I am a creature of habit. Some might say I thrive on it, but this has not always been the case. As I read and learned how to manage my Type 1 Diabetes with diet, the topic of healthy habits, routines, and sleep kept popping up. A skeptic ’til the end, I did not believe the research I was reading until I tried it for myself. Life changing, folks! Having a morning routine not only helps manage my blood glucose levels (priority #1 for me when I first set my morning routine) but it sets me up for a productive day. Let me share with you my Top 7 Habits for a Productive Day that I hope will change your life like it did mine!
Go to Bed on Time
Did you know a productive day actually starts the night before? In order for you to be alert and energized, you need to be getting enough sleep. Determine what time you need to be up in the morning to get everything accomplished, then back up 8 hours. That is your new bed time.
The recommended amount of sleep is usually a range from 7 to 9 hours. How do you know if you are getting enough sleep? You wake up before your alarm goes off. That’s right, don’t be angry that you woke up just three minutes before that pesky alarm. This is a sign you got enough sleep! Resist the temptation to roll over and just get up!
Set Clothes Out the Night Before
If your brain has a hard time getting in gear in the morning, set your clothes out the night before. It will save many precious minutes if everything from your socks to your jewelry is laid out ready for you to put on.
I set out two piles of clothes each morning. The pile closest to my bed is my work-out clothes. I swing my legs over the side of the bed each morning and put my work-out clothes on first thing. The pile next to that is what I plan to wear that day. I take these clothes down with me to the basement where I work-out then shower and get ready for the day.
Get Up When the Alarm Goes Off
Oh my, stepping on so many toes today, including my own! I am guilty of hitting the snooze too! However, every morning I do, I regret the decision later that morning. When every minute of the morning is planned, loosing 10 minutes off the bat is hard to make up. You’ll be cutting corners somewhere in your routine to make up for that snooze.
Your body will wake up easier over time if you just get up when that alarm goes off. Not everyone springs out of bed each morning naturally, but you can make that happen by just getting up, right away, every day. You can do it!
Jesus and a Hot Drink
On to my favorite time of the day: time with Jesus and a hot drink. I believe a hot drink (tea or coffee for me!) is necessary for a good prayer and Bible reading time! I joke…sort of. Part of me enjoying the quiet and God’s word is my hot cup of tea.
Make a Prioritized To-Do List
Take 5 minutes to look at your calendar for the day and jot down what you need to accomplish. Then, and this is the key, re-write it prioritizing the important items at the top of the list and least important at the bottom.
The morning routine is not quite finished, but once it is, the tasks for the day are already laid out and ready to be accomplished.
Now that you’ve had time to put your mind in the right spot by spending time in God’s word and getting your day organized, get your body moving! Working out in the morning will get your metabolism rolling and boost your energy for the entire day. Go for a walk, do a work-out video, ride a bike, whatever movement speaks to you do it! Just get up and get moving!
For me, I love doing a 30 minute Fitness Blender work-out in my basement. I keep my weights and mat down there so I’m ready to go every morning. When I finish my workout…
Shower and Get Dressed
A productive day does not happen in your pajamas! I know you are thinking, “I can clean the house in any outfit” or ” Shopping is most comfortable in yoga pants.” I’m not knocking comfortable clothes, but I do believe there is a change in self-confidence and productivity when you get dressed for the day. If yoga pants are on the docket, so be it, but coordinate it with shirt/shoes/outerwear that you love and loves you. If you love how you look, you will get more done that day, I guarantee it!
A great day doesn’t happen by accident, it happens with planning and habit. The more ingrained your morning (and evening) routine become, the less energy it will take to complete it. You won’t be exhausted when the alarm goes off. You will be rested and ready to start your day. No fumbling around, no wasted time in the morning, you know what you are wearing and doing first, so you can just get to it!
As always, I am not suggesting difficult habits that I myself am not working on. I began my quest for a consistent morning routine shortly after my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, and it became habitual about 8 months later. You will likely fail the first few times you try to establish a morning routine, I did! Don’t give up! Tweak the order, things you do, time you get up, etc. until you find the winning combination for you.
The first habits for a productive day start the night before with setting out your clothes and going to bed on time. If you don’t get enough sleep, your morning is going to be so much more difficult. Getting up when the alarm goes off, quality time with Jesus, planning your day, exercise, and getting dressed for the day are all very difficult to do when you are tired. Take back your day by establishing good evening and morning habits for a productive day!
What does your morning routine look like? Have you tried creating a routine? Or are you a bit more free-spirited when it comes to routines and habits?