With the new year here, I recently hit the reset button on some of my daily habits that had fallen to the wayside during the holidays. And, it makes SUCH a difference in my day. I have 7 habits I try to follow every morning and when I do it’s seriously LIFE CHANGING.
For me, a productive morning almost always becomes a productive day and productive days lead to productive lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not super productive every single day. Some days I roll out of bed, throw on yesterday’s dirty leggings, and the most productive thing I do all day is to make sure my toddler doesn’t inflict self-harm on himself. But, in general, these are the guidelines I like to follow.
Now, I have found in order to have a productive morning DO you have to be VERY intentional about it. It doesn’t just happen. That’s why I’m sharing those intentional habits with you that I’ve adopted. These are the habits that have changed my morning which in turn has honestly changed my life to make me more productive and efficient with my time. And, everyone is different so maybe not every single one of these will work for you but my hope is you can gain some nuggets of wisdom from my habits, and hopefully inspire your own productive morning.
Start the night before…
Since my productive morning habits are all about intention it would make sense that the foundation for these habits actually starts the night before. I do 3 things at night that lead to a better morning. And, listen, at the end of a long day I’m tired, I want nothing more than to crawl into bed and just pass out, but I KNOW taking a few minutes to prep for tomorrow is the difference between an intentional, productive morning and a chaotic mess.
So, whenever I’m struggling to find the motivation I remind myself – tomorrow Kallie will thank you for this. I know the idea of being nice to your future self seems silly. But it’s a little mind game and it WORKS. And, in the morning, I make a point to acknowledge how much better or easier my morning was thanks to what I did for myself last night.
Habit One: clean up your space
Now, I don’t mean clean your whole house, that’d be madness. But, I pick up the two main areas of my house I spend my morning in: for me, that’s the kitchen and the family room. When I wake up in the morning and come down to a picked-up space, it starts my day 1000x better than coming down to dishes in the sink that I have to clean and toys to pick up. It’s just a waste of my time first thing and takes away from other productive things I could be doing. So I pick up the family room immediately after I put my son to bed. Then, I clean the kitchen before I head up to go to bed myself (usually my husband and I actually do it together after we’ve had dinner or watched a show together. It’s not the most fun chore, but since we do it together it’s kinda like time to hang out together and we might talk about the day or what’s coming up tomorrow).
Tip: Pick up areas at the same time (like right after kid’s bedtime or right before bed) because then they develop into habits.
Habit Two: Grab Tomorrow’s Outfit
This is such a simple one that you’ve probably heard a million times but IT MAKES SUCH A DIFFERENCE. It’s one less thing to do or think about in the morning and helps ensure you actually get dressed and don’t stay in PJs all day long. I also was watching a video on Shea Whitney’s YouTube channel – who is much more fashionable than me – but she mentioned another reason picking your outfit the night before it good is because you tend to be more likely to choose something put together or polished while in the morning you’re tired and cold and just want to throw on the same jeggings and oversized cardigan.
Habit Three: Get to Bed On Time
This one can be hard – especially for moms who put their babies to bed at 7:30 and then want a little quiet time or alone time with their spouses. But, it’s SO important to prioritize getting to bed at a decent hour if you want to wake up ready to tackle your day. So here are 2 little tricks to making it happen.
- Turn off the TV one hour before you want to be going to sleep. The reason being is bedtime prep always takes longer than we think. We decide we want to watch ONE MORE EPISODE because it’s only 9, but then you watch it, now it’s 10, then you realize you didn’t pick up the kitchen yet, you have to take a quick shower, find your outfit for tomorrow, brush your teeth…now it’s 11 before you’re even getting into bed. I personally like to be getting into bed by 9:30//10, then I might read for 30 minutes. So, I try to turn the tv off by 8:30/9:00. It’s hard and often my husband fights me for another episode, but I try to stick to it and it does make a HUGE difference.
- Actually HAVE a bedtime set. The reason we end up staying up late is because it’s not like we have an alarm telling us to go to bed like we have in the morning telling us to wake up. If it helps, you can even set an alarm on your phone to make this happen. Set one for 1 hour before you want to go to bed, TVs off and start your wind-down routine.
Habit Four: Wake Up Earlier
You’ve heard it said so many times because it truly makes all the difference. If you have a job, give yourself 30 extra minutes for YOU time in the morning, if you’re a mom – try to wake up before you kids, even if it’s only 15 minutes. When I started waking up early to start my morning right instead of starting it chaotically, it truly changed my productivity levels, my days, and honestly, my life. This extra time is going to help you do a few morning routines that are going to set your day up for success. I have an entire video about how to become a morning person if you need some tips to learn how to start waking up earlier.
Habit Five: Have a full glass of water
The first thing I do when I wake up is while I’m making my morning coffee is I drink 10-12 oz of water. Our bodies become extremely dehydrated overnight and its part of the reason we feel so sluggish when we first wake up – our brains are 70% water and so making sure to rehydrate ourselves it’s basically giving your brain fuel. I started this routine when I was pregnant because I heard something somewhere that said “a glass for you a glass for the baby.” And, I don’t know, it just sort of stuck with me. Now, I still make sure to have a glass for me every morning.
Habit Six: Become a List Maker
Now, I know everyone tackles tasks differently but this is what works for me and so I’m going to share it. I start every morning with a list of tasks I want to accomplish – so I know exactly what I want to get done that day. And, some might be big tasks like to finish editing a video and others are maybe smaller like put away the laundry. It’s basically anything I want to do that day that’s not part of my everyday routine. And, I can add to it through the day if I think of something that comes up that I want to tackle.
The reason this little running list works for me, is it helps to keep my productivity level up all day long. Let me give you an example, do you ever find yourself sitting down and wondering if you actually have free time or if you’re just forgetting things you were supposed to do? Or, do you find yourself with a little free time – such as when your child takes their nap or 15 minutes while dinner is cooking – and feel sort of idle but don’t know what you should be doing instead? The list solves this. I go straight to my list and see was things I wanted to get done that day and I can jump immediately into a task without wasting too much time thinking about it.
Shop my favorite planner with a built-in to-do list:
Lists also are great because anything that I don’t accomplish I can move to tomorrow’s list so it isn’t forgotten. It also acts as a little bit of accountability for me. I get the satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do list and stay accountable for what I wanted to do. I know a to-do list seems like the most trivial habit, but when used correctly and consistently, it can make a huge difference.
Habit Seven: Get Ready (no matter what)
Don’t get me wrong, an occasional pajama day is the best, but in general, taking 5-10 minutes to get dressed – even if it’s just switching from your nighttime leggings to your daytime leggings – brush your hair, and throw on some concealer and mascara makes all the difference for me. And, it’s such a big one now that I’m staying home with my son and not getting ready to go into an office. It’s sort of just a mind shift but when you get ready it tells you brain it’s daytime, it’s time to work, it’s time to be productive.
I also feel more prepared to tackle whatever comes my way, for example, if I decide I need to run to the store for milk.
There you have if friends it’s 7 habits I’ve adopted that have truly changed my life. I’ve become more productive and overall happier because I’m not constantly running around feeling chaotic all the time. And, to be honest it’s taken me a handful of years to fully adopt all of these as a way of life. So, don’t expect to start them all at once and don’t get down on yourself if you can’t integrate them into your life on the first try. These are just habits, so they take some time to adopt them. And, sometimes you can break habits – for example over the holiday season things are so crazy and busy I usually lose a few of my good habits and have to hit reset after January 1st.
Other videos you might find helpful:
How to be a Morning Person
Why You’re Always Tired