Your morning routine… does it help or hinder?

So it’s Monday. You’re probably thinking… “wonderful” [insert sarcasm], right?14724e0ee9f1a6ffbf56507154cbc637

Well… that is a sure way to start off your entire week pretty blah.

The reality is there are the people who love what they do, and there are the people who aren’t pretty hyped up on their current work situation. If you’re of the latter, my advice to you is to make the most of your current situation until that situation is changed. (Absolutely NO complaining if you keep yourself in a situation that you are unhappy with.)

So whether you love your current work situation (or loathe it), here are some routines you can implement to start off your week smoothly and set up for a productive week.

Get a head start on tomorrow, TONIGHT.
Planning your week on Sunday night gives you a head start on being prepared for the upcoming week. This means you have more time Monday morning to focus and get the ball rolling on the week you’re facing. Would you rather wake up in the wee hours of Monday planning your week or take advantage of the alone time that peaks up Sunday evening? I plan my entire week Sunday night. Of course, things come up throughout the week however, to have my MIT’s (Most Important Things) covered and a plan in which I can throw in the pop-up items, that helps make my week progress swimmingly.

Start your day in bed.
Okay so this one is a catch 22. Some have the ability to do this, some don’t. If your lifestyle allows this then by all means, take advantage! I am inundated with emails on Monday morning (and pretty much every morning of the week). Rather than wasting my first hour at work, stuck in my office sorting through my inbox, I tackle those suckers first thing in the AM. If you are fortunate enough not to be attached to your inbox, I am green with envy! Today, email, despite many reports that email is an ancient form of communication, is still a fundamental part of my position and I think it’s fair to say for most exempt positions, especially those primarily remote positions.

If you aren’t going to get a head start, start your day by planning what needs to get done.
A morning routine can be particularly important to setting up your day in the best way. Your morning routine can include everything that is important to you, personal, family and work. One of the most important aspects of planning your day is to determine your MIT’s for the day/week. Also, flexibility is essential. Your morning routine can be tweaked but should generally remain consistent. Consistency forms habits.

Don’t skip over breakfast.
When designing the best way for you to start your week, be sure to include a GOOD BREAKFAST. Your body needs fuel. Be sure to include a breakfast regimen to get your body and brain ready to work. This could be a fruit, protein bar, something to get your energy up. Breakfast doesn’t have to be a chore, make it fast, easy, but effective.

Sleep as well as you can.
Sleep is also essential in getting your body ready for the upcoming day. My daily routine includes being asleep by 10:30pm on weekdays. (You can stop looking at your screen crazy now.) I know myself well enough to know that if I do not get a certain amount of hours of sleep, it will throw my day off completely. Once again, circumstances can refrain from such an “early” sleep time however, to have a well rested body plays an essential part in your work performance. Consider the total hours of sleep you get, even conduct your own experiment to determine how sleep affects you.

Switch yourself off at night by turning off those pesky phone notifications.
DISENGAGE. DISCONNECT. Give yourself time away from your electronic communication devices. No, you don’t need to check your Facebook newsfeed, and your Instagram will be there tomorrow. (Most of you are NOT checking your email.) I am guilty of this, but awareness is key and so I have incorporated a daily habit of shutting down at 10:00pm. It’s improved as most of the time I don’t look at my phone after 9:00pm.

Android has the perfect feature called “Blocking Mode.” Read up on it Android users and USE IT. When you activate “Blocking Mode” notifications for selected features will be turned off. I have mine auto-activate starting at 10:30pm and deactivate at 7:00am. This shuts off all notifications and turns off the LED Light Notifications.

If Apple’s iPhone has a similar feature that you know of, please feel free to describe in the comments section their version of “Blocking Mode”.

Remember: DISENGAGE. DISCONNECT.

and finally…

Track your habits to understand yourself.
Track your habits for a week to find the insight you need to improve your routine. What can you do to improve your current routine? What can you incorporate in your routine to make it better?

Understanding how you live right now, can help you to work towards how you want to live.

Do you have tips for improving your daily routine? What does your routine look like right now? Let us know in the comments.

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