These morning routine hacks can get you ready for a productive day

I see you, July! It's a new month, people!

It's full of new hopes and new challenges! If you're like me, I am pretty sure you want to kick off the month feeling fine ma meh! But we all have busy days, I-want-to-stay-in-bed days, and I don’t-know-what-the-hell-i-am-doing-today days. Yet there are always things to do, people to see, places to go and responsibilities to see too. It can get crazy managing all our life commitments.

I used to wake up knowing I had tons of things to do and having no clue where to start. To my regret, I have spent many days in the past wasting time because I had no structure to guide me. So all that changed one day, when I was whining about it to a dear friend of mine. She basically told me that I needed to, “get my life”. And to do that, I needed was a routine. Hmm... Glad to say it’s been almost a year I started my own customized routine and it has made quite a difference.
So for those who do not know, having a routine is basically a collection of systematic actions that are regularly followed. Although I know it sounds very mechanical, it’s really just small things to get you in the right mind frame and mood to take on your busy day.

For a constantly absent-minded person, having a routine grounds me and provides me with a sense of focus for the day. It enforces a sense of discipline because I know exactly what follows what some of the time. The truth is you’re more prepared for the day depending on what you do to start the day. So here’s what mine looks like :

Listening to a morning podcast: My love for podcasts, albeit recent, has just shot through the roof. I made it a part of my morning routine because it doesn’t only drag me out of bed, it gets my mind active on matters that interest me right away. So even it takes 30 minutes to get out of bed, it is 30 minutes used on catching up on things I find interesting. Podcasts feel like you’re reading your favourite book or television series which automatically puts me in a great mood. There will be a follow-up article on my favourite podcasts soon!

 5-minute journal: I love to journal which comes easily to me because I love to write. Unfortunately, i can’t do that fully in the morning when you’re pressed for time. So I use Moodnotes, which allows you to do a quick check in what your thoughts are ahead of the day. It also has a feature that allows you to rethink and re-evaluate your thinking patterns if you are in a negative space. This takes all of 3-5 minutes to do. Basically, journaling allows you to document and see how far you’ve come with your mental strength and decisions.

 Learn something new: Living in Turkey was an eye-opener because i realised how easy it was to learn the basics of a foreign language under three months! So imagine my pleasure at finding Duolingo! Duolingo is probably one of the easiest ways any language you’re interested in. Shout out to all my French teachers who tried! Duolingo takes another 5 minutes to teach one class a day. Per the language, you choose you can interact with an AI-powered instructor for practice!

Work ya body! - Nothing wakes you up better than a good work out. Now, not everyone goes to the gym conveniently. And if you’re gym-shy like me, you’re in luck because there are so many good home-workout videos channels like youtube as well health and fitness workout mobile application apps available. If you are a beginner, a thirty-minute walk/run session with Leslie Sansone can get you started.

 Write down your top five to-dos for the day - It's for clarity and for tunnel-vision focus on the task ahead. More often than not, we tend to do at least 3 out of the 5 things we set out to do and that's more progress than we would have without a plan. Remember, our brain isn't made for storage and trying to use it for that purpose just enables stress. Make a habit of writing things down and scheduling it for the appropriate times.

You know the great thing about the first three tips? You can do it all in bed! The idea behind a morning routine is not to exert yourself in needless activities. It’s basically being mindful to what your body and mind need. It nurtures some amount of control which allows you to take on work and daily commitments in a better frame.

What do your routines look like? Pray do share!