GOOD VS BAD MORNING ROUTINE

What is a bad morning routine? And does it mean that people who love doing things a little bit different have morning routines that are considered unhealthy?

Or is there a one size fits all kind of routine algorithm that tells us what we can and can't do in the morning to make us productive?

Well, that's exactly what this blog is about.

You'll find out:

The things you do in the morning that could make your routine bad.

What's a good morning routine (if there's anything like that)

And how to create a routine in the morning when you have none.



Let's get to it.


MORNING ROUTINE : BEING ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE MORNING.

-Most of my mornings went like this:

-Wake up

-Scroll through Instagram

-Scroll some more on Instagram

-Check out a new YouTube video from my beloved vlogger, @RavenElyse wink wink.

-And then wake up to get my breakfast.

That would roughly kill 2 hours of my entire morning. Then I would do the same thing while eating my breakfast for another hour or so.

And that killed my productivity.

I'm a morning person (I came to realize). I am most creative during the morning hours. That's when I create the best Pinterest pins for my clients.

But even if I was creative in the morning hours, I realized I had no morning routine. And I knew if I had any chance of beating procrastination, I would have to create a routine in the morning.

So I started making small changes in my morning routine.

For example, I would wake up and drink a glass of water. After some time, it became a routine. I didn't even have to think about it.

And slowly by slowly, I started minimizing my phone time and even had tracking apps to make sure that happened.

It was a slow and painful process but that's how I was able to create my routine in the morning.

That was then.

Looking back at it, I wish someone would have given me a how-to guide to create a routine in the morning.

So here's what to do in case you find it difficult to cut down on social media hours.


WHAT TO DO TO CREATE A GOOD ROUTINE IN THE MORNING.

You become what you feed your mind.

If you're constantly feeding yourself negative thoughts, your life is going to be full of negativity.

And that's what social media does to most people.

A research study conducted by university of Missouri stated that social comparison orientation was the reason behind the depressive behaviors that come from social media.

When you constantly see people living their best lives, you want that. It makes you compare your real life to a single moment of high living.

Most people will never post their bad days or their chill days on the gram. EVER.

And that's the reality.

So first appreciate what you have now. If you feel left behind, your time is coming. Be patient and work consistently towards your goals.

Two, reduce scroll time because one way or another it will mess you up by either toying with your mental health or wasting your time.

Finally, create a healthy morning routine away from social media. But how do you do that if you're addicted to it?


1. Reflect on your day right after you wake up.

Instead of reaching out for your phone, think about your goals for the day. Let yourself feel excited about the day's events.

If you're not in a good mood, reflect on that too. Ask yourself why you're not in a good mood and how you can change that to have a good day.

Remember, for you to have a healthy morning routine, you must first take care of your mind.

In fact, having a morning yoga routine can actually help you reflect and relax at the same time.


2 . Get a good support system

It's hard to stop a habit but if you have a support system, it makes things a little bit easier.

You can have your mom or sister hide your phone the entire morning so that you can get used to having a routine that doesn't involve social media or your phone.

Eventually, you'll get to this space where you'll be able to comfortably have a routine in the morning without using your phone.

BAD ROUTINE IN THE MORNING: HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON

I struggled with this for the longest time until I stumbled on one of those YouTube channels that host successful people.

There was a lady who said all she did was count backwards when she heard the alarm and she jumped out of bed.

At first, I thought, "What nonsense" until I tried it and I literally jumped out of bed.

Well, the technique didn't last long in my little evolving brain but it worked.

We've all hit the snooze button especially during winters. It's the hardest time.

But is hitting the snooze button necessarily a bad morning routine?

Well, yes.

When you wake up late, you probably won't accomplish your goals. You'll have the frantic panic that will make you unproductive.

Meeting deadlines will be hella hard and most importantly you'll feel crappy about yourself.

To know how to stop hitting the snooze the button, we need to understand why we do it.

SIMPLE REASON WHY YOU HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON

You hit the snooze button only because your body hasn't had enough sleep. But you already know that.

And I already know you're going to blame it on Netflix.

But don't we all love Netflix. The series are so damn juicy. I can't get enough.

But watching Netflix at night is not a bad thing. You can regulate it.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD

So first, start by figuring out how many hours of sleep your body needs. I've found that this varies in different people. My mom used to sleep for 6 hours. I can't do that. I need a solid 8 hours to feel well rested.

Then, figure out the time you want to wake up in the morning. Let's say 6 am.

Now, count backwards. If you need 8 hours of sleep, that will bring your bedtime to 10pm.

So now, if you want to watch any movies, you can predict when it should start so that you're asleep by 10pm.

When you do this over a prolonged period of time, your body starts to rely on your cortisol rhythm meaning you won't even need an alarm to wake up in the morning.


BAD ROUTINE IN THE MORNING: DRINKING COFEE RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

I love fresh coffee to this date. But it's not the greatest when you're trying to set up a healthy morning routine.

Most of the time, we take coffee to feel "activated" but the truth is we take coffee to keep us alert because our bodies haven't had enough sleep.

But if you are well rested, your body produces cortisol hormones that are responsible for making you alert in the morning.

And these hormones are activated by the sun, when you wake up or the alarm goes off. They keep you hyped up in the first hour of the morning.

Meaning if you take coffee right off the bat in the morning, it won't have any effects on you. Instead, your body will just get addicted to the caffeine.

And after prolonged use, your body will not respond to the effects of your cortisol hormones - making you more reliant on coffee.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD.

Take a glass of cold water if you want that jolt of energy in the morning. This will be helpful to those people who are already addicted to coffee.

Delaying the time you take coffee in the morning will help your body to allow the cortisol hormone to do its job.

The later you delay that cup of coffee the better it is for your body and mind.

When I first tried to delay my cup of coffee, it was a total fail. I had a crazy headache and I just couldn't focus.

So I decided to start slow. I reduced the amount of coffee I took every day.

For instance, I would take a whole cup of coffee in the morning. I reduced that to 3/4 of a cup the first day, then half a cup the following day, then a quarter of a cup then a single shot.

And then, I started delaying the time I would take my coffee by 30 minutes each day after that. I used to take my coffee 30 minutes after I woke up. I increased that time by 30 minutes to an hour, hour, 30 and so forth.

Nowadays, I take the coffee 4 hours after I wake up and I can tell you. I don't need the coffee to really start the day.

Maybe that could work out for you to either reduce the amount of coffee you take or delay the time of day you drink your first cup of coffee.


BAD ROUTINE IN THE MORNING: PLANNING IN THE MORNING.

I used to plan my days in the morning. And then I realized I would get very little done. At the end of the day, when I would look at what I had accomplished, it was not in line with my weekly goals.

The thing with planning in the morning is that you usually have to do it in a rush.

The day has already started and you need to start doing stuff. But you don't know what to do first so you end up being confused.

And often at times, when that happens, you end up doing the very least important tasks.

Naturally, we are all lazy. And when you get confused, the next best alternative is to do a task that doesn't take you a step closer to your goals.


WHAT TO DO.

Create an environment that allows you to plan ahead.

For instance, give yourself 10 minutes to plan out the next day after you log off your computer.

Or if you love digital planning, ensure the last 10 minutes are dedicated to planning what you'll do the following day.

If that seems like a lot, create weekly goals and break them down into small tasks to do every single day.

I prefer doing this on a Sunday when I am free and it makes my weeks go a lot smoother.

Also, when planning, give space for life. Life happens and you can't do what you set out to do.

Normally, I'll allocate 2 hours of my day to miscellaneous activities. That allows me to catch up on work if something happens in my day that is out of my control

BAD ROUTINE IN THE MORNING: FOCUSING ON THE MOST IMPORTANT AND BIGGEST TASK.

Ever read the book eat the frog? If not, it's a book that talks about tackling your most important task first and then going on to do the small tasks.

This method didn't work out for me. The task would be so important or so heavy that it made me not want to work.

And if you're like me (scared of taking on big tasks), you get me.

The anxiety that it made me feel just made me not want to work at all.

If this technique works out for you, by all means skip this tip. This is just for people like me who struggle to take on heavy tasks first.

So what should you do instead.


WHAT TO DO.

If you're like me, you've got two options:

  1. Break up your biggest goal into small achievable tasks that are easy to accomplish.
  2. Start with the small tasks to build momentum to accomplish the big task.

I'm a Pinterest Virtual Assistant and as you can imagine, I have clients who need to have their work done all the time.

That makes me have a ton of important tasks to do for each client.

So instead of doing all the important tasks in the morning (which usually take the most time), I will normally focus on the little tasks. That builds my momentum to be able to finish up the biggest task super fast.

Once I'm able to build that momentum, the big task doesn't seem so big anymore.

For instance, the most time consuming task in my business is creating quality pins that drive traffic to my client's site/ landing page/ sales page.

So instead of focusing on that in the morning, I start by doing manual pinning. That, not only gives me ideas for the next pins I'm creating but also helps me to see which pin designs are the best.

Once I'm done with manual pinning, I begin to breakdown the whole pin creation process.

I don't want to get in-depth with what I do because that wouldn't be fair for my clients who pay for my services, but I hope it gives you a clear picture of what you can do.


BAD MORNING ROUTINE : SWITCHING UP YOUR MORNING ROUTINE.

Today, you're first breakfast then brushing your hair. Tomorrow, you're having yoga, brushing your hair then having breakfast. The following day, you're not even eating breakfast at all.

That is not a routine.

The whole point of creating a routine in the morning is so that you're able to build positive habits that will impact your life in the long run.

When you keep switching everything in your "morning routine" then you're setting yourself up for failure.

You will not be able to form a habit. And a habit is formed when you do something over and over again around the same time.

But don't get me wrong.

If you're trying to improve your morning routine by removing something you normally do or adding a task in your morning routine, by all means do it.

Switching things up will help you find what works for you and what doesn't.


WHAT TO DO.

The reason you keep switching up your activities in the morning is because you don't have a morning routine.

But if you have no morning routine, that's still okay. You still have time to create one.

I didn't have one up until the beginning of last year and I can definitely feel the difference.

You're able to properly plan out your day more effectively and it's an amazing feeling.

If that sounds like something you'd like to experience, start by doing two simple activities every single day.

For instance, I started with making my bed every single day (I never used to) Shame on me but that's the truth.

Then, I added my morning facial routine (I was really breaking out) and then I added exercise.

I did these two single activities every single day for weeks until I got used to it. And then, I slowly started adding other activities into my morning routine.


BAD MORNING ROUTINE : COPYING OTHER PEOPLE'S MORNING ROUTINE.

You could be a night owl or an early bird. Your lifestyle is quite different from mine.

I live with my son and my morning routine will be affected by him and so will yours by the people you live with.

Your space is different and you're a different person.

Find out what works for you.

If you love lighting the candles in the morning, do it. I don't. I have a 6-year-old boy who will burn my house to the ground with that candle.


BAD ROUTINE IN THE MORNING: MULTITASKING TWO HIGHLY ENGAGING TASKS.

There's nothing wrong with working out and listening to your favorite music or even putting your dishes in the dishwasher while playing your favorite podcast.

I do it all the time.

The problem comes in when you engage in two very highly engaging tasks.

Contrary to popular belief, multi tasking reduces productivity by almost 40%. And that's a really huge amount.

Another huge misconception about multi tasking is that women are really good at it but that's not true.

A study https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0220150done in 2019 showed that neither gender is better at multitasking.

So now, if multi tasking kills productivity, how can you get more done in the morning?


WHAT TO DO.

Often at times, we multi-task because we hope we will be able to accomplish more. But that rarely happens.

You either end up messing up both tasks or losing focus on one.

To avoid that, you could combine two activities that don't involve high attention or focus. For example: washing the house while the clothes run in the washing machine.

You could also just focus on one activity at a time.

If not, automate specific tasks. This could be really useful in your business.

Instead of responding to all your emails. Create an autoresponder with common FAQs to release the load of emails you have to deal with every day.

Create different channels of communication for different groups. For instance, I have emails from brand partnerships, influencer partnerships and guest blogging partnerships.

All these 3 segments of people can communicate with me differently. That way, I'm able to set up autoresponders (if required) for each request.


Did you find this post helpful? If you did make sure to share it over on Pinterest to your favorite board.

Also, follow me over on Instagram @angelanellieva if you're interested in social media marketing & productivity tips. I do mini trainings on my IG stories every other day.

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