I am trying to do a better job to jumpstart my mornings and using the hours when I’m the most awake to do the things that matter most. A morning routine can be hard to establish, but it’s important! So, I wanted to share the 9 things I’m trying to do every day before 10 a.m. (Or at least some of those things – it’s hard to get everything done, every day!)
If you’re anything like me, routines make the world go round! Get set in your new morning routine and have a more productive day.
1 – Drink a glass of water.
The answer to everything is more water.
Start your morning by drinking a full glass of water. Ideally, do this as soon as you wake up, but if you do it as soon as you get to work or as soon as you sit down at your desk, I think that’s just as good. My strategy has been taking one of my prescriptions in the morning instead of at night (a routine I’ve had to change up!) so I automatically fill up a cup with water to take that pill!
The pill certainly doesn’t require a full cup of water, but now that I have the cup, I have an excuse to empty it. My goal is to have to refill my tumbler before I leave for work.
2 – Clean up after yourself.
Both at home and at your desk / in your workspace, take a few minutes before 10 a.m. to clean up after yourself! A tidy workspace makes for a tidy mind, and you’ll feel better at the end of your day if you come home to a neat and tidy house.
I’ve been striving to wake up just a little earlier every day so I can put any dishes I use in the dishwasher, wipe up any mess I make in the bathroom and leave the house just as tidy as I found it. (Or, ideally, tidier.) And once I get to work, I tidy up any mess I made the day before and sit down to a clean slate.
3 – Keep your calendar clear.
This is more of a thing not to do, but keep your calendar clear before 10 a.m.! These are your best hours of the day – don’t spend them in a meeting.
Use that precious awake time to complete your biggest task of the day. Which leads me to…
4 – Do your most important task.
Every single day, you should achieve your most important task of the day before 10 a.m. The earlier, the better!
So many people use those first few minutes of alertness to clear out their email inbox, chat with a coworker or sit in on a meeting. Don’t waste your best hours on someone else’s agenda! Focus on your goals, your intentions and your priorities.
Push the rest of that later in the day – it can wait.
5 – Enjoy a moment without your phone.
For at least a small portion of your morning before 10 a.m., enjoy that time sans cell phone. I do a terrible job of this, honestly, but I want to be better! Leave your phone on the nightstand while you make your morning coffee, or leave your phone in your bag while you settle in at your workday.
Use that time to meditate, read a book or a magazine or simply exist, drinking your coffee, watching your dog pee on your satellite dish. (Oh. Just me got it.)
6 – Set your priorities for the day.
Don’t get this confused with spending your best before-10 a.m. hours working on a to do list – hardly! Take a moment before 10 a.m. to set your priorities for the day. What are the three most important things you need to do today?
Once you know that, dive in. Don’t get bogged down in listing to dos. Your day will get away from you, and you’ll have very little to show for it.
7 – Check the weather.
Whether you work from home or have a long walk or commute to your office, take a moment before 10 a.m. to see what the day holds for you, weather wise.
I always do this while still in bed. There is nothing more annoying to me than dressing the way I think I need to for the day, only to learn that it’s supposed to pour in the hour block I’m supposed to be walking to a meeting down the street. Or I think it’s going to be hot because it’s August, and in fact it is 65 degrees all of a sudden.
8 – Eat breakfast.
I don’t adhere to the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I do think it’s pretty important! Don’t skip it. Some people tell me that their stomach is usually not ready for food first thing. That’s fine – mine isn’t either. I always pack breakfast and eat it before 10 a.m. at my desk, since I’m not quite ready to eat between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. when I’m getting ready at home.
But if you are ready to eat, don’t skip breakfast just to skip it. Coffee doesn’t count.
9 – Look at your schedule for the day.
Similarly to setting goals, you need to know what the day holds for you. I recommend doing this before you get to work so there are no surprises, but take a moment to look over your agenda for the day.
What meetings are you expected to attend? Any important calls or deadlines on your radar?
Make a note of everything that needs your attention and proceed through your day with that in mind. If you know when you’ll be pulled away from your desk, you’ll know how much time you have to power through your top priorities.