The Value of a Morning Routine for Your Workday
All of us—whether we realize it or not—are creatures of habit. We enjoy the comfort and familiarity of our routines, even if it’s something as simple as eating the same thing for breakfast every day.
How you spend your mornings might seem like the least important part of your day (from a workplace productivity standpoint), but our daily routines are actually incredibly beneficial for our mental well-being.
We Crave Routine
A routine is nothing more than a series of activities we perform day after day. We wake up. Shower. Brush our teeth. They’re simple tasks, but within those actions are hundreds of tiny decisions we need to make. What time should I wake up? How long do I have to shower? Should I start brushing teeth on the left side or the right?
Silly as it might sound, all of these little decisions can actually wear on our minds and drain our creative energy. There’s a huge amount of research out there on the science of decision fatigue, and it’s a problem that sneaks into our day when we least expect it.
Fortunately, it’s certainly possible to streamline your day in different ways to limit the number of decisions you make. And it all starts at a single point: The beginning of your day.
Setting Up a Solid Morning Routine
In the context of decision fatigue, the data is clear: Fewer decisions means more creative energy. In this way, sticking to a consistent morning routine isn’t just about building habits or our natural desire for consistency—it’s actually a way to improve business productivity by increasing our creative capital.
Of course, to do so, you need to choose the right activities to support your goals. In our experience, these activities can be broken down into three categories.
- Physical wellness: The brain follows the body. If you want more creative energy throughout the day, you need to support your body with the right activities. Consider making some light exercise part of your routine, whether it’s in the morning or after work. The same goes for good nutrition—get into the habit of eating well (choosing a high-protein breakfast over that Starbucks sandwich, for example) to support your creative potential.
- Mental clarity: Before the day’s work begins, it helps to get yourself in the right headspace. We like to journal for a few minutes every morning. Not only does this simple activity help clear and direct your thoughts, but it can be a great productivity booster to line out the day’s goals ahead of time.
- Attentive focus: This category is all about how you direct your mental resources. What captures your attention? What gives you energy? Many people find that a few minutes of calm, quiet meditation in the morning can do wonders for their attention. Others may prefer to focus their thoughts by warming up to the day with a cup of coffee and a few blogs. Whatever you prefer, find an activity you can indulge in each morning to keep you oriented.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Consistency
Consistency in our day-to-day routines can be a powerful thing for mental wellness. We like to think of routines, not as time management tools, but rather energy management tools. And if you’re the type of person who struggles to find the energy to get out of bed each day, you might be surprised at how far a solid morning routine can take you.