I became interested in the idea of developing a morning routine when I started a decorating business last year. Working from home was proving to be a challenge — I found myself distracted by everything from the dog to the dirty dishes in the sink to the novel that I was so close to finishing. I didn’t have anyone but myself to hold me accountable for how I spent my time.
It took more than a month to settle into a system that allowed me to manage my new business along with my household needs and my personal hobbies. This system served me well for around six months, then two life changes caused me to reassess my routine and change it slightly. I now have an infant daughter, and I work outside of the home part-time here at Kalico.
I thought developing a morning routine would simply provide some structure to my day, but it turned out to be beneficial in a number of ways.
Firstly, a routine helps set the tone for the day. I like to start my day feeling rested, energized, positive and prepared. To reach that goal, I pack a lunch and set out my clothes the night before, go to bed early, take my dog for a run or complete a short yoga workout, play with my infant daughter, eat breakfast and pray during my commute.
Secondly, a routine helps diminish a feeling of overwhelm — especially when you arrive at your desk and see a long list of unread messages. By the time I’ve arrived at work, I’ve already exercised and eaten, so I have the energy to tackle my inbox and to-do list. I scan over every e-mail (marking certain ones as important, and using the “mark as unread” option on ones I need to review again). As I read, I jot down any tasks that crop up — such as “call X back” or “post mail by 3.” Once I’ve gone through every e-mail, I turn my attention to my task list. I keep a running to-do list on my computer, and it’s organized by day. I move tasks around based on importance, and then I begin working my way down the list.
Lastly, a routine provides a break from having to make new decisions every morning — which ultimately saves time and energy. I know what I’m going to wear to work, because I’ve already picked it out. I know I’m not going to have to pick where to eat lunch, because I’ve packed one from home. I know I’m not going to arrive at work and wonder how to spend my time, because I have a running to-do list.
The important thing isn’t to settle for just any routine — figure out what best suits your personality and your goals. Need more inspiration? Check out mymorningroutine.com, which includes 194 routines of people around the world.