My Morning Routine

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

I love mornings.
They represent new beginnings.
As a teenager, I would wake up and think, "I have a new chance to succeed." My habits made those chances worth pursuing.
As a wife and mother, I am productive in the morning.
I accomplish a lot in the early hours. My morning routine is not about a list of things I do but specific habits that lead to success.

Instead of thinking of routine as a series of robotic activities, I think of the habits that propel me towards a happier day. Here they are:

Habit 1 • Phone Downtime. The digital age has given us quite a bit of control of our uncontrolled urge to check our phones all the time. A great solution to this problem is to utilize the "downtime" setting of my iPhone. This setting locks almost all my Apps from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. The only things not clocked are my Bible App and my camera. The act of not checking my phone when I wake up helps me to be more purposeful, peaceful and productive.

Habit 2 • Rest. The fuel to the best morning routines is resting well the night A good morning requires a restful night. Rest is the most underutilized productivity tool. After a night of rest, I feel refreshed and ready to be productive.

Habit 3 • Prepare. It's been said that "by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail." I prepare everything I need the night before. I set aside my running clothes, shoes and I make sure the coffee maker is ready to go. I also pack any lunches the kids need the night before. Preparation makes my morning routine easier. I can simply sit with my Bible and coffee knowing that everything I need to do later is already ready to go.

Habit 4 • Focus. Distraction is the chief thief of productivity. I've had days when I wake up early and I waste precious minutes by browsing the internet mindlessly. Focusing on my actual routine is very important. When I wake up, I get dressed, I wash my face, brush my teeth and I get the coffee maker started. I get on my knees and pray for a while. Then I read my Bible. After that, it's time to go for a run. I only have a set amount of time to do all of that, so focusing on starting and finishing each activity on time is very important. Decide what you want to do and focus on each activity.

Please know that these suggestions might not work for you. I also need to tell you that I'm very much a work in progress. Every now and then I need to recalibrate and do these very things anew.

Other tips:

• Keep your phone out of reach. Put it in a room adjacent to yours. You will sleep better, and if you need to hear the alarm, you'll get up to turn it off. I always remind myself that I am not an E.R. doctor on call. I can live without my phone if need be. Remember, technology is a great servant but a terrible master.

• Plan for Downtime - When my phone is about to shut down, it gives me a 5-minute warning. It is a mental reminder that I need to go to bed. My phone is not part of my bedtime routine, so I need a plan for my own downtime. Will I read a book? Will I join my husband and watch a show? Will I prep for the next morning? Planning ahead is a great way to succeed.

I would love to hear about some ways you keep your morning routine popping.