In college I realized I was different. Weekend mornings, when the rest of my peers were fast asleep recovering from the festivities of the night before, I was wide awake. I would happily hop out of bed, dress and scurry off to the dining hall for breakfast with my journal in hand. The thought of being cooped up in my room was simply not an option. One morning, I yelled through the air vents of my room into the room of my next door neighbor and best friend Lisette to invite her to join me. She, one of the most eloquently spoken old souls I know, responded back in a holler of protest “MACKENZZZIE! We aren’t all spring CHICKENS! You can’t expect me to be ready to fling the coop before 10am on a Saturday!”
I quickly realized that, although my morning routine was the best way for me to kickstart my day, it wasn’t what worked for everyone. The activities that bring you joy and organization at the beginning of your day may not involve getting up early. They may not even involve immediately leaving your bed. But I believe there is an organized morning routine for everyone that works and leads to the most productive and pleasant of days.
Today, we’ll discuss some morning routine ideas to bring you both organization and joy. Hopefully these will get your wheels turning and help you take notice of what works for you and what doesn’t. And don’t worry! You can start your morning at whatever hour you see fit. You needn’t be a “spring chicken” to start the day strong.
Do Something That Elevates You
Why is it that we always do fun stuff after work or at the end of the day? Make time to do something fun or elevating in the morning! Know your strengths. What are you good at and enjoy doing or learning about? What activities bring you joy? If you’re a good cook and you enjoy it, wake up in time to make breakfast. If you like to workout, do it first thing. I personally love singing. As I’m getting ready, I often pop on a pair of headphones to avoid disturbing my boyfriend who is NOT a spring chicken and listen to old Ella Fitzgerald tracks while quietly singing along. Doing something you are good at or enjoy is a great way to start the day feeling confident. This will make difficult tasks that you feel nervous about a little easier to stomach.
Spill Your Guts
Do you find yourself waking up with a lot on your mind? Maybe some brilliant ideas? Thoughts scrambling through your head about all the things that need to be done in the day before you’ve even begun it. Journaling can be a great way to release these thoughts in a productive way and give yourself peace of mind. What is more joyous that that?! Grab a pen and paper, or start a note on your phone, and dump all of that information. If you don’t have a lot of time, just write in list form.
Be emotionally unapologetic here. Write down anything you’re stressed, excited or happy about. Spilling your guts will help you clear your mind of clutter and focus on what actually needs to be accomplished to relieve stressors. Taking a moment to reflect can be the best thing you can do for yourself and those you interact with. I often find that writing down how I am feeling gives me a clear vision to act and communicate my plans and feelings more clearly to others.
Organize Your Agenda
We bet that working out and journaling are the kinds of things that have been on your list of new years resolutions for the past few years. To enact change though, you need to get organized enough to actually schedule those things you want to do. That’s why we recommend you take time in the morning to do a little planning to organize your agenda.
First, consider what you already have planned that is set in stone for the day by reviewing your agenda. If you live with others, take note of any tasks on their agenda that may require your assistance and add those commitments to your own. If anything needs to be rearranged, do it right away.
Second, make a to do list for the day. Make sure to add tasks that are the most important to accomplish for the sake of your sanity and any deadlines you have. Not sure what those things are? This why journaling can be helpful for some. That initial brain dump the morning can help you organize your thoughts.
Third, schedule your priorities. Here is where you should be very realistic and critical of what what actually makes it onto your calendar for the day. Consider what’s urgent, important and what you actually have time to complete in the day. Don’t get distracted by non-urgent tasks. Any tasks that can or should be scheduled for another day, add to your calendar instead of a to do list.
Minimize When Necessary
Maybe the key to your morning routine is to make it nearly nonexistent! See, I told you this article wasn’t just for spring chickens. If you aren’t a morning person then set yourself up for success by not scheduling or expecting too much in the AM.
Your key to starting off your day in an organized fashion may be completing all of these tips the night before! This way you simply wake up and execute. Perhaps you need to do something that helps to wake you up and feel alert. For some this means working out while others may need to indulge in a nice strong cup of coffee. Whatever it is that motivates you to get out of bed, night owls typically benefit from setting up their day the night before.
Find a Morning Routine Buddy
So you’ve figured out your ideal morning routine and organized your schedule to accommodate it; now you just have to begin practicing. This can be the most difficult step. As you are trying to form a habit, it can be very helpful to have someone to help keep you accountable. Just because you want to do something that you know is good for you or will bring you joy, doesn’t mean it will be easy.
Share your routine with someone you live with or nearby. They can do some of the things with you if you have a shared goal. For example, knowing that one of my keys to an organized and joyful morning is getting outside as fast as possible, I now to go out for a short walk. But knowing that I need to do this and actually doing it are two different things.
There are always plenty of urgent distractions that keep us from the beautiful things in life that keep us sane. To add accountability, I asked my neighbor if she was interested in being my morning walk buddy. She was excited about the idea and said yes. We don’t go every morning but it’s nice to know that I have an ally that is willing to help me reach my goal.
In the end, whatever you choose to incorporate into your daily routine, commit to it for a while. It takes a little time to see the benefits of a new habit. But usually, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right activities after the first day with a great sense of accomplishment in doing something positive for yourself. Be sure to share your perfect morning routine with us below or on Facebook once you craft it. We wish you many joyful and organized days to come! For more organizing tips and tricks on organizing yourself and your space for a smoother morning, check out the following helpful videos and blogs.