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10 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Mornings

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Morning Stretch

While I like to focus on mindset shifts and other foundational ways to boost productivity, there are also a lot of simple ways to get quick wins. If you’re struggling with your morning routine, a simple action that strengthens it can give you the motivator you need to keep improving.

Here are 10 simple ways you can improve your morning routine tomorrow (and feel more focused and energized for the day ahead).

  1. Don’t open your email for at least an hour after waking up. I know people who don’t check email at all until the afternoon. You can start with giving yourself at least an hour of email-free time in the morning.
  2. Manage your energy. Do this by asking these questions about every part of your morning routine: does this improve my energy? Is this making the best use of my energy? For most people, the answer will be “no” for checking social media.
  3. Leave your phone in another room. If you struggle with the temptation to check your notifications every couple of minutes, up your game by removing the temptation.
  4. Do a quick stretch. Stretching gets oxygen to your muscles, which helps wake you up. If you’re feeling tired, stretch for 10 seconds, and you’ll instantly feel more energized.
  5. Write in a gratitude journal. If mornings are a slog for you, it can be hard to focus on anything except the bad: how tired you are, how much work you have to do, etc. But if you spend just one minute writing down things you’re grateful for, you’re likely to improve your mood.
  6. Play your favorite song (preferably an upbeat one) or a funny comedy set. I do this on days I just can’t seem to get going, and it gives me an energy boost right away.
  7. Simplify breakfast, and look forward to lunch as a reward for hard work. If you’re spending more than 10 minutes on breakfast, can you cut that down? Can you grab something from the fridge and be done with breakfast in 10 minutes? Morning routines are most effective when they’re focused and under 60 minutes (90 at the most). For many people, a long breakfast is an invitation to start mindlessly scrolling through social media and email.
  8. Start your morning routine with the same action every day. This trains your mind and body to anticipate the routine coming up, so when you perform the task, you automatically go into “morning routine mode.” For me, this is drinking a glass of water.
  9. Write down your routine on a notecard and keep it next to your bed. Make it easy to follow your morning routine — don’t try to keep it all in your head. And definitely don’t spend your mornings deciding which parts of your morning routine to do and in what order. Your morning routine should be set. All you’re doing in the mornings is following it.
  10. Commit to doing approx. 1% better each day (Kaizen). If your morning routine is taking you more than 90 minutes, make it a couple minutes shorter the next day. If you find it hard to meditate for more than a minute, add one second each day. Tiny improvements every day = huge rewards down the line.

Do you have any favorite ways you’ve improved your morning routine? Comment below and let us know.

And if you want the ultimate morning routine (proven to enhance productivity), we’ve helped hundreds of people get exactly that.

“The biggest help for me from AE has been the concept of morning rituals. I implemented one very similar to yours, and my mornings have gone from the least productive to the most productive part of my day.” -Alyssa V, USA

Make mornings a time you look forward to (even when you’re tired, stressed, and just want to sleep in)

“I get up at 4am on work days and 5 am on the off days (a mere 2 months ago I was waking up around noon) […] I didn’t use to be a morning person but habits form and you get used to it.” -Nick H, USA

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Posted by Paul  | January 28, 2016 at 3:47PM | Reply

I took the Asian Efficiency rituals course and have implemented a morning routine. The hardest but best part of it so far is doing some exercise and drinking a lot of water. Hard because I have to drag myself out of bed and do intense exercise!! But I feel fantastic afterwards. It’s really setting me up for the rest of my routine and the rest of the day.

Posted by Scott Jasper  | January 28, 2016 at 7:11AM | Reply

Tim Ferriss is the best person to follow about morning routines. In his podcast, he always asks guests about what their morning routine is like. I think a simply breakfast is key though

Posted by Mattheous  | January 24, 2016 at 10:42AM | Reply

I have a 2.5 hour routine, because I have to do things like exercise (I have a chronic condition; if I don’t they’ll waste away), take medicines (I have to take some a half hour before I eat and some only after eating a certain amount for breakfast), shower and shave and such. I also have chronic fatigue, so it takes me longer to do some things.

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