or a night owl? When do you feel at your best: AM or PM?